Physician Reporting of Unsafe Drivers

Do the laws relating to driver licensing mandate that a physician report a patient having a condition that makes driving a motor vehicle unsafe to the director of revenue or Drivers License Bureau?  

The law does not require that physicians report such drivers or suffer a penalty for not doing so. Section 302.291, RSMo does, however, authorize such reporting. Any legal obligations for such reporting remain those that are related to the physician's legal and ethical obligation to patient safety and the safety of the general motoring public.

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If a physician wants to report a patient who has a condition making driving unsafe, is there any legal protection for the physician making the report?

Yes. Section 302.291.5, RSMo, provides the physician who reports a patient in good faith with civil immunity from any damages that might otherwise arise from making such a report.

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Will any report by the physician become public record once it is made to the director of revenue or Drivers License Bureau?

No. These records are confidential and will only be released pursuant to court order or if the license action taken by the director is being reviewed by the court and such records are necessary for the court review.

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What action will the director take if the physician reports a patient has a condition making driving unsafe?

If the director receives information from the physician indicating that a medical condition has made the driver unsafe, the director will notify the driver that the current license will be revoked after ten days unless the driver presents medical examination information indicating any change in condition.

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If the physician believes the condition may only be temporary, and the driver may be able to drive safely at some future time, should he or she indicate that in the report made to the director?

Yes. The law provides that if the physician reports a temporary condition, the individual may request total or partial reinstatement of his/her license. The driver may petition the director if the condition improves and the individual submits a medical report from that physician, or a physician with the same or similar license.

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If the driver is required by the director to submit to a medical examination, how long is the driver given to complete the examination?

The driver is given an initial period of 30 days, but for good cause, may be granted additional time if needed

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May the director require both a physical and driving examination?

Yes. Pursuant to 302.291, RSMo, the director may require whatever examinations are necessary to determine the driver's continued ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

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Is there a form that the director furnishes for the physician to use in reporting such patients?

Yes, the Physician's Statement (Form 1528) may be used by physicians in making such reports. The physician is not required to only use this form; however, the form was designed for ease in use and to ensure the director has all the necessary information to take proper action regarding the driver.

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How may the physician obtain such forms?

The Physician's Statement (Form 1528) is available on the Department of Revenue website, and may be printed from any computer.

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Does the director have any medical personnel to assist in developing guidelines, or if necessary, to help evaluate medical information?

Yes. Section 302.292, RSMo established a Medical Vision Advisory Board (MVAB). The board advises the director on medical criteria for the reporting and examination of drivers with medical impairments. The MVAB is composed of three licensed physicians who are residents of the state and are appointed by the director of revenue.

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If physicians have questions regarding the form or the reporting process, who should they contact?

Physicians may contact:

Missouri Department of Revenue
301 West High Street - Room 470
Jefferson City, MO 65105-0200

When the Physician's Statement (Form 1528) is completed, please forward it to the above address.

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If you still have questions, please check out other Driver Licensing FAQs.