Medically At-Risk Driver Program for Medical Professionals
This page provides medical professionals with the information and supporting materials they need to comply with the Oregon DMV's Medically At-Risk Driver Program, a program under which certain physicians and other health care providers are required to report drivers with severe functional or cognitive impairments that cannot be corrected or controlled by surgery, medication, therapy, a device or special technique.
If you are not a medical professional and/or you would just like general information about the program, see our Medically At-Risk Driver Program
page. If you would like to submit a voluntary report about an at-risk driver, see our Voluntary Reporting
page. If you would like to report an aggressive or intoxicated driver, see our Reporting a Problem Driver
page. Note: The voluntary reporting system may be utilized by medical professionals that are not required to report under the Medically At-Risk Driver Program and those who have patients that do not yet meet the mandatory reporting threshold of severe and uncontrollable issues.
Note: Beginning January 1, 2014 under the voluntary reporting program, physicians and health care providers who reasonably and in good faith report a person whose cognitive and/or functional impairments affect that person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, will be immune from civil liability for reporting. If a physician or health care provider does not make a report, they shall also be immune from civil liability that might otherwise result from not making the report. If you would like additional information, see our Information Sheet on immunity from civil liability for physicians and health care providers.
You may use the links below to go directly to any section:
It is the mission of Oregon's Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) to promote safety for all persons who travel or otherwise use the public highways of this state. In 1999, the Oregon Legislature's concern about aging drivers resulted in authorization for DMV to study the effects of aging on driving ability. An Older Driver Advisory Committee was convened and concluded that chronological age alone does not represent a valid or reliable criterion for assessing the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Similarly, the presence of various medical conditions does not support the conclusion that a driver lacks the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
The work of this group and a subsequent Medical Work Group
resulted in a change in the mandatory reporting program. Prior to June 1, 2003, DMV's mandatory reporting program required the reporting of any person "diagnosed as having a disorder characterized by momentary or prolonged lapses of consciousness or control that are or may become chronic." The new mandatory reporting program for medically at-risk drivers is impairment based and requires reporting of severe and uncontrollable
The underlying policy of these rules on medically at-risk drivers is to preserve the independence, dignity and self-esteem that results from providing one's own mobility, so long as it is possible to do so without risk to oneself or others. It is also our objective to support the relationship between a primary care provider (PCP) and a patient. A PCP may assist a patient in recognizing diminishing driving skills, leading to self-regulation or driving cessation as the patient's condition requires.
Oregon's approach to addressing medical impairments that impact driving is both comprehensive and fair. DMV's reporting system addresses people with severe and uncontrollable medical impairments that affect their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. It does not target people based solely on age, nor on a medical diagnosis or condition.
DMV’s reporting rules were developed to support the primary care provider/patient relationship through a process that allows a driver to continue driving as long as it is safe. Physicians are in a critical position to assess impairments, and address underlying causes of functional and cognitive decline.
There may be options available to prolong safe driving. The American Medical Association's
Physician Guide to Assessing and Counseling Older Drivers can assist you with this responsibility.
Patients may be counseled to restrict their driving to familiar routes and daylight hours. AARP
sponsors a driver safety program
. A Driver Rehabilitation Specialist
can conduct an independent driving analysis and recommend adaptive devices
When to Report
At the point that a patient's impairment becomes severe and uncontrollable
, the law requires the mandatory reporter
to report to DMV. Even if their patient has voluntarily agreed to give up driving, they are mandated to report when the impairment meets the required threshold.
How to Report
Reports must be submitted using the Mandatory Impairment Referral
(Form 735-7230), which can be downloaded or printed from this web site using your browser's "Save As" and "Print" options, or ordered by fax.
To order the form by fax:
- Write a request on your agency’s or organization's letterhead;
- Include the form number #735-7230 in your request; and
- Fax the request to the ODOT Storeroom at (503) 986-2801.
Note: Forms are provided free of charge.
In order for DMV to process the report, the form must be filled out completely. An example
of a completed form is available.
Be sure to list the underlying medical diagnosis or condition in the space provided on the form, and specify any other factors that may interfere with the safe operation of a motor vehicle, including drug and/or alcohol abuse, medications and pertinent test results.
Completed forms may be faxed to (503) 945-5329, or mailed to:
DMV Driver Safety Unit
1905 Lana Ave NE
Salem, OR 97314-4120
Note: Please do not mail a form if you have already faxed it or vice versa.
Upon receipt of a completed Mandatory Impairment Referral
(Form 735-7230), DMV will thoroughly review the report. In most cases the individual reported will have their driving privileges suspended. DMV sends a Notice of Suspension by mail. The suspension is effective 5 days from the date on the notice.
