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Contact Information

Phone: (919) 861-3809
Fax: (919) 861-3836

Mailing Address:
Medical Review Program
3112 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-3112

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles' Medical Review Unit gathers and evaluates medical information of drivers who have medical conditions that could affect safety on the state's roads.

A staff of licensed physicians and nurses conducts thorough reviews of medical records and statements in conjunction with driving records and provides a decision as to what, if any, restrictions should be placed on a driver's license.

The goal of the Medical Review Program is to help protect highway safety without causing unnecessary hardship on drivers.

Reasons for Medical Evaluations

The Medical Review Unit evaluates a driver when there is concern that a medical condition might have an impact on his or her driving ability and safety. These include:

  • Seizures
  • Heart conditions (e.g., irregular heart rhythms, uncontrolled high blood pressure, etc.)
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep disorders
  • Black outs or loss of consciousness
  • Impairment of limbs, back or neck (e.g., stroke, injury, etc.)
  • Cognitive disorders (e.g., stroke, head injury, dementia, etc.)
  • Vision disorders
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Neurological disorders (Parkinson's disease, dementia, alcoholic dementia, various neurodegenerative disorders)
  • Substance abuse disorders

Not all medical conditions prevent motorists from driving.

If a driver's medical condition is stable and documentation from the driver's health care provider has been provided, the Medical Review Unit's decision might include driving restrictions, such as:

  • Corrective lenses
  • Daylight-driving only
  • Limiting driving to speeds less than 45 mph speed and prohibiting interstate driving
  • Limiting driving to/from places, such as work, the doctor, church, grocery store
  • Limiting driving within a specified radius of home

Other restrictions that safely allow a person to continue driving might also apply.

Requests for Medical Evaluation

Although anyone may request that a driver be medically evaluated, requests typically come from:

  • Family members who request an evaluation of their parents or other relatives
  • Physicians who notify the DMV about patients that they feel might be at risk to themselves or others
  • Driver license examiners who request a medical evaluation when a customer reports a new medical condition
  • Law enforcement officers who send reports of drivers whom they have observed with poor driving habits that could be related to health problems such as poor vision, slow reaction time, reports of blackouts, falling asleep or seizure
  • Wreck reports that state a medical condition contributed to a motor vehicle accident
  • Involuntary commitments and incompetency orders created by the court system

Anyone requesting that a driver be medically evaluated by the DMV must fill out and sign the Request for Medical Evaluation form. Anonymous requests are NOT accepted.

The Request for Medical Evaluation form must provide specific information regarding the medical condition and/or driving ability of the person in question. This recommendation must only be made in the interest of public safety. Advanced age alone CANNOT be the sole reason for a medical evaluation.

The signed form should be faxed to (919) 733-9569 or mailed to:

Medical Review Program
3112 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-3112

Periodic Reviews of Medical Conditions

Depending on the severity of the medical condition – or if the condition worsens – the Medical Review Unit will review a driver's case on a periodic basis to ensure the driver’s medical condition does not affect driving ability and safety.

In such cases, the driver must submit updated medical documentation each time his or her case is reviewed. The frequency of reviews varies, depending on the medical condition, but in most cases, these updates are as often as every three months or as infrequent as once every three years.

Drivers with stable medical conditions might not need to be followed by the Medical Review Unit.

Commercial Driver License Waiver Program

North Carolina intrastate licensed commercial drivers – those who travel only in North Carolina – who are affected by certain medical conditions might be eligible for a commercial driver license waiver if the Medical Review Unit determines they can safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.

The Medical Review Unit evaluates drivers whom otherwise would not be approved to drive a commercial motor vehicle, based on Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, but could safely operate a commercial motor vehicle if their condition is stable and they are monitored regularly.

The waiver program is designed only for North Carolina intrastate drivers. Drivers who intend to drive outside of North Carolina (interstate) may contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding its exemption program.

Currently, the Medical Review Unit approves three waivers for intrastate drivers who would otherwise qualify for a DOT medical certificate and have completed a DOT physical examination within the last year.

  • Insulin-dependent diabetes waiver
  • Vision waiver
  • Limb waiver

Waivers may be granted for up to, but no more than two years. Drivers may request a waiver for ONE medical condition. The Medical Review Unit does not offer more than one waiver for each driver.

