Driver License Restrictions
To a great degree, your driving privileges are based on your physical ability to drive. Drivers of any age can have driver license restrictions. A restriction on your driver license limits when you can drive or requires that you meet specific conditions when you drive. For example, the most common driver license restriction is the "corrective lenses" restriction. This restriction requires the driver to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses when driving, and it is a violation of the law if the driver fails to wear corrective lenses.
There are restrictions that require the use of a device that assists a driver who has a physical or mental condition. For example, there are restrictions that require drivers to use a hearing aid or a prosthetic device when they drive. There are also restrictions on the time of day the driver can drive, like a restriction that allows driving only during daylight hours.
If there is a restriction on your driver license, an explanation of the restriction is printed on the back of your license document. For example, a driver who must wear corrective lenses has the words "CORRECTIVE LENSES" listed under "RESTRICTIONS".
Restrictions that older drivers commonly have include:
Corrective Lenses - All drivers must pass a vision test administered by DMV or must supply proof that they passed a vision test given by a qualified vision care professional. A driver who needs eye glasses or contact lenses to pass the vision test receives a "corrective lenses" restriction. If a driver has surgery and no longer needs corrective lenses, this restriction may be removed. The DMV web site has information about how to remove a corrective lenses restriction after corrective surgery.
Telescopic Lenses - Telescopic lenses are corrective lenses that are much more powerful than normal eyeglasses or contact lenses. A driver who needs telescopic lens to pass a driver license vision test must send a completed and submit form MV-80L (Eye Test Report for Medical Review Unit). The Medical Review Unit (MRU) adds the restriction to the driver record. If the driver later does not need telescopic lenses, they can submit anew form MV-80L to remove the restriction.
Daylight Driving Only - If a driver must wear dark lenses, a statement from a licensed Physician, Ophthalmologist or Optometrist is required and must be sent to the DMV Medical Review Unit (MRU). The statement must indicate whether or not the dark lenses will impair vision at night. If the eye care professional indicates that vision at night will be impaired, a "DAYLIGHT DRIVING ONLY" restriction is added to driver license.
All drivers are required to answer the following questions when they apply for a driver license or a renewal. The information below explains what happens if the driver answers "yes" to the question.
Have you had, or are you being treated for, any of the following, or has a previous disability worsened?
- Convulsive disorder, epilepsy, fainting or dizzy spells, or any condition which causes unconsciousness
If the driver answers yes to this question, they must send a form MV-80U.1 completed by a qualified doctor to the Medical Review Unit (MRU). The MRU will contact the driver with information, requirements and instructions.
- Heart ailment
If the driver answers yes to this question, they must submit form MV-80 (Physician's Statement), completed by the driver and a qualified doctor, to any DMV office.
- