Basic Medical Standards
In Ontario all drivers must meet basic medical standards to operate a motor vehicle. Higher medical standards apply for those wishing to drive a commercial vehicle.
Ontario Regulation 340/94 (s. 14) outlines the basic medical standards for all licence holders. This section of the Regulation states that an applicant for or a holder of a driver's licence must not,
- Suffer from any mental, emotional, nervous or physical disability likely to significantly interfere with his or her ability to drive a motor vehicle of the applicable class safely; or
- Be addicted to the use of alcohol or a drug to an extent likely to significantly interfere with his or her ability to drive a motor vehicle safely
- That in assessing driver fitness the ministry will consider the standards of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) to determine if an individual meets the requirements noted in section 14 (1).
Vision Standards - Class G and M
In addition to the basic medical standards for all drivers there are also mandatory vision standards for driving.
Ontario Regulation 340/94 (s. 18) requires that an applicant for or a holder of a Class G, G1, G2, M, M1 or M2 licence must have,
- A visual acuity as measured by Snellen Rating that is not poorer than 20/50, with both eyes open and examined together with or without the aid of corrective lenses; and
- A horizontal visual field of at least 120 continuous degrees along the horizontal meridian and at least 15 continuous degrees above and below fixation, with both eyes open and examined together
Vision Waiver Program Class G (G1, G2)
In May 2005 the ministry introduced a vision waiver program for Class G (G1, G2) for individuals who do not meet the 120 degree horizontal visual field requirement.
The vision waiver program allows individuals who are unable to meet the horizontal visual field requirement the opportunity to demonstrate through a driving evaluation, whether they can compensate for the defect and drive safely. Other criteria for entry into the program include:
- Certain driving record requirements (See Ontario Regulation 340/94 s 21.2 for more information)
- 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.
- Satisfactory medical report
- Satisfactory vision assessment from an optometrist or ophthalmologist
- Functional assessment from an approved assessment centre for Class G Vision Waivers
The functional assessment consists of a number of standardized tests, both in-clinic and on-road.