Upon approval, a driver will receive a letter that sets forth the terms, conditions and limitations of the waiver. The driver must have the waiver in his or her possession while operating a commercial motor vehicle.

More details about the waiver program, including the required paperwork to apply, can be found here. To obtain the necessary paperwork, call (919) 861-3809.

Appealing Medical Review Program Decisions

A driver who disagrees with a decision by the Medical Review Program is entitled to a hearing before the Medical Review Program Board, if it is requested in writing within 10 calendar days of receiving the decision.

Requests can be faxed to (919) 861-3836 or mailed to:

Medical Review Program
3112 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-3112

If a driver requests a hearing, his or her case will be reconsidered by the Medical Review Program's medical advisers in preparation for the hearing. The reconsideration process determines if the initial decision on the driver license was accurate and warranted. In effect, the driver's case will receive a second opinion from medical advisers, and it is possible that the initial decision could change. A driver will be notified by mail if the status of his or her case changes due to this reconsideration.

Medical hearings are conducted by a DMV hearing officer and two physicians appointed to the Medical Review Hearing Board. During the hearing, the physicians and the hearing officer will ask questions about the petitioner's medical, driving and personal histories to make a fair and just decision regarding the petitioner's license.

The audio of all hearings is recorded. Petitioners are welcome to bring witnesses and/or an attorney. Hearings take about 30 minutes to complete.

DMV medical hearings are held at the driver license office at 3231 Avent Ferry Road in Raleigh.

A driver who disagrees with the panel's decision can appeal the decision to Wake County Superior Court.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who makes the decision whether someone drives or not?  

The physicians and nurses of the Medical Review Program make the decision.

Can I submit new medical information to prove I'm healthy enough to drive?  

Yes, you may submit medical documentation from your medical professional at any time by faxing it to (919) 733-9569 or mailing it to:

Medical Review Program
3112 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-3112

How long does it take for the Medical Review Unit to review a driver's medical report?  

If the driver has submitted all requested medical documents in a timely manner, the driver's documentation will be reviewed within 45 days of receipt. School bus drivers will be reviewed within 30 days of receipt of the medical report.

Once a customer is followed by the Medical Review Program, can he or she ever stop being followed?  

Yes. To request removal from the Medical Review Program, please mail a letter that includes your request, your full name, and your North Carolina driver license number to:

Medical Review Program
3112 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-3112

Your case will be reviewed upon receipt of the written request, and the Medical Review Unit will respond via mail within 30 days. You may be required to submit updated medical documentation in order to be removed.

How often must someone be medically evaluated?  

This depends on the medical condition and whether the condition is progressive. Frequency of evaluations can be as often as once every three months or as infrequent as once every three years.

What if I do not comply with the Medical Review Unit's decision?  

If you do not comply with the Medical Review Unit's decision in a timely manner, your driver license will be canceled until you comply.

How can I obtain a copy of my medical record?  

Contact the DMV at (919) 861-3809, and a representative will explain the process.

Can I appeal the decision of the Medical Review Unit?  

Yes, you may submit a written request for a Medical Review Board Hearing as long as it is filed with the DMV within 10 calendar days of receiving the decision from the Medical Review Unit.

Where are medical hearings held?  

DMV medical hearings are held at the driver license office at 3231 Avent Ferry Road in Raleigh.

Can I appeal the decision made during the medical hearing?  

Yes, you can appeal the decision made during your Medical Review Hearing to Wake County Superior Court.

If I have a commercial driver license and a medical condition, such as insulin-dependent diabetes or a missing limb, can I still drive a commercial motor vehicle?  

You may request a medical waiver for your condition if you have a vision disorder, limb impairment or insulin-dependent diabetes. The Medical Review Program currently offers one waiver per driver. Call (919) 861-3809 to learn more about the waiver program.

How can former school bus drivers be removed from the Medical Review Program?  

Inform School Bus and Traffic Safety, at (919) 861-3109, that you no longer want to drive a school bus. The Medical Review Unit will review your file and make a decision within 30 days as to whether you still need to be medically evaluated on a periodic basis.

If I have a window tint waiver, can I operate a school bus?

No. School buses cannot be modified to accommodate a window tint.