Why does the California DMV place drivers on Medical Probation?    All Californians recognize the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as the government agency responsible for issuing driver licenses and registering vehicles.  Few people realize however the DMV has been granted sweeping power by the California Legislature to continuously monitor the physical and mental stability of all drivers to ensure they maintain the capacity to drive.  Throughout a person’s entire driving life, the DMV will closely monitor drivers to ensure that no physical or mental disorders develop which may affect their ability to drive.  If a driver develops a medical disorder that could potentially affect safe driving, the DMV’s “Re-Examination” process is in place to evaluate the condition and make a determination as to the person’s ability to drive.

In some instances, the suspected physical or mental disorder may not be fully understood or its stability may not be clear.  In those instances the department is allowed to place the affected driver on a term of medical probation.  Medical Probation permits the person to continue driving while providing the DMV the ability to monitor the condition over a period of time.

Most often the DMV will place a person on Medical Probation for disorders characterized by lapses of consciousness, however, virtually any physical or mental condition can be monitored through Medical Probation.

CVC Section 14250 determines:

                        “Whenever by any provision of this code the department has discretionary authority to suspend or revoke the privilege of a person to operate a motor vehicle, the department in lieu of suspension or revocation may place the person on probation, the terms of which may include a suspension as a condition of probation, issuing a probationary license with such reasonable terms and conditions as shall be deemed by the department to be appropriate.”

 What are the different types of Medical Probation?    There are essentially two different types of Medical Probation for drivers with physical or mental disorders:

Medical Probation Type II: Placing a person on Medical Probation Type II permits them to continue driving.  Type II probation is appropriate when a person’s medical disorder has been stable for a period of three to five months and it is believed the condition will remain stable.   The driver is required to authorize their doctor to prepare and sign a Driver Medical Evaluation (form DS-326) at specific intervals to permit the DMV to monitor the condition. In making the determination to place a driver on Medical Probation Type II, the DMV will consider:

  • The type of physical or mental disorder.
  • How the disorder manifests itself.
  • The history of the disorder as well as the driver’s medical and lifestyle history.
  • The period during which the disorder has remained stable.

Medical Probation Type III:   Placing a person on Medical Probation Type III will be considered when he/she has demonstrated a period of stability for six or more months but, certain factors make it possible  the disorder will deteriorate or become unstable.  This type of Medical Probation permits the person to continue driving but requires self-monitoring and self-reporting to the department.  The driver will be required to prepare and sign (under the penalty of perjury) a Medical Probation Reporting Form (form DS-346) at regular intervals determined by the DMV.  In making the decision to place a driver on Medical Probation Type III, the DMV will consider:

  • The type of physical or mental disorder.
  • How the disorder manifests itself.
  • The history of the disorder as well as the driver’s medical and lifestyle history.
  • The period during which the disorder has remained stable.
  • The likelihood of the driver honestly complying and honestly reporting their disorder.

**If the department grants Medical Probation III and later discovers the physical or mental disorder has become unstable or recurred; or the driver has reported fraudulent or incorrect information, it may order a re-examination or the immediate suspension of the driver license.

How can I protect my driving privilege?   If the DMV is taking any action to suspend or revoke your driving privilege for a physical or mental disorder, you are entitled to defend yourself. 

Pick up the telephone and call the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates (CDA).  We are a team of administrative advocates, former police officers, DMV hearing officers, investigators and scientists who are ready to turn the tables on the DMV.  We will use our knowledge of the Vehicle Code and years of defense experience to protect your rights.   Don’t let the DMV steal your privilege to drive without a fight.  Call CDA today at (888) 281-5244 or find us on the internet at www.dmv-defenders.com.

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