Driver Information By State
Every state regulates driver's license eligibility of persons with certain medical conditions. The most common requirement for people with epilepsy is that they be seizure free for a specific period of time and submit a physician's evaluation of their ability to drive safely. Another common requirement is the periodic submission of medical reports, in some states for a specified period of time and in others for as long as the person remains licensed.
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Georgia Driver Licensing Laws
A person with epilepsy may obtain a license to drive cars and trucks weighing less than 26,000 pounds if he or she has been seizure-free for 6 months. [GA. COMP. R. & REGS. r. § 375-3-5-.02(2)(c) (2010); GA. CODE ANN. § 40-5-35(a) (2010)]. A person who has only nocturnal seizures may be eligible for a limited license (e.g., daylight driving only) even if he or she has been seizure-free for less than 6 months. [§ 375-3-5-.02(2)(c)]. The Department of Driver Services may require periodic medical reports as a condition of licensing. [§ 375-3-5-.10]. The medical information submitted is initially reviewed by a member of the Driver’s License Review Board. [§ 375-3-5-.10 (2)]. If there is a question whether to issue a license, the information is reviewed by the Driver's License Advisory Board.
A physician may not be sued for submitting required medical information to the Department. [GA. CODE ANN. § 40-5-35 (2010)]. Reports received by the Driver License Advisory Board for the purpose of assisting the department in determining whether a person is qualified to be licensed may not be used as evidence in any civil or criminal trial, except in proceedings conducted under § 40-5-35 or § 40-5-66. [GA. CODE ANN. § 40-5-35(d)]. When a person's license has been denied or revoked, he or she may request a hearing before a Department officer. [§ 40-5-35(f) (2010)]. The request must be made in writing, within 15 days after receiving the notice. [§ 40-5-35(f)]. The person may also request an opinion from the Driver's License Medical Advisory Board. Judicial review is available under § 40-5-66.
Georgia has adopted the federal Department of Transportation's medical criteria for vehicles weighing more than 26,000 lbs. and will not grant waivers from these requirements unless such type of waiver has previously been granted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. [GA. CODE ANN. § 40-5-147(e) (2010)]. Vehicles carrying 16 or more persons, including the driver, are considered commercial vehicles. [§ 40-5-142(7)(b) (2010)].
Georgia Identification Card
Non-drivers may apply to the Department of Driver Services for an identification card [GA. CODE ANN. § 40-5-100]. The fee is $20.00 for a five-year card and $35.00 for an eight-year card. [§ 40-5-103(a)]. Individuals with permanent disabilities may obtain an identification card valid for four years. [§ 40-5-172(a)]. Individuals with a temporary disability may obtain an identification card valid for six months with a sworn affidavit by a medical doctor. [§ 40-5-172(b)]. The fee for these cards is $5.00. [§40-5-178(a)].
Georgia has no statute requiring doctors to report patients with epilepsy to a central agency. However, physicians may report a person who has a handicap which would render the individual incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle [§ 40-5-35(b)].
© 2014 Epilepsy Foundation. All rights reserved. This summary was developed for informational purposes by the Epilepsy Foundation and reflects a review of data available as of August 2014. Information is subject to change. This summary is not a substitute for legal advice. For further information, please consult your state Department of Motor Vehicles.