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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New Mexico Driver Licensing Laws
New Mexico's statutes and regulations do not specify epilepsy as a basis for denying a license. The New Mexico Driver Manual recommends that a person with epilepsy have frequent check-ups, practice careful management of medicine, and be stable and seizure-free for six months preceding the application date.
A person is required to initially disclose and continually update information regarding their mental or physical conditions that may impair their ability to drive. N.M. STAT. ANN. § 66-5-7, 66-5-15.1 (2020). The Motor Vehicle Division may then require additional medical evaluations as it sees necessary to adequately evaluate “the applicant’s fitness to operate a motor vehicle safely.” N.M. STAT. ANN. § 66-5-14(A) (2020). Any medical information submitted by the applicant is reviewed by the Health Standards Advisory Board after the applicant has undergone medical examinations by the Board or a Board-designated physician. Board members, or other persons making examinations, are not liable for either their opinions or recommendations, and such information is confidential and may not be used as evidence in any trial. N.M. STAT. ANN. § 66-5-6 (2020).
At the recommendation of the Health Standards Advisory Board, an applicant may be subject to reexamination and/or issued a probationary or restricted license. N.M. STAT. ANN. § 66-5-19, 66-5-8 (2020). The reason for a licensee's suspension, revocation, denial or cancellation is distinguished by violation code. A person may appeal the decision to deny, suspend or revoke a license by requesting a hearing. The request must be made within 20 business days after the decision. N.M. STAT. ANN. § 66-5-30 (2020).
If a license is cancelled, suspended, denied or revoked, the licensee may, within thirty days, file a petition for a hearing in the district court of the county where they reside. N.M. STAT. ANN. § 66-5-36 (2020).
New Mexico has adopted the federal DOT's standards for licensing individuals to drive intrastate. The State of New Mexico does “not issue waivers for drivers with epilepsy, a history of epilepsy, or who are taking anti-seizure medication.” People with epilepsy can receive a commercial driver’s license if they are “off anti-seizure medication and has been seizure-free for 10 years.” If the person has had a single unprovoked seizure, they may be qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce if they have been seizure-free and off anti-seizure medication for a 5-year period or more.
New Mexico Identification Card
New Mexico residents who are thirteen or older and who do not have a valid state driver's license may be issued an identification card by the motor vehicles division. Identification cards are renewable every four years for a fee of $5.00, or eight years for a $10.00 fee. Applicants must present one proof of identity and identification number and two proofs of New Mexico residency. N.M. STAT. ANN. §§ 66-5-401 to 66-5-408 (2020).
New Mexico Reporting
There is no statutory provision requiring the reporting of individuals who have been treated for or diagnosed as having epilepsy or a seizure disorder to a central state agency.
© 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.