Driver fitness review
Driving safely requires excellent physical and cognitive skills, as well as good judgment. Unfortunately, various medical conditions or impairments beyond your control can negatively affect your driving, putting you and others at risk on the road.
If a concern has been raised about your ability to drive safely, a review of your medical fitness can be triggered in several ways. In Manitoba, section 157(1) of The Highway Traffic Act requires physicians and optometrists to report patients whose medical condition may affect their driving. These reports trigger a driver fitness review by our Medical Compliance and Assessments department. Driver fitness reviews can also be initiated when we receive police or accident reports, family concerns about your medical condition and driving, or if you self report a medical condition.
When concerns are raised about your medical fitness to drive, the Medical Compliance and Assessments department will typically send you a request for a medical report or vision report, to be completed by your physician or optometrist.
In most cases, you will maintain your driver’s licence until we receive the reports. However, if your medical condition poses an immediate risk to you and other drivers on the road, then we may need to suspend your licence until the medical reports are provided and reviewed.
If we've suspended your driving privileges pending medical or vision information and that information later confirms your medical condition does not affect your driving ability, you may be eligible to have your driver’s licence reinstated and will be notified about how to apply for licence reinstatement. Even though medical information might not indicate a risk to driving at the present time, some medical conditions are progressive, which means they can deteriorate over time. In these cases, you may be asked to file periodic medical and/or vision reports if your condition may deteriorate over time, so that we can monitor whether your driving ability may be affected in the future.
In some cases, further medical information, specialist reports or driving assessments may be required to determine if your medical condition affects your driving ability.
If the medical information or driving assessment shows that your medical condition is negatively affecting your ability to drive and is a risk to public safety, then your driver’s licence will be cancelled or declassed until further information is provided that shows your condition is treated, controlled and/or improved. We may also require a waiting period before you can resume driving.
Manitoba Public Insurance understands the importance of a driver’s licence and never takes lightly the decision to cancel a licence. We do so only when we believe it is in your best interest and for the safety of other road users.
Multiple medical conditions
Numerous different medical conditions and physical impairments can affect our ability to drive safely. These include visual conditions, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, loss of limbs, dementia and more.
These conditions by themselves may be stable and unchanging, such as the residual effect of a stroke or diabetes. However, if you have more than one medical condition, your ability to drive may be significantly compromised. In these situations, a DriveABLE assessment, DAMP assessment or other type of driver evaluation may be requested, along with medical reports.
Driver licence reinstatement
If your driver’s licence was suspended or cancelled but we subsequently receive medical information that indicates you are once again fit to drive, you will be notified by letter that you can reapply for your licence at an Autopac agent or Manitoba Public Insurance Service Centre.
Periodic medical reporting
The Medical Compliance and Assessments department may require you to provide periodic medical and/or vision reports to monitor your medical condition and driving record. This is only necessary if you have a medical condition that may worsen over time and affect your driving ability in the future.
For commercial drivers (Class 1, 2, 3 or 4), Manitoba applies national standards that require you to provide mandatory medical reports according to age as follows:
Class 1, 2, 3, 4
– on application
– every five years to age 45
– every three years thereafter to age 65
– annually at 65 years and over
Commercial drivers may be required to file reports more frequently if they have a medical condition. The medical standards for commercial drivers are stricter given the types of vehicles driven and the amount of time spent driving.
Medical appeal process
If your driver’s licence is canceled or declassed as a result of a medical or vision condition that affects your ability to drive safely, you have the right to appeal to the Medical Review Committee (MRC). The MRC is an independent appeal body made up of healthcare professionals.
Please note that if your licence is suspended, you do not have the right to appeal until more information is provided. The same stipulation applies if your licence was declassed or cancelled for failing to provide information by a specific date.