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 Denial||Yes|
|Doctors to Report Epilepsy||No|
|Periodic Medical Updates Required After Licensing||At discretion of Medical Review Board|
|Seizure-Free Period||6 months (or less, at the discretion of physician)|
Florida Driver Licensing Laws
A person with epilepsy may be licensed to drive after a seizure free period of two years before their license is reinstated or issued, but may apply to the Medical Advisory Board (MAB) after six months for reconsideration if they are regularly monitored by a physician and seizure free. FLA. ADMIN. CODE ANN. r. 15A-5.004(1) (2020). An applicant with an isolated seizure and normal electroencephalogram may be reconsidered after three months. Applicants or licensed drivers must present a Medical Report. Applicants approved for a license after a six-month seizure free period may need to submit medical information periodically to the MAB at the MAB’s discretion. FLA. ADMIN. CODE ANN. r. 15A-5.004(2) (2020); See also FLA. STAT. ANN. §§ 322.126, 322.221 (2020). Applicants with recurring seizures and have discontinued their anti-epileptic medications will not be licensed to drive until three months after the complete cessation of treatment. If applicant has seizures during this period, licensing may be considered after three months seizure free, or after return to adequate therapy. FLA. ADMIN. CODE ANN. r. 15A-5.004(3) (2020).
If there is question about the seizure type or medication prescribed, the MAB may ask the physician for clarification on the nature of the seizures. FLA. ADMIN. CODE ANN. r. 15A-5.004(4) (2020). Blood levels below therapeutic levels, and applicants with only non-epileptic seizures or chronic nocturnal seizures are all considered on an individual basis. FLA. ADMIN. CODE ANN. r. 15A-5.004(5)-(6) (2020).
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 (2020). Board members cannot be held liable for their opinions and recommendations. FLA. STAT. ANN. § 322.125(5) (2020). Also, no criminal or civil action may be brought against any physician who provides required medical information. FLA. STAT. ANN. § 322.126(3) (2020). Reports made to the Board are confidential and may not be used as evidence in any civil or criminal trial. FLA. STAT. ANN. § 322.125(4) (2020).
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 (2020). 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. STAT. ANN. §§ 322.051, 322.21 (2020).
Florida has no provision requiring doctors to report patients, to a central state agency, 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. FLA. STAT. ANN. § 322.126(2) (2020).
© 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 2020. 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.