Medical review of drivers

In Ontario, physicians and optometrists are required to report patients with conditions that may impair their driving ability. On occasion the Ministry of Transportation also receives reports from nurse practitioners, occupational therapists and police. Learn about how the ministry reviews these reports to determine whether a driver's licence needs to be suspended.

Medical reports

If the ministry receives an unsolicited report from your physician or optometrist, another regulated health care professional or police, ministry staff will match your name, address, date of birth and licence number to your driving record.

The ministry reviews each case individually and evaluates the medical information on the report against:

  • medical standards found in Regulation 340/94 of the Highway Traffic Act
  • national medical standards

This review will determine whether you are medically fit to drive. The review process takes up to 30 business days.

Licence suspension

If the medical report confirms that you do not meet national medical standards, your licence will be suspended.
The ministry will send you:

  • a letter telling you what type of medical information is needed to have your licence considered for reinstatement
  • a formal Notice of Suspension

Reinstating a licence

Your licence will be considered for reinstatement when the ministry has received and reviewed the appropriate medical information.

The ministry processes medical reports on a first come, first served basis. Cases are reviewed within 30 business days. More time may be required if more information has been requested. You will receive a letter advising you of the outcome of the review.

Your licence will be reinstated if:

  • your report indicates that you meet the medical standards to drive
  • there are no other outstanding suspensions or requirements on your driving record

You will receive a reinstatement notice in the mail. In most cases a temporary driver's licence will be attached to your reinstatement notice. Your licence card will take about 6 weeks to arrive.

If you can't wait to receive your reinstatement notice, you can visit a ServiceOntario centre and pay the required fee to receive a temporary licence

Other outcomes

Your medical condition may be deemed to be a lower risk to road safety. Depending on the nature of the condition, the ministry may:

  • take no action, if your condition is deemed to be temporary or minor
  • continue to monitor your condition
  • downgrade your commercial licence (if applicable)
  • ask you to take a new written, vision and road test at a DriveTest centre
  • ask you to take a functional assessment at an approved assessment centre
  • ask you to file additional medical information before a decision is made

Additional medical information

If you need to provide more medical information, you will receive a letter outlining:

  • the information needed
  • a specific timeframe to submit the information to the ministry

The ministry will review your information to determine whether you meet the required medical standards to drive.

If the ministry doesn't receive your information by the due date, you will receive either:

  • a suspension notice
    OR
  • in the case of a commercial licence downgrade, a new licence in the lower class

The suspension or downgrade of your licence will be reconsidered when the ministry receives your medical information.

Results

Once your information has been reviewed, the ministry will inform you of the outcome by mail.

If you meet the medical standards, your licence will be reinstated, as long as there are no other outstanding suspensions or requirements.

If your licence is suspended for medical reasons, you will be able to appeal the decision to the Licence Appeal Tribunal.

Functional assessments

A functional assessment (also known as a driving evaluation) includes a full medical assessment and an on-road evaluation. It is conducted by an occupational therapist and a qualified driving instructor.

You may need to undergo a functional assessment:

  • if you are reported as being medically unfit to drive due to a neurological condition, physical disability or cognitive impairment
  • as part of an application for a Class G vision waiver

Where a functional assessment is required the ministry will send you a list of approved assessment centre.

If the assessment indicates that you need remedial lessons:

  • a report will be sent to the ministry
  • you will be issued a temporary licence (for the purpose of lessons only), as long as there are no outstanding suspensions or requirements on file

Medical Advisory Committee

The Medical Advisory Committee is a panel of expert medical advisors including 19 physicians in the fields of cardiology, psychiatry, endocrinology, ophthalmology, internal medicine, rehabilitation medicine, geriatric medicine and addiction medicine.

These medical experts are contracted by the ministry to review complex cases and provide an expert opinion.

Appeal process

You have the opportunity to appeal a medical suspension (excluding vision) or medical downgrade from a commercial class licence. The Licence Appeal Tribunal can confirm, modify or set aside the decision.

The Tribunal's decisions in medical cases can be appealed to the Superior Court of Justice within 30 days from the date the decisions are released.

Your licence will remain suspended or downgraded until the appeal is heard. The fee for the appeal is $100 and is payable to the Licence Appeal Tribunal.

National medical standards

In addition to Ontario's basic mandatory medical and vision standards, the ministry uses national medical standards when it reviews medical information and makes licensing decisions.

These standards are published by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) and referenced in s. 14 of Regulation 340/94 of the Highway Traffic Act.

Contact the ministry

By mail:

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

By phone:416-235-1773 or 1-800-268-1481 (within Ontario)

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

By email:DriverImprovementOffice@ontario.ca

Business hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday

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