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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Arkansas Driver Licensing Laws
Arkansas requires individuals to demonstrate that they are competent to operate a motor vehicle prior to granting or reinstating driving privileges. Restricted or probationary licenses are not available for people with epilepsy. Physicians who provide information to the Office of Driver Services about potentially unsafe drivers have no explicit grant of immunity from liability for damages arising out of an accident caused by a seizure or for information they provide to the Office.
The Office of Driver Services may impose restrictions applicable to the licensee to assure safe operation of a motor vehicle. ARK. CODE ANN. § 27-16-804(a) (2020). If the Office is notified that an individual has experienced a seizure and has suspended driving privileges, the Office requires a state licensed physician to evaluate the person with epilepsy from which the Office will assess the medical report to determine if that person should be allowed to operate a motor vehicle. 006-05-039 ARK. CODE R. § 2-27-16-907 (2020). The licensee must present a physician’s certification that they are competent to drive and is under a physician’s care before a driver's license can be reissued. 006-05-039 ARK. CODE R. § 8-27-16-907 (2020). The medical information is reviewed by the manager of Driver Control.
A license may be suspended or revoked after a hearing if there is sufficient evidence that the licensee is incompetent to drive. ARK. CODE ANN. § 27-16-909 (2020). The licensee has a right to an administrative hearing with a Driver Control Hearing Officer, if a written request is sent within 20 days of notice of suspension or revocation. ARK. CODE ANN. § 27-16-909(c)(2). Judicial review is available under § 27-16-913 by filing a petition within thirty days of the decision in the court of the county where the licensee resides.
Arkansas has adopted the federal Department of Transportation’s medical standards for licensing individuals to drive commercial vehicles. Individuals with epilepsy are not qualified to drive a school bus. 203-00-11 ARK. CODE R. § EXHIBIT A (2020).
Arkansas Identification Card
Any person 5 years or older who is not licensed to drive may obtain an identification card upon presentation of proof of identity through the Office of Driver Services. The fee for the identification card is $5.00, and it is valid for four years. ARK. CODE ANN. § 27-16-805 (2020).
Arkansas has no statutory provision requiring doctors to report patients who have been treated for or diagnosed as having a seizure disorder.
© 2020 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.