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Licence Suspension or Cancellation: Medical Condition

It is not uncommon for an individual to drive erratically or to speed as a result of a medical condition they may be suffering from. This article will discuss medical licence appeals and suspensions as well as the necessity to notify the RMS of your medical condition.

The RMS (RTA) will usually suspend or cancel a person’s driver’s licence if they become aware that the licence holder has a medical condition that could affect their driving. Once the RMS has taken a decision to suspend or cancel the person’s driver’s licence, the person can appeal against the decision. That being said it is of the utmost importance to notify the RMS of your medical condition. In fact, it is a legal obligation of any driver’s licence holder to inform the RMS as soon as possible about any permanent or long-term injury or illness that may impair the driver’s ability to drive safely. It is important to note that a failure to notify the RMS can have significant consequences if the driver is involved in an accident as a result of the condition. Any driver who is aware that they are suffering from a medical condition that impacts on their driving and driving abilities but chooses to continue to drive, would be held to a much higher level of criminal responsibility in the event that anything goes wrong, for example accident and speeding offences NSW.

Once a driver’s licence holder has notified the RMS of their medical condition, the RMS can require the holder of the licence to undergo a medical examination in order to confirm the medical fitness to drive. In such cases the RMS will specify a specific doctor that the licence holder must visit in order to complete the examination. In some cases they may also require that the licence holder undertake a practical driving test and complete a knowledge test in order to demonstrate their ability to drive safely. In the event that the licence holder fails one or all the tests the RMS has the mandate to cancel or suspend the licence holder’s licence. In addition, the RMS can cancel or suspend your licence if you fail or refuse to undergo a test. It must be noted that these requirements and assessments can be requested by the RMS at any given time and not necessarily when it comes to a medical condition.

The RMS does not create all the guidelines with regards to assessing a licence holder’s fitness but is assisted by the Assessing Fitness to Drive Guidelines published by Austroads.  The guidelines set out the medical standards for maintaining a licence in relation to a variety of conditions. Some conditions included in the guidelines are:

  • Epilepsy
  • Sleep disorders
  • Eyesight deterioration or blindness

The guidelines set out the medical standards for a person to hold an unconditional licence. However, if the licence holder fails to meet the level set out in the guidelines then the individual must be issued with a conditional licence. In the event the person fails to meet the conditional licence criteria, their licence is suspended or cancelled.

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