Ministry of Transportation / Ministère des Transports
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Contact Us

By mail
Ministry of Transportation
Driver Improvement Office
Medical Review Section
77 Wellesley St. W Box 589
Toronto ON M7A 1N3

Business Hours:
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday to Friday

By email
DriverImprovementOffice
@ontario.ca

By phone
416-235-1773
1-800-268-1481
(Inside Ontario only)

By fax
416-235-3400
1-800-304-7889

Medical Review Section

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Medical Review Process - Suspensions and Downgrades

Q1: Why did my doctor or optometrist report my medical condition to the ministry?
A1: Under the Highway Traffic Act (s. 203 and 204) both physicians and optometrists are required to report to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles any patient age 16 or over who may be suffering from a medical/visual condition that may impair driving ability.
Q2: I don't have a driver's licence. Why was I reported?
A2: Physicians are required to report any individual age 16 or over. This is to ensure that that if you do decide to apply for a driver's licence, all the medical requirements will be addressed prior to a licence being issued.
Q3: What happens when MTO receives a report from my physician or optometrist?
A3: When a report is received it is screened and prioritized in terms of risk to road safety. The medical information is assessed by applying the mandatory medical standards found in Regulation 340/94 under the Highway Traffic Act and the national medical standards.
Q4: Why did MTO suspend my licence? I feel fine.
A4: The ministry must balance the needs of the individual with the safety of all road users. The first priority must always be safety. If your medical report indicates that the medical standards for driving are not met your driver's licence will be suspended. A notice of suspension will be sent by mail. At the same time a letter will also be sent to you advising you of what medical information is required to have your case reconsidered.
Q5: When will my licence be reinstated?
A5: Your driver's licence will be considered for reinstatement when the appropriate medical information is received and reviewed. If your report indicates that the medical standards are met, and there are no other outstanding suspensions on your driving record, a letter advising you of the outcome of the review and a notice of reinstatement will be mailed to you.
Q6: I have a medical condition that my physician feels may interfere with my driving ability. Does that mean I will automatically lose my driver's licence?
A6: No, you will not necessarily lose your licence. Not all medical conditions impair ability to an extent likely to significantly interfere with driving ability. The ministry will review your medical report in conjunction with the established medical standards and will advise you of the outcome of the review.
Q7: How can I appeal the decision to suspend/downgrade my licence?
A7: Under Section 50 of the Highway Traffic Act you can appeal a medical suspension/downgrade of your driver's licence to the Licence Appeal Tribunal.
Q8: My licence was suspended for failing to meet the vision standards. Can I appeal this suspension?
A8: Only vision suspensions for a Class "G" licence that relate to the visual field portion of the standard can be appealed. The visual acuity standard is mandatory and cannot be appealed. For more information on vision standards for driving, please go to Vision standards for Driving.
Q9: My doctor said it's okay for me to drive now. When can I start driving?
A9: The ministry prioritizes incoming medical reports according to the risk to road safety and by date received. They are processed on a "first come, first served" basis. Some cases are more complex and/or have technical test reports/results and require a review by the ministry's Medical Advisory Committee. Once your file has been reviewed and a decision is made you will be notified by mail. See question 14 below for more information on the reinstatement process.
Q10: How does the ministry prioritize medical reports?
A10: Medical reports are prioritized according to the risk to road safety as either high risk or low risk.
High risk conditions are conditions that are chronic, deteriorating, unstable or progressive such as
  • Advanced dementia or Alzheimer's disease
  • Uncontrolled seizures or diabetes
  • Substance abuse, psychiatric disorders with symptoms of suicidal thoughts, extreme agitation, impulsive or violent behaviour etc.
  • Uncontrolled sleep apnea refusing treatment
Low risk conditions are deemed to be those that do not pose an immediate or serious risk to road safety; conditions that are stable and/or temporary, such as
  • Controlled sleep apnea
  • Seizure occurring one year ago or more
  • Controlled diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Reactive depression
  • Cast/splints
  • Stable psychiatric disorders
Q11: What is the fastest way for me to send my medical report to MTO?
A11: The fastest way for us to receive your report is by sending it via fax. Our fax numbers are 416-235-3400 or 1-800-304-7889. When faxing in a medical report please ensure that you keep the original report (do not mail the original) and a copy of the fax confirmation slip. By having the confirmation slip this will help in locating your report if you call in prior to it being attached to your file. Follow up by calling in and checking the status of your file via the ministry's Integrated Voice Response system (IVR). The system will prompt you on what key to press and when to enter your driver's licence number. Note that there is a slight delay in the prompt to enter your driver's licence number. The prompt takes approximately 15 seconds so please do not hang up or return to the previous menu.
Q12: How long does it take for my report to be reviewed?
A12: The Medical Review Section will review your case and take appropriate action within 30 business days. In cases where additional information is required, additional time may be needed.
Q13: Where do I call to find out the status of my file?
A13: To find out the status of your file you can call 416-235-1773 or 1-800-268-1481 (Ontario only). You can get up-to-date information regarding the status of your file by using the ministry's Integrated Voice Response (IVR) system. The system will prompt you on what key to press and when to enter your driver's licence number. Note that there is a slight delay in the prompt to enter your driver's licence number. The prompt takes approximately 15 seconds so please do not hang up or return to the previous menu.
Q14: How long does it take before I can resume driving once my licence is reinstated?
A14: Once your medical report is approved and entered on the ministry's database your driver's licence is reinstated immediately. The actual licence card will take approximately 6 weeks, however, in most cases a temporary driver's licence is attached to your reinstatement notice. The reinstatement notice will come in the mail a few days after your reinstatement is processed. If you cannot wait to receive the reinstatement notice and would like to obtain a temporary licence sooner you can visit your local Driver and Vehicle Issuing Office, pay the required fee and receive a temporary licence.
Q15: Why can't I continue to use my old driver's licence?
A15: When your driver's licence is suspended you are required to return your licence to the ministry. Each licence has a unique serial number. Whether you return it or not, it is no longer valid.

Driving Evaluations

Q16: Why is the ministry asking me to be assessed at a driving assessment centre?
A16: Individuals who have been reported by a physician for a medical condition that may effect judgment, co-ordination or motor power may be required to undergo a formal driving evaluation with an occupational therapist at a ministry approved assessment centre.
The ministry will make a decision to request a driving evaluation based on information provided by the physician relating to the extent of the deficits resulting from the medical condition.
Q17: How will the ministry notify me if I am required to undergo a driving evaluation?
A17: When the ministry requires the results of a driving evaluation to determine licensing eligibility a letter is sent to the driver along with a list of approved Functional Assessment Centres. The assessment must be received by the due date given in the letter otherwise your licence will be suspended.
Q18: Who is responsible for the cost of the driving evaluation?
A18: The ministry is not responsible for the driving evaluation fees. The cost of the evaluation is set by the assessment centre and is not covered by OHIP. The cost generally ranges from $500 - $800, but in some cases may be more. In some cases, insurance companies may cover the costs of the evaluation (if the medical condition/injury is the result of a motor vehicle collision).
Q19: What does the fee include?
A19: The fee includes the services of an occupational therapist and a driving instructor, the use of the vehicle, the associated insurance costs and the preparation of a detailed report.
Q20: What are the components of a driving evaluation?
A20: The components of a driving evaluation are an in-clinic medical assessment and an on-road driving evaluation. It takes 3-4 hours to complete and must be performed by a qualified occupational therapist.
The in-clinic portion of the assessment includes:
  • A brief medical history - general medical information, previous and current medical concerns, lifestyle issues, level of functioning, perception/understanding of abilities and limitations (if any)
  • Physical assessment - results of all tests performed, evaluations relating to range of motion, joint movement, strength, sensation, balance, reaction time, mobility (entering and exiting the vehicle)
  • Vision assessment - results of a basic visual screening (e.g. visual acuity, peripheral vision, depth perception, night vision and glare recovery)
  • Cognitive and perceptual assessments - to determine if the individual has the necessary cognitive and perceptual skills required for safe driving including results of all tests relating to visual perception, concentration, reaction time, decision making speed, impulse control, judgement and knowledge of the rules of the road.
The on-road portion of the evaluation consists of an in-car examination including basic driving maneuvers.
Q21: How does the ministry approve driver assessment centres?
A21: Driver assessment centres apply to be on the ministry's list of approved centres. These centers may operate out of a hospital as rehabilitation centres or independently as privately-owned occupational therapy clinics. Any centre interested in delivering this service and being on the ministry's list of approved Functional Assessment Centres may apply to the ministry and have their application screened against our criteria.

