Assessing fitness to drive

Driving a motor vehicle is a complex task involving perception, judgement, adequate response time and appropriate physical capability. The driver must satisfy the vision, sensory, cognitive and musculoskeletal capabilities of safe driving. A range of medical conditions, disabilities and treatments may influence these driving prerequisites. Impairments may adversely affect driving ability, resulting in a crash causing death or injury.

All medical assessments conducted for the purpose of determining fitness to drive must be conducted in accordance with the current edition of the national driver medical standards which are updated regularly. You can access the 2022 Assessing Fitness to Drive guidelines from the Austroads website or by clicking here Austroads Assessing Fitness to Drive (AFTD).

Fitness to drive is an important consideration for people with chronic health conditions and/or disabilities.

Examples of conditions that may affect safe driving include:

  • Vision and eye disorders
  • Blackouts
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Diabetes treated by medication
  • Dementia and cognitive impairment
  • Seizures and epilepsy
  • Neurological conditions
  • Musculoskeletal conditions
  • Psychiatric conditions
  • Sleep disorders
  • Alcohol and other substance misuse

If a driver has any serious (permanent or long-term) illness, disability, medical condition or injury (or the effects of treatment for any of those things) that may impact their driving ability, you can consider recommending a conditional licence. Suitable licence conditions enable drivers to drive under circumstances that suit their capability optimising driver and public safety while maintaining driver independence. A conditional licence identifies the need for medical management, vehicle modifications and/or driving restrictions (e.g. corrective lenses, no night driving, radius restricted driving area, zero BAC) that would enable the person to drive safely. It may also specify a review period, after which the person is required to undergo medical or on-road competency reviews to establish their continued fitness to drive.

Important information and tips for completing this form are available in the Help section at the top-right of screen.

If you would like assistance completing this form, applying the national medical standards for licensing or understanding the VicRoads Medical Review process, please contact the VicRoads Medical Review team via email at: [email protected] or call (03) 8391 3226 between 8AM and 5PM (Mon-Fri).

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