Can You Operate a Motor Vehicle in California if You Have Dementia?

Article written by Delta Driving School

Operating a motor vehicle in California requires drivers to have a firm understanding of the rules of the road, as well as proper physical and mental abilities. Unfortunately, dementia is a condition that can progressively impair an individual’s ability to drive. Symptoms of dementia include a loss of cognitive functioning, thinking, reasoning, and remembering.

Section 103900 of the California Health & Safety Code requires physicians to submit a confidential report to the county health department when an individual is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia severe enough to impair one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will also be made aware of this information.

If the DMV believes action must be taken against an individual’s driving privileges, they have the authority to do so. When the California DMV receives a medical report about a driver’s dementia condition, the following procedures are performed:

Computer database search to verify that the individual has a valid license

The individual receives a “Driver Medical Evaluation” form for their primary physician to submit medical information regarding the condition of the dementia.

A Driver Safety officer reviews the medical form and determines the individual’s driving privileges.

Licensed drivers with dementia in the mild stage will be scheduled for a re-examination. If they pass the three stages of the re-examination process, along with the driving test, the driver’s license is generally not suspended or revoked. Drivers whose dementia condition is considered moderate or severe will have their driving privileges revoked.

This article was sent to us by Delta Driving School. They are a Driving School in La Crescenta CA and neighboring cities. Make sure to contact them if you are looking for a driving school in that area.

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