The report submitter will be notified only if the reported individual is not suspended.
Once an individual has been suspended, they can contact DMV and request the opportunity to take vision, knowledge and drive tests. For cognitive impairments and certain functional impairments, DMV's Medical Determination Officer will review the medical and driving records of the individual to determine if the driver should be tested. If tested, an individual must pass all three tests to get their driving privileges reinstated (in full or on a restricted basis). The Medical Determination Officer will decide under what conditions driving privileges may be reinstated based upon the medical information provided.
A reported individual can also request a hearing to appeal a suspension. Suspension notices from DMV provide instructions for this process.
The individual's primary care provider will be notified if their driving privileges are reinstated.
A reported individual can also give up their driving privileges and request a quit driving identification card.
To inquire about the status of a report, please contact DMV's Driver Safety Unit at (503) 945-5083.
Cognitive & Functional Impairments
Cognitive impairments that are required to be reported include:
- Judgment and Problem Solving
- Reaction Time
- Planning and Sequencing
- Loss of Consciousness or Control
Functional impairments that are required to be reported include:
- Peripheral Sensation of Extremities
- Motor Planning and Coordination
Cognitive and Functional Impairments are required to be reported when they reach the following threshold:
- Severe and uncontrollable to a degree that precludes (or may preclude) the safe operation of a motor vehicle, and;
- The impairment is not correctable by medication, therapy, or surgery; or by driving device or technique.
Oregon Administrative Rules (735-074-0080
) define a Mandatory Reporter as:
- A physician or health care provider acting in the capacity of a person’s primary care provider;
- A physician or health care provider rendering specialized or emergency health care services to a person who does not have a primary care provider; or
- An ophthalmologist or optometrist providing health care services to a person who does not meet DMV vision standards (OAR 735-062-0050).
The At-Risk Driver Program - Mandatory Report for Medical Professionals (Division 74) rules deal with the mandatory reporting by medical professionals to DMV of drivers with a medical condition or impairment that may affect their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
The mandatory reporting program requires physicians and designated health care providers to report individuals who have a functional or cognitive impairment that is severe and uncontrollable
. Physicians and health care providers may voluntarily report
individuals that have not reached the reporting threshold for the mandatory program, but whom they believe may no longer be safe to drive.
Note: See our Information Sheet on immunity from civil liability for physicians and health care providers who voluntarily report to DMV.
Within five days of receiving a notice, DMV will suspend the driving privileges of individuals reported under Division 74 rules, if DMV determines that the report contains information that indicates the person may endanger persons or property if allowed to operate a motor vehicle.
Individuals with a current driver license, who recognize that they are unsafe to drive, will be provided an identification card at no charge. Individuals who believe that they are able to safely operate a motor vehicle will be encouraged to contact DMV to take tests to demonstrate that, notwithstanding the impairment or medical condition, they can safely operate a motor vehicle. DMV will reinstate the driving privileges of individuals who pass DMV tests. Reported individuals may also request a hearing.
A table of contents for the At-Risk Driver Program - Mandatory Report for Medical Professionals (Division 74) Rules
is provided below:
||Policy and Objective|
||Authority to Obtain Medical Information and DMV Use of Medical Information|
||Physicians and Health Care Providers Required to Report to DMV|
||Report of Visual Acuity or Field of Vision not Meeting DMV Standards|
||Severe and Uncontrollable Impairments that must be Reported to DMV|
||The Mandatory Report to DMV|
||Standards for Identifying How Impairments Affect Driving|
|DMV Response to Mandatory Report-Suspension, Opportunity to Re-Test, Reinstatement|
||When a Suspension or Cancellation of Driving Privilege Occurs|
||Restricted Applicant Temporary Permit|
||Hearing Request for Suspension or Cancellation |
History of Rules
In 1999, the Oregon Legislature approved House Bill 2446, authorizing DMV to convene a committee to study the effects of aging on driving ability.
The committee met over the course of two years and developed a set of 26 comprehensive recommendations
, which were presented to the 2001 Legislature. The members of the Older Driver Advisory Committee concluded that chronological age alone does not represent a valid or reliable criterion for assessing risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Similarly, the presence of various medical conditions does not support the conclusion that a driver lacks the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
DMV submitted legislation arising from the Older Driver Advisory Committee’s report, House Bill 3071, which was approved during Oregon’s 2001 Legislative Session. This legislation states that determinations regarding a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle may NOT be based solely on diagnosis of a medical condition, but must be based on the actual effect of a cognitive or functional impairment on the person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
A twelve-member Medical Work Group
, comprised of both physicians and health care providers, was recruited to work in consultation with DMV to identify cognitive and functional impairments likely to affect a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, and to designate physicians and health care providers required to report a person demonstrating these impairments to DMV.
