Driver's license/ID

MEDICAL OR VISION CONDITIONS AND DRIVING

medical vision photo

If driving isn’t an option due to a temporary or permanent medical or vision-related condition, or you’re ineligible to drive due to a medical or vision-related sanction on your driving record, we’re here to help ease the challenges associated with identity and mobility.

There are transportation options available, many at reduced costs, to help you get where you need to go. Below is information related to driving eligibility as well as alternative transportation options.


MEDICAL OR VISION-RELATED SANCTIONS

The reason(s) for a medical sanction on your driving record is unique to the person and may include varying degrees of physical, mental, cognitive, or vision-related impairment. If you would like to get your license back, it is important to understand that your first step is a recommendation from your health care professional (i.e. MD, DO, ARNP, PAC, or vision specialist). Your doctor may request additional medical evaluations with a specialist or a medically-based driving evaluation conducted by an occupational therapist or certified driver rehabilitation specialist before making a recommendation to reinstate your driving privileges. You’ll also need to take a knowledge and on-road driving test before we can reinstate your driving privileges.

You are eligible to receive a free identification card (ID) if your Iowa driver license has been withdrawn due to a medical or vision-related sanction. Contact us or stop by one our issuance service center locations to receive your free non-driver ID card.


RENEWING A DRIVER’S LICENSE WITH A MEDICAL OR VISION-RELATED REQUIREMENT

When renewing a driver’s license, you may be required to provide a medical or vision report completed by your health-care provider. If we have determined that you need this report, it will be listed on the back of your license as a restriction and the form you need to have completed will be mailed to you a month before you need to submit the completed form back to us. If you do not receive the form, you can call the driver’s license service center located in the county in which you live to request one. The vision report form (form 430032) is available online. The medical report form must be provided by a driver’s license service center.

Your license may also list additional driving-related restrictions (i.e. no nighttime driving, no interstate driving, no manual transmission, etc.).


Contact us

Have questions specific to your record and eligibility? We’re here to help. Contact us in a way convenient for you.

Phone: 515-244-8725
Email: Driver.Services@iowadot.us
Fax: 515-239-1837
Website

RE-EXAMINATIONS OF DRIVING CAPABILITIES

If someone is concerned about your driving, they may request that we re-examine your ability to drive. A re-examination request can be made by a healthcare provider, law enforcement officer, community member, or family member. Re-examination requests must be submitted in writing by filling out and signing the Request for Re-examination form (Form 431030), or may be required based on a law enforcement officer’s crash report.

Requirements

Reexamination requirements include the following,
  • Vision screening
  • Cognitive screenings
  • Knowledge exam
  • On-road driving exam

Depending on the information received, additional requirements such as a satisfactory medical or vision report completed by a healthcare provider or a specialist may be requested prior to completing Iowa DOT testing requirements.

As re-examinations are unique to the individual, please be sure to read your re-examination letter carefully. Use the phone number listed at the bottom of the letter to contact us.


MEDICAL REPORT OR VISION-RELATED REPORT

The information required on a medical or vision report will vary based on the driver’s health. The more common types of health conditions that can affect driving are:

  • Seizure
  • Blackout/Fainting/Loss of consciousness
  • Diabetes
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Sleep disorders
  • Heart problems
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Mental Illness
  • Substance Abuse
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Macular Degeneration

REPORTING AN UNSAFE DRIVER

If you have a concern about a driver, you can submit a signed Request for Re-examination (Form 431030) for a driver with a known or suspected physical, mental, cognitive, or vision condition that can impair driving.

More information about reporting an unsafe driver can be found under the FAQ section.


PROFESSIONAL DRIVING SKILLS ASSESSMENT

A medically based driver evaluation provides an objective assessment of a person’s ability to safely drive. Driver evaluations are usually provided by occupational therapists and/or driver rehabilitation specialists. A clinical assessment typically includes evaluation of arm and leg strength and mobility, reaction time for braking, visual acuity and field of view, attention, concentration, perception, memory, and reasoning skills. An on-road assessment evaluates the ability to drive safely in traffic. Driver rehabilitation specialists work with drivers when adaptive equipment is needed and provide training needed to become proficient in controlling the vehicle using adaptive equipment.

You should first discuss your needs and concerns with your primary care provider as most medically based programs require a referral from your health care provider.

Your local hospital’s occupational therapy department may offer a clinical evaluation of skills necessary for driving or may be able to help you locate a program in your area.

Find an organization

The organizations listed below can help you locate a program:


Frequently asked questions

arrow   WHAT MEDICAL OR VISION-RELATED CONDITIONS MAY AFFECT DRIVING?

A variety of conditions may affect driving. It’s important to understand that having a medical or vision-related condition doesn’t automatically result in driving ineligibility. Be aware of how your medical or vision-related condition affects you, consult with your doctor, and make a plan to deal with mobility if driving yourself is no longer an option. Some of the most commonly seen conditions (not comprehensive) include seizures, loss-of-consciousness, sleep disorders, diabetes, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, peripheral neuropathy, certain heart conditions, dementia, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, cognitive impairment, vision disorders, certain medications, and drug abuse or addiction.

arrow  WHAT STEPS SHOULD I TAKE IF MY HEALTH CARE PROVIDER ADVISES THAT I SHOULD NO LONGER DRIVE?

If your provider has determined you are no longer safe to drive, you should visit your local driver’s license service center, surrender your driver’s license, and request an Identification (ID) card, free of charge. We’ll also be happy to assist you with information that you may find useful for alternative transportation options to remain mobile.

arrow  I’M CONCERNED ABOUT A FAMILY MEMBER, NEIGHBOR, OR FRIEND WHO MAY BE UNSAFE TO DRIVE. HOW CAN I LET YOU KNOW OF MY CONCERNS?

If you’re concerned and have tried talking to your family member or friend, you can submit a signed, written request for an evaluation of a driver suspected to have a physical, mental, or visual impairment, regardless of age. Our Driver & Identification Services team reviews all requests and determines the appropriate course of action. This may include medical or visual evaluation to be completed by a healthcare professional or required testing. Form 431030 can be submitted to request a re-examination for a friend or loved one. The minimum required information (healthcare professionals or law enforcement may submit additional information) you’ll need to include on the request is:

  • Individual’s full name, address, and date of birth
  • Reason for the re-examination must be given. Include a summary (age alone not considered)
  • Your signature, name, address, and date of submission

For concerned family members, you can also speak directly with their healthcare provider or contact law enforcement with your concerns.

arrow  WHO CAN REQUEST OR REPORT CONCERN FOR AN UNSAFE DRIVER?

Anyone, including yourself, a healthcare professional, or even law enforcement, can request a re-examination if concerned about someone else’s ability to drive safely due to a physical, cognitive, or vision-related condition. To request a re-examination you’ll need to submit a signed, written request for evaluation (Form 431030) and submit to us for review. The minimum required information (healthcare professionals or law enforcement may submit additional information) you’ll need to include on the request is:

  • Individual’s full name, address, and date of birth
  • Reason for the re-examination must be given. Include a summary (age alone not considered)
  • Your signature, name, address, and date of submission

arrow  IF I REPORT SOMEONE AS UNSAFE TO DRIVE, WILL THEY KNOW?

If you submit a request for re-examination, the person named in the request is entitled and can request to know the name of the individual who signed and submitted the request for re-examination.

arrow  CAN I REPORT AN UNSAFE DRIVER BY PHONE?

We cannot accept reports of unsafe drivers by phone. We must receive a signed, written request for re-examination (Form 431030) In the event of an emergency, immediate reporting may be completed by contacting your local law enforcement or dialing 911. Anonymous requests are not accepted.

arrow  WHAT INFORMATION IS REQUIRED TO REPORT AN UNSAFE DRIVER?

Anyone, including yourself, a healthcare professional, or even law enforcement, can request a re-examination if concerned about someone else’s ability to drive safely due to a physical, cognitive, or vision-related condition. To request a re-examination you’ll need to submit a signed, written request for evaluation (Form 431030) and submit to us for review. The minimum required information (healthcare professionals or law enforcement may submit additional information) you’ll need to include on the request is:

  • Individual’s full name, address, and date of birth
  • Reason for the re-examination must be given. Include a summary (age alone not considered)
  • Your signature, name, address, and date of submission

Anonymous requests are not accepted.

arrow  CAN A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL REQUEST A DRIVING ASSESSMENT OR EVALUATION FOR PHYSICAL, COGNITIVE, OR VISION-RELATED REASONS?

Yes. A healthcare professional can request a driving assessment or evaluation if they are concerned with someone’s ability to drive safely due to a physical, cognitive, or vision-related reason. Contact us by phone 515-244-8725 or email Driver.Services@iowadot.us if you have questions.

arrow  CAN THE IOWA DOT RE-EXAMINE A DRIVER WHO DOES NOT HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION BUT WHOSE DRIVING SKILLS ARE DETERIORATING?

Yes. Anytime a driver comes to renew or replace their license (i.e. misplaced or update to address), our staff can perform screenings or request further evaluation if they have reason to believe a driver may be unsafe for a physical, mental, cognitive, or vision-related reason. This may include vision screening, cognitive screening, a request for a medical or vision report to be completed by a healthcare provider, or a knowledge or driving test.