New “Complaint Medical” Law

With the implementation of the new Massachusetts Text Messaging Law, the Legislature has included a provision whereby medical evaluations of Massachusetts drivers can be requested. Under this new law, which effects what the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles refers to as “Compliant Medical” license suspensions, Mass. police officers and healthcare providers can request that the Registry investigate drivers who may be unable to drive safely, by reason of a medical condition.

“Complaint Medical” reports cannot be based solely on a driver’s age. Instead, the healthcare provider or police officer who files the repot must have an independent reasonable to believe that the Massachusetts driver is physically or medically incapable of safe operation, or that the driver has a “cognitive or functional impairment” affecting safe operation of a vehicle.

The Registry will likely schedule hearings based on these reports and it will require drivers to provide documentary evidence medical or psychiatric clearance. This law is designed to protect public safety by alerting the Registry to drivers who are unable to safely operate a vehicle. Police and healthcare providers are immune from suit for reporting or failing to report drivers under this new law.