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Medically Impaired Driver Law

For years, Pennsylvania law has required health care personnel to report to PennDOT those drivers under their care whose driving skills may be affected by a medically related condition. Each year, health care personnel play a significant role in PennDOT’s effort of removing medically unsafe drivers from our highways - a very real public health and safety issue.

According to Section 1518 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code all health care personnel, i.e. all physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, physician assistants, certified registered nurse practitioners and other persons authorized to diagnose or treat disorders and disabilities defined by PennDOT’s Medical Advisory Board, must report to PennDOT within 10 days, in writing, the full name, address, and date of birth of any patient 15 years of age or older, who has been diagnosed as having a condition that could impair their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. However, reports are not required if the condition is expected to last less than 90 days; for example, a broken leg would not need to be reported to PennDOT.

Without the cooperation of health care personnel, thousands of medically impaired drivers would remain undetected by PennDOT. Health care personnel, therefore, play a vital role in keeping the highways safe for everyone.

The following links are to the specific Pennsylvania law governing health care personnel reporting requirements (Sections 1517 - 1519). Section 1517 details the creation of PennDOT’s Medical Advisory Board. This board consists of 13 members, including eight physicians, appointed by Pennsylvania’s Transportation Secretary. This board advises PennDOT and reviews the regulations proposed by PennDOT concerning the established physical and mental criteria for reporting. Section 1518 provides the specific reporting regulation, including the confidentiality of the reports and the provided immunity from civil and criminal liability. Section 1519 details PennDOT's action if it has cause to believe that a licensed driver or applicant may not be physically or mentally qualified to be licensed.