State Driving Laws Database

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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DMV Appeal of License DenialYes
Doctors to Report EpilepsyNo
Periodic Medical Updates Required After Licensing At discretion of Medical Review Board
Seizure-Free Period6 months (or less, at the discretion of physician)

Florida Driver Licensing Laws

A person with epilepsy may be licensed to drive upon their doctor's recommendation after they have been seizure-free for two years. If under regular medical supervision, the person may apply at the end of a one year seizure-free period. The application is reviewed by the Medical Advisory Board of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which makes a recommendation to the Department. If the MAB approves an applicant for a driver’s license after a one year seizure-free period while the applicant is on medication, the applicant must submit to a follow-up medical evaluation at the end of one year. [FLA. ADMIN. CODE ANN. r. 15A-5.004(1), (2) (2011); See also Fla. State §§ 322.126, 322.221; FLA. ADMIN. CODE ANN. r. 15A-5.002 (2011)]. Applicants with chronic recurring seizures, or those who have been treated for such within one year, and medications have been discontinued are not eligible to have their licenses issued for a two year seizure-free period. Medications should be continued through a three year seizure-free period. If discontinued, the person is not permitted to drive during the period of drug withdrawal and within the subsequent three month period. [r. 15A-5.004(3)]. The cause of a seizure or seizures may be the basis for special consideration by the Medical Advisory Board, which will contact the licensee’s physician on its own prerogative for medical information. [r. 15A-5.004(3), (4)]. Applicants with low therapeutic blood levels, only nocturnal seizures, absence seizures or partial seizures with complex symptomology, and syncopal episodes without a clear diagnosis will be considered on an individual basis and upon physicians’ medical reports. [r. 15A-5.004(5)-(8)].

A person whose driving privileges have been cancelled, suspended or revoked may petition for a hearing. Application for a hearing must be made in writing. [FLA. ADMIN. CODE ANN. r. § 15A-1.0195 (2011)].

Board members cannot be held liable for their opinions and recommendations [Fla. State. § 322.125(5)]. Also, no criminal or civil action may be brought against any physician who provides required medical information [§ 322.126(3)]. Reports made to the Board are confidential and may not be used as evidence in any civil or criminal trial [§322.125(4)].

Commercial Driving

Florida has adopted the federal Department of Transportation's medical standards for licensing individuals to drive commercial vehicles intrastate. [FLA. ADMIN. CODE ANN. r. 15A-7.006 (2011)]. There is no waiver provision for individuals with epilepsy. Individuals must meet the personal license requirements to obtain a license to drive a taxi. Individuals with epilepsy are not eligible to be school bus drivers or drive buses designed to seat more than 15 persons, including the driver, because they do not meet the federal DOT's medical criteria to hold a commercial driver's license (CDL).



Florida Identification Card

A non-driver may obtain an identification card from the Department of Motor Vehicles upon completing an application and paying a $25.00 fee [FLA. STATE. ANN. §§ 322.051, 322.21 (2011)].

Florida Reporting

Florida has no provision requiring doctors to report to a central state agency patients who have been treated for or diagnosed as having epilepsy. Any physician, person or agency having knowledge of a licensed driver or applicant's mental or physical disability to drive may report the person to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles [§322.126(2)].

© 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.

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The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

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