Medical Suspensions

Medical Suspensions

The Medical Affairs Branch of the Registry of Motor Vehicles handles Drivers License Medical Suspensions. It has set minimum standards for vision qualifications, loss of consciousness and seizure conditions, and cardiovascular and respiratory conditions. The Registry has specific standards for arthritis disease, loss of consciousness, vision, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, musculo-skeletal issues, diabetes, and epilepsy. When the Registry has cause to believe that a person may be unable to operate a motor vehicle due to any other condition not specifically addressed by the Registry's minimum standards, the Medical Affairs Branch will conduct an individualized assessment of that person's qualifications to operate a motor vehicle safely.

If the Registrar determines that you pose an immediate threat to public safety because you have a medical condition which hinders your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, the Registrar can suspend your learner's permit, license, or right to operate immediately for an indefinite period, as a "complaint immeidate threat medical,"IMMED THREAT-MEDICAL," or a "COMPLAINT MEDICAL." Your doctor may be required to complete RMV Medical Clearance Forms. The Registry can impose a reinstatement fee of up to $500.00 and require various forms of re-testing or quarterly monitoring contracts as a conditon of reinstatement. 

Every “complaint medical” license suspension case is different and the response to the suspension is determined by the client’s medical condition and the facts and circumstances triggering the license suspension. The Registry is concerned with the risk to public safety and it balances the individual’s right and need to drive with that risk. Medical documentary evidence showing that the individual is safe to operate is absolutely critical. In some cases, the Registry may impose restrictions such as no night driving, use of mechanical aids, or blood sugar monitoring. In some cases, the Registry will require a driver to pass a competency road test. 

The Board of Appeal is fairly sympathetic to drivers who have had their licenses suspended because of a medical immediate threat complaint.  However, the Board will not compromise public safety by putting a driver on the road who is unsafe. The Board sometimes requires driving evaluations prior to ordering the RMV to issue a learner’s permit, which allows the driver to develop the skills necessary to pass a competency road test. Like the Registry, the Board requires evidence from health care professionals which shows that the driver can safely operate a motor vehicle.

Waiting and monitoring periods are sometimes imposed, during which time the driver has his or her condition monitored by a physician or psychiatrist. If the driver remains incident free during that monitoring period, he or she can apply for reinstatement. In loss of consciousness cases, the incident free period is 6 months. This can be waived in some cases, with proper medical documentation. 

If you are facing a medical license suspension, you have the right to a hearing. Also, if the Registry of Motor Vehicles does not agree to reinstate your license, you have the right to Appeal the Registry's decision to the Board of Appeal. In order to get your license reinstated from a medical license suspension, you will have to produce certain evidence, including a statement from a physician regarding your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Our lawyers have handled numerous medical suspension issues and are familiar with the Registry's procedures and requirements. Contact us today to discuss your Medical License Suspension.

More Information Regarding Medical Suspensions

  • AAA and Mass. RMV Offer Elderly Driving Classes
  • Mass. RMV Safe Driving Programs
  • Recent Immediate Threat & Medical Complaint Suspensions
  • The New “Complaint Medical” Law
  • New Law Regarding Medical License Suspensions in Mass.
  • Laws Proposed to Reduce Impaired Driving
  • Elderly Drivers & “Complaint Medical” or “Immediate Threat” Suspensions