DMV's Driver Re-evaluation Program
What is the purpose of the driver re-evaluation program?
The purpose of the driver re-evaluation program is to allow a driver to show that the he or she is qualified to drive. DMV will not remove driving privileges based on age or based on any standard except driving ability.
About driver re-evaluation
The best indicator of driving skills and abilities is the performance of the driver on the highway.
Two of the most important performance abilities for drivers of all ages are the ability to see hazards clearly and the ability to respond quickly to changes in driving conditions. Both of these abilities can decrease to a large degree in older drivers.
For the benefit of highway safety, the DMV can require an evaluation of a driver whose skills and abilities are in doubt. The DMV will examine reliably reported information to determine if a driver needs to be re-evaluated.
When can a driver be re-evaluated?
New York State Vehicle & Traffic Law Section 506 (1) states that: "If the Commissioner has "reasonable grounds" to believe that a person holding a license is not qualified to drive a motor vehicle, the Commissioner may require such person submit to an examination to determine their qualifications."
What are "reasonable grounds"?
"Reasonable grounds" means that the DMV must have a "specific reason" related to driving performance why a driver needs to be contacted for a driving re-evaluation. A "specific reason" is a driving incident, behavior, action or other cause reported to the DMV by a physician, a police officer, or someone who knows or has observed the driver.
How is a re-evaluation request sent to DMV?
DMV receives reports that a driver may have a medical condition that affects his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle safely from
- police officers by form DS-5 (Police Agency Request for Driver Review)
- physicians by form DS-6 (Physician's Request for Driver Review)
- concerned individuals by form DS-7 (Request for Driver Review)
If an individual submits a Request for Driver Review form, it must include their name and signature.
The DMV does not accept re-evaluation requests by phone or by email.
Where are the forms sent?
The forms are mailed to:
Medical Review Unit
6 Empire State Plaza, Room 337
Albany, NY 12228
What happens after the Medical Review Unit receives a re-evaluation request form?
The Medical Review Unit forwards the form to the DMV Testing and Investigation Unit in the area where the driver resides.
A license examiner from the DMV Testing and Investigation Unit reviews the form to determine if there is a reason to re-evaluate the driver. If the examiner determines that there is a valid reason, the DMV examiner sends the driver a certified letter to request that the driver to come to the DMV office for an interview. The letter explains the reason for the interview and informs the driver of the items and information to bring to the interview.
The letter advises the driver that if they do not appear for the interview, the DMV will suspend the driver license.
The letter also advises the driver that a vision test is required. The driver can either take the vision test at the interview or bring a Vision Test Report form (MV-619) completed by a vision care professional. If your vision care professional is enrolled in the DMV Vision Registry, the professional will notify you that your test results will be entered electronically and you will not need a Vision Test Report.
The letter may also indicate that the driver is required to bring one or more of the following
- a Physicians Statement form (MV-80) completed by a doctor
- a registered and inspected vehicle
- a driver with a valid driver license
What happens at the interview?
The DMV license examiner explains the information that was received and allows the driver to respond to the information.
If a Physicians Statement (MV-80) is required, the license examiner will review the form.
The Physicians Statement must include
- a statement that the driver is a patient of the doctor
- the names of medicines the doctor has prescribed for the patient
- if the patient suffered any loss of body control, awareness or unconsciousness due to this condition
- the doctor’s professional opinion of the patient’s ability to drive
If the driver does not bring an acceptable Physicians Statement, the DMV will suspend the driver license until an acceptable Physicians Statement is submitted.
If the Physicians Statement indicates that the driver is not medically fit to drive, the driver's license will be suspended.
Based on the interview and test results, the license examiner determines the next steps. The license examiner can also require that the driver take a road sign/written test and a driving skills test.
What happens if the driver does not appear for the interview?
If the driver does not appear for the interview, the DMV will suspend the driver license until the driver appears.
What happens if the driver fails the vision test or the road sign/written test?
If the driver fails the vision test or the road sign/written test, the DMV suspends the driver license until the driver can pass the required test.
What happens if the driver is required to take a driving test?
The re-evaluation driving test is the same road test a new driver takes to qualify for a driver license. If a driving test is required it includes
- driving safely in traffic
- left turns and right turns
- a three-point turn
- parallel parking
If the driver cannot pass the driving test, the DMV will immediately revoke the driver license.
Is a re-evaluation revocation permanent, for the life of the driver?
A driver license revocation that results from a re-evaluation does not need to be permanent. The driver must wait at least 30 days, and can then re-apply for a driver license. A driver who fails a re-evaluation road test may want to consider the services of a Driver Rehabilitation Specialist.
To qualify for a new driver license, the driver must
- apply for a Learner Permit at your local DMV Office (written test is waived)
- pass a vision test
- take a 5-hour pre-licensing course
- pass a road test
If the driver qualifies and passes the road test, the DMV issues a new driver license. The driver is on probation for six months from the date of the road test.
During the six month probation the driver license is suspended if
- the driver is convicted of a violation for speeding, reckless driving or following too closely, or
- the driver is convicted of any two other moving traffic violations
Are there other reasons a driver can be re-evaluated?
The DMV has an accident re-examination program that identifies drivers who have been in three or more reportable accidents within an 18-month period. The program includes drivers of all ages. A reportable accident is any accident in NY State that causes a fatality, a personal injury or damage over $1,000 to the property of any one person. The DMV sends the driver a letter to come to a DMV office for an interview and for possible eye, written and road tests.
See also Resources for Older Drivers