Based on recommendations from the Medical Work Group, DMV developed Administrative Rules. Public hearings on DMV’s new mandatory medical reporting rules were held during February and March, 2003. The rules were finalized and sent to the Oregon Transportation Commission for approval in May.
The new medical reporting rules went into effect in six Oregon counties in June, 2003 and was subsequently phased in over 12 months. The entire state became subject to the new requirements on June 1, 2004.
|Helping Your Patients Retire From Driving|
Do you have patients who can no longer safely drive? You can help them "retire" from driving.
Your patient may qualify for a no-fee "quit driving" ID card that is good until the expiration of the Oregon driver license being surrendered. Please note that if your patient’s license is within 3 months of expiration, it may be more beneficial for them to get an ID card with an 8-year renewal. Otherwise your patient will have to go through this process again once their driver license expires.
You can help your patient apply for a “quit driving” ID card by:
- Downloading and assisting your patient with completing the Surrender of Driving Privileges (Form 735-7206). To view an example of a completed form click here.
- Downloading and assisting your patient with completing the Driver License/Permit/Identification Card Application (Form 735-173).
- Finding the closest DMV Office for your patient to visit in order to complete the application process.
- Informing your patient that they will need to provide DMV with the Surrender of Driving Privileges form, the Driver License/Permit/Identification Card Application, and their driver license.
- Ensuring your patient understands that they will also need to have their picture taken and present DMV with proof of legal presence in the U.S., identity, date of birth and current residence address.
In addition, it may be a good time to remind your patient that they will need alternative transportation to and from the DMV office, since they will be surrendering their driving privilege during that visit, in accordance with OAR 735-062-0135 (2).
If your patient has a medical condition or health problem that makes it unable for them to physically go to a DMV office you can help them by:
- Downloading and assisting your patient with completing the Surrender of Driving Privileges (Form 735-7206). To view an example of a completed form click here.
- Calling DMV headquarters at (503) 945-5114 on behalf of your patient to request a Valid with Previous Photograph (VWPP) packet. This packet will be emailed to you or your patient.
- Preparing a letter verifying that your patient has a medical or health condition that prevents them from applying for the “quit driving” ID card at a DMV office. This letter must accompany the VWPP application.
- Assisting your patient with completing the VWPP application.
- Making copies of your customer’s proof of legal presence in the U.S., identity, date of birth and current residence address. Copies of these proofs must accompany the VWPP application.
- Mailing the completed packet to: DMV, Driver Issuance Unit, 1905 Lana Ave. NE, Salem, OR 97314. Incomplete packets will be returned to customer at their address on record.
To regain driving privileges after surrendering their license, under OAR 735-062-0135(7), a driver must reapply for the privileges and establish eligibility and qualification as provided by law, including payment of all required fees. They must:
- Have a current medical clearance on file with DMV’s Driver Safety Unit;
- Not be suspended, cancelled, revoked or otherwise withdrawn in Oregon or any other jurisdiction;
- Surrender their Oregon ID card;
- Complete the Driver License/Permit/Identification Card Application (Form 735-173);
- Provide proof of legal presence in the U.S., identity, date of birth and current residence address;
- Pass all tests (vision, knowledge, and drive);
- Pay testing and original issuance fees, and;
- Have their photo taken.
Additional information that may be relevant includes:
- Limited Vision Condition Program
- Related Websites
- AAA Foundation for Traffic Safe Senior Drivers - Tips to keep senior drivers safe behind the wheel.
- AARP Driver Safety Program - Classroom course designed for mature drivers, ages 50 and older that provides a review of safe driving skills and how to adjust driving habits in relation to changes in cognitive and functional abilities.
- ADED - Can assist with finding a driver rehabilitation specialist in your area.
- AAMVA - General information and resources on aging and driving.
- AMA - Access to the "Physician Guide to Assessing and Counseling Older Drivers," a comprehensive resource for physicians, developed to keep patients safely mobile for as long as possible. It covers driver assessment, rehabilitation and counseling. Contact the AMA for order information.
- NAPGCM - A geriatric case manager can assist individuals or families arrange long-term care, including transportation. Web site access allows location of a Care Manager by state, zip code or experience.
- NHTSA - Provides resources for drivers, medical providers, law enforcement and others on issues related to medical conditions and safe driving.
- Oregon Medical Association - Provides information on the organization's Medically At-Risk Driver Program, on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and status of legislation protecting a physician from not reporting a medically at-risk driver.