The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) is comprised of physicians from various medical specialties. The objective of the MAB is to assess mental and medical fitness to drive of individuals who have conditions that can impact on their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. The MAB functions by reviewing the medical information of drivers and providing advice and recommendations to the Driver Wellness and Safety Division (DW&S) of the MVA. The MAB does not make the final decision as to whether or not to license or to suspend a driver's license. Each case is reviewed on an individual basis.
Depending on the stability and progress of a medical condition, MAB may recommend periodic evaluations. In many cases, drivers whose license privileges have not been approved or have been suspended, may be approved at a later time when their medical condition has improved.
When a person is referred to the Medical Advisory Board for evaluation, the MAB reviews pertinent medical information from the individual's personal physician(s) or other treatment provider(s) since those clinicians are the ones most familiar with the individual's condition. Upon review of those materials, the MAB may request additional information or evaluations. The MAB does not perform medical examinations. On occasion, the MAB may request a personal interview with an individual before a recommendation is made to the Driver Wellness & Safety Division of the MVA.
Review and approval by the MVA's Driver Wellness & Safety Division and/or the Medical Advisory Board is required if a person has any of the conditions listed below which may affect their ability to drive. If someone has one of these medical conditions, they must notify MVA when the condition is diagnosed or when applying for or renewing a driver's license.
- Diabetes that has caused a low blood sugar episode requiring assistance from another person in the last 6 months;
- A heart condition that has caused a loss of consciousness in the past 6 months;
- A condition that causes you to have dizzy spells, fainting, or blackouts;
- Sleep apnea or narcolepsy;
- A history of traumatic brain injury (TBI);
- A condition that causes weakness, shaking, or numbness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet that may affect your ability to drive;
- A hand, arm, foot, or leg that is absent, amputated, or has a loss of function that may affect your ability to drive;
- An eye problem which prevents a corrected minimum visual acuity of 20/70 in at least one eye or binocular field of vision of at least 110 degrees;
- Alcohol use problem;
- Drug use problem;
- A mental health condition that may affect your ability to drive;
- Schizophrenia; or
If a person's license has been revoked and they request to have it reinstated, they may be referred by the MVA for review by the Driver Wellness and Safety Division and/or the Medical Advisory Board.
Other than self-reports, individuals may be brought to the attention of MVA for possible medical review by the MAB from:
- Driver Licensing & Examination, MVA
- Office of Administrative Hearings / Court Hearings
- Reinstatement Unit, MVA
- Judges or Law Enforcement Agencies
- Court Referrals
- Physicians or other clinicians; hospitals and other medical institutions
- Private citizens after authentication of information by MVA
Self-reports of any medical condition can be submitted at the MVA office at the time of renewal, or can be submitted anytime by email or fax to the MVA contact information with all the basic information included.
Referrals from professionals – particularly law enforcement officials and health care providers – should be reported directly to MVA if there are concerns about medical fitness to drive. Health care professionals may report to MVA by simply providing a statement on their letterhead identifying concerns with their patient’s ability to drive safely. Healthcare providers may also report with an easy-to-use form for Referral to the Maryland MVA. Either the letter or form should be sent to the MVA at contact information.
In addition, the MVA accepts referrals from concerned private citizens – neighbors, friends, and family - of drivers with potential problems regarding their ability to drive. A letter of concern should be submitted via email or fax to the MVA contact information. The letter of concern should include as much of the basic information as possible. If the concerned citizen wishes to remain anonymous, they should indicate that wish in their communication to the MVA.
- Letters of concern are first investigated for authentication of information. If the concern is validated, the referred driver is requested to submit a medical report and health questionnaire for further review.
- If you have specific concerns about a loved one, it is recommended that you discuss this with their physician or treatment provider. The physician can then contact the MVA directly with the necessary information. This will expedite the review process.
Once MVA receives a referral, they are processed as follows:
- Driver Wellness & Safety Division (DW&S) of the MVA first checks to see if that individual has previously been evaluated.
- DW&S may request an individual to complete a health questionnaire, furnish current reports from their physician or other treatment provider, and to sign an authorization so that those clinicians can be contacted to provide additional information for clarification. In addition, individuals may be asked to complete a functional capacity test screening or a skills driving test.
- DW&S may schedule a driver for a personal interview with the MAB physician. At this interview, the individual may submit additional medical information. It is important to stress that the interview is to clarify matters. As it is not a legal proceeding, a lawyer is not required for this interview.
- When all the necessary information is received, the case is thoroughly reviewed by MAB, and a recommendation is made concerning the individual's medical fitness to drive. Examples of possible recommendations are:
- Approves applicant or driver and recommends the case be closed
- Recommends retention/return of driving privilege, but requires periodic medical reports to the MVA
- Allows driving with certain restrictions placed on the license. An example would be daylight driving only
- Suspension/continued suspension of the driver’s license until the medical condition is corrected or brought under control to permit safe driving
- Reexamination (which may include a functional capacity test screening, vision test, law test, and/or a driving test)
- The case, along with the MAB opinions and recommendation is returned to the Driver Wellness & Safety Division (DW&S) for review, and a decision on the individual's license status. The individual is then informed of the decision regarding their license.
- If the MVA's decision is to refuse, suspend, or revoke the driving privilege and the individual wishes to contest the proposed action, an administrative hearing may be requested.
- These hearings are conducted in accordance with Code of Maryland Regulations (Title 11) by the Office of Administrative Hearings and presided over by an administrative law judge.
- Anyone wishing to request an administrative hearing may do so through the MVA's Driver Wellness and Safety Division at the contact information below.
- A decision of an administrative law judge may be appealed to the Circuit Court in the person's county or city of residence.
Any notice to MVA of any referral for possible medical review should include all the following basic information:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Current mailing address
- Driver's license number (first letter of last name followed by 12 digits)
- Nature of reportable condition
If you are a clinician, you can use this form to refer a patient to MVA's medical review process:
(DC-220) Voluntary Physician / Healthcare Professional Referral to the Maryland MVA