Class G Vision Waiver Program

Q22: What is the purpose of the vision waiver program?
A22: The purpose of this program is to allow for continued mobility for persons who can demonstrate their ability, through various tests, to drive safely, but who otherwise could not hold a licence under existing vision standards. This program is for applicants for or holders of Class G1, G2 or G driver's licences. This program does not include any other class of licence. Applicant for or holders of classified driver's licences (Classes A, B, C, D, E and F) must meet all vision standards for licensing.
Q23: What does "vision waiver" mean?
A23: "Vision waiver" means that the Ministry will "waive" a part of the vision standards for Class G (G1 & G2) licence applicants/holders, in certain cases, provided certain conditions are met and the person can demonstrate their ability to drive safely.
Q24: What requirements are being "waived"?
A24: The requirement that is being waived is the vision standard relating to horizontal visual field (120 degree requirement) for Class G, G1 and G2 licence applicants/holders. The visual acuity component of the vision standard remains mandatory and cannot be waived.
Q25: When did this program start?
A25: May 29, 2005.
Q26: Where does the ministry get the authority to "waive" these vision requirements?
A26: The authority to issue a vision waiver is found in Regulation 340/94.
Q27: Will drivers with a vision waiver be permitted to drive outside Ontario?
A27: Yes. A reciprocal agreement exists between provinces which allows the holder of any valid licence from one province to drive in another province.
Q28: Why are there so few assessment centres to conduct assessments for vision waivers?
A28: As a result of the vision waiver program a functional assessment protocol was developed. At this time, MTO is pilot testing the protocol with locations in seven existing centres. It is the ministry's intention to release a Request for Qualifications for Driver Assessment Centres to deliver driving evaluations across the province.
Q29: Who is eligible for this program?
A29: An applicant for or a holder of a Class G, G1 or G2 driver's licence, or equivalent, who:
  • Has a visual acuity as measured by Snellen Rating that is no poorer than 20/50 with both eyes open and examined together, with or without the use of corrective lenses
  • Reduction in horizontal visual field occurred more than three months ago
  • Does not have more than 6 demerit points on his/her driving record
  • Has not had his/her driver's licence suspended within the last 5 years as a result of a Criminal Code conviction for an offence committed by means of a motor vehicle
  • Has not had his/her driver's licence suspended within the last 5 years as a result of certain Highway Traffic Act convictions
  • Has not, within the last 5 years and within the time of vision loss, been involved in a collision with an associated conviction under the Highway Traffic Act for certain offences
  • Meets all other qualifications for the applicable class of licence
  • Does not have a medical or visual condition or disability that, alone or combined with a reduced visual field, may significantly impair driving ability.

Commercial Licence Medical Reports

Q30: How often do I have to submit a medical report for my commercial licence?
A30: All applicants for a class A, B, C, E and F licence are required to submit a medical report on application
  • Drivers under the age of 46 are required to submit a medical report on a five year cycle (referred to as 'cyclical reports')
  • Drivers aged 46 - 64 are required to submit a medical report on a three year cycle
  • Drivers aged 65 and over are required to submit a medical report annually  
Q31: How will I know when my report is due to the ministry?
A31: The ministry's computer system automatically sends forms for cyclical reports for commercial drivers 90 days before the date that the medical report is due. This will allow you enough time to schedule an appointment with your doctor and return the completed form to the ministry by the due date. The form will be mailed to the address showing on the Ministry's database.
Q32: Who can complete my report form?
A32: Your medical report can be completed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in Ontario or a Nurse Practitioner (RN-EC) licensed to practice in Ontario.
Q33: Where Can I submit my Medical Report?
A33: If your physician/nurse practitioner has indicated “yes” or “no” to question 1 and “no” to all questions 2 through 9 on the front of the medical report, please take your completed form to your local DriveTest Centre for processing. Please note: You may want to keep a copy for your records. If your physician/nurse practitioner has indicated “yes” to any question 2-9 on the front of the medical report, please submit your form to the Medical Review Section at the address noted on the form.
Q34: What happens if I do not send in my medical report by the due date?
A34: If your medical report is not received by the due date given on the form, your licence will be downgraded to class G. Once a satisfactory medical report is filed with the ministry, your licence will be automatically up-graded to the class previously held, provided there are no outstanding tests or other requirements.
Q35: What if I no longer meet the medical standards for a commercial licence?
A35: If your medical report indicates that you no longer meet the medical standards for a commercial licence you may be asked to submit additional information from your treating physician or specialist.  IF the report confirms that you do not meet the required standards you may have your licence downgraded.  You will be advised of your right to appeal the decision and you will also be advised of what is required to have your case reconsidered.
Q36: Why was the medical waiver program eliminated?
A36: Due to the fact that the medical standards for commercial drivers will be removed from regulation effective January 1, 2011 there is no longer a need for the ministry to issue medical waivers.  Drivers will now have their files reviewed directly against Canadian Council of Motor Transport (CCMTA) national medical standards thereby eliminating the two-step process previously in place.

Freedom of Information

Q37: Who has access to my information once a medical report is submitted?
A37: All medical information submitted to the Ministry is confidential and is not open for public inspection. Medical reports are viewed by medical review staff and, in some cases, members of the Medical Advisory Committee when determining fitness to drive.
Q38: How can I get a copy of a report that my doctor sent in?
A38: Pursuant to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, you can request a copy of information on your file. You can make such a request by calling the Medical Review Section at (416) 235-1773 or 1-800-268-1481.
Police reports cannot be released by MTO. To obtain a copy of a police report you must go to the appropriate police service.
Q39: Can my spouse call in on my behalf and get information about my file?
A39: No. All medical information on file with the Ministry of Transportation is confidential. Staff will only discuss the case with the person to whom the information belongs to. If you wish someone to call in on your behalf you must provide a written consent for staff to discuss the details of your file with someone other than you.