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 MAB
Seizure-Free Period3 months, with doctor's recommendation

Wisconsin Driver Licensing Laws

A person with epilepsy may obtain a driver's license if the individual has been seizure-free for three months prior to the application date. There are no exceptions to this 3-month seizure-free period [WIS. ADMIN. CODE TRANS. § 112.10(3)(c)]. The Department may request a doctor's report describing the applicant's condition. [WIS. ADMIN. CODE TRANS. § 112.10]. The Department may require follow-up examinations and reports by a physician as a condition for issuing a license [WIS. ADMIN. CODE TRANS.§ 112.10(2); WIS. STAT. ANN. § 343.16(5)]. The medical information submitted is reviewed by the Bureau of Driver's Licensing Medical Review Unit. Restricted licenses are available. [WIS. ADMIN. CODE TRANS. § 112.16]. The Department may require a person with a recurring condition to submit to period medical evaluations. [§ 112.17].

A person may request an appearance before a review board if his or her license is denied or canceled. The review board may assess the person's medical history and the type or class of license requested when reviewing the Department's licensing decision. The request for review must be made in writing within 10 days [WIS. STAT. ANN. § 343.15(5)(b)]. There is a right to judicial review of the Department's actions regarding cancellation or denial of a license [WIS. STAT. ANN. § 343.40]. A cancellation is entered on a driver record for an unspecified period of time. A person may voluntarily surrender his or her license because of an episode such as a recent seizure, as long as the individual does so within 2 weeks of the seizure or within 10 days after the department sent a request for him or her to submit to a special examination. [WIS. STAT. ANN. §343.265] A voluntary temporary surrender status is entered on the driver record until qualifications for reissuance are met. The fee for a duplicate license $4.00 or $10.00 for a renewal, if the license expired during surrender. All reports, records or information furnished by or on behalf of an applicant or licensee are confidential and for use solely in administering this section and are not admissible as evidence for any other purpose in any civil or criminal action [WIS. STAT. ANN. § 343.16(5)(C)].

Commercial Driving

Wisconsin has not adopted the federal DOT's medical standards for licensing commercial drivers' licenses (CDL). In order to receive a CDL, an individual must show either that he or she has had only a single, nonrecurring episode of altered consciousness or loss of bodily control occurring at least 2 years preceding the application, and that the cause of the episode has been identified and requires no treatment, or that a seizure disorder has been diagnosed, but the person has been episode-free for at least 5 years preceding the application for a license. These same requirements apply to drivers of school buses or other passenger carrying vehicles. [WISC. ADMIN. CODE TRANS.112.10(3)(b)].

Wisconsin Identification Card

A non-driver of any age may obtain an identification card from the Department of Transportation by filing an application and paying an $18.00 fee; however, there is no fee if the applicant’s driver’s license was revoked or voluntarily surrendered for medical reasons. [WIS. STAT. ANN. § 343.50].

Wisconsin Reporting

There is no law requiring physicians to report to a central state agency patients who have been treated for or diagnosed as having epilepsy. However, a physician who feels his or her patient's physical or mental condition affects the patient's ability to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner may report the patient's name and other information relevant to the condition to the Department of Transportation without the informed consent of the patient. [WIS. STAT. ANN. § 146.82(3)]. Physicians are immune from liability for, in good faith, either reporting patients whom they believe to be impaired in their ability to drive by their medical conditions, or not reporting patients whom they believe not to be so impaired. [Wis. Stat. Ann. § 146.82(3) and § 448.03(5)(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.

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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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