Driver License Division - Medical Standards
Utah residents are individually responsible for their health when driving. All applicants for licenses will complete a health questionnaire to show their functional ability to drive. If there is a significant health problem, they will take their medical and/or vision form to a health care professional, who will profile the category for the condition indicated or change it to be consistent with the true medical situation. The health care professional will be expected to discuss the applicant’s health as it relates to driving and to make special recommendations in unusual circumstances. Based upon a completed Functional Ability Evaluation Form/Certificate of Vision, the Driver License Division may issue a license with or without limitations as outlined in these Guidelines and Standards approved by the Utah Driver License Medical Advisory Board.
Health care professionals can increase highway safety by carefully applying these guidelines and standards and counseling with their patients about driving.
- Drivers are responsible to refrain from driving and report to the Driver License Division if they have or develop a physical, mental, or emotional impairment which may affect driving safety.
- Drivers in such a situation are expected to seek competent medical evaluation and advice about the significance of the impairment as it relates to driving safety.
Health care professionals may be requested by their patients to make reports to the Driver License Division about impairments which may affect driving safety, but the final responsibility for issuing a driver license lies with the Driver License Division. In addition to making accurate reports when authorized by their patients, health care professionals are expected to counsel their patients about how their condition affects safe driving. For example, if patients are put on medications which may cause changes in alertness or coordination, their health care professional should advise them not to drive at least until a dosage is established which will not affect safe driving. Or, if visual acuity drops, they should similarly be advised, at least until corrective action has been taken to improve their vision. The following quotation from the 1996 law recognizes this important function:
"Health care professionals who care for patients with physical, mental, or emotional impairments that may affect their driving safety, whether defined by published guidelines and standards or not, are responsible for making available to their patients without reservation their recommendations and appropriate information related to driving safety and responsibilities." The guidelines and standards will be a useful reference in such counseling."
The Guidelines and Standards were written by the Utah Medical Advisory Board and developed for use by Utah Health Care Professionals to assist them in completing the Functional Ability Evaluation and Certificate of Visual Examination forms for the Utah Driver License Division. The Utah Medical Advisory Board are physicians with varying medical specialties and operate under bylaws approved by the Commissioner of Public Safety.
To simplify reporting and to make possible a comparison of relative risks and limitations, the Medical Advisory Board has adopted physical, emotional and behavioral functional ability profiles including 12 categories, with multiple levels under each category.
The legislature eliminated a major obstacle for health care professionals with its provision that "A health care professional or other person who becomes aware of a physical, mental, or emotional impairment that appears to present an imminent threat to driving safety and reports this information to the division in good faith has immunity from any damages claimed as a result of making the report." *Utah Code Annotated 53-3-303
[Last Update - Wednesday, 28-Jan-2015 17:11:08 MST]