Driving with Epilepsy

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Can epilepsy affect my driving?
Am I allowed to drive?
Is the length of time I must remain seizure free flexible?
What is the Medical Advisory Board for Driver Licensing?
Should I tell the Department of Public Safety I have epilepsy?
How can the Department of Public Safety find out I have epilepsy?
Can my doctor notify the Department of Public Safety that I have epilepsy?
Does this break the law of physician/patient confidentiality?
What do I do if I can't drive?
Can I prevent the revocation or denial of my driver’s license?


 

Can epilepsy affect my driving?
Yes. A loss of mobility, sensation, or conciousness for even a moment can impair your driving ability and result in a driving accident.

Am I allowed to drive?
In Texas, if you are diagnosed with epilepsy, your doctor must certify that you have been seizure free for a period of six months before you can be licensed to drive. Laws are different in each state.

Is the length of time I must remain seizure-free flexible?
No. Check the box on the license application stating that you have epilepsy. A form will be sent to you to fill out. This form is then reviewed by the Medical Advisory Board (MAB), which makes the final decision.

What is the Medical Advisory Board for Driver Licensing?
The Medical Advisory Board is composed of physicians who advise the Department of Public Safety (DPS) regarding a variety of medical conditions that affect driving ability.

Should I tell the Department of Public Safety (DPS) I have epilepsy?
Yes. If you have epilepsy, you should tell the DPS at the time you apply for your license. If you develop epilepsy after receiving your license, you should notify the DPS at that time.

How can the Department of Public Safety find out I have epilepsy?
Any concerned citizen can call the DPS and anonymously report that someone is a potential danger to public safety due to having epilepsy.

Can my doctor notify the Department of Public Safety that I have epilepsy?
Yes. In the state of Texas, doctors are allowed to notify the DPS that you have epilepsy. Doctors are not obligated to report an individual with epilepsy. Such reporting is strictly voluntary.

Does this break the law of physician/patient confidentiality?
No. If you were to have a seizure while driving, you would endanger yourself and others around you. Doctors are legally allowed to report such dangers to public safety, either anonymously as concerned citizens or as licensed physicians.

What do I do if I can't drive?
Use other forms of transportation such as:

Walking
Taking the bus
Using taxi services
Using car pools

Can I prevent the revocation or denial of my driver’s license?
Yes.  You must petition for a hearing by the Justice of the Peace or Municipal Court.  An administrative hearing must be requested within 20 days of the date of the notice from the Department of Public Safety.

For additional information or assistance, please call:

The Medical Standards Motor Vehicle Operations Division (MSMVOD) at (512) 834-6700 or your local Department of Public Safety (DPS) driver licensing office.  Local driver licensing offices may be found at: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/rolodex/search.asp

Last updated February 12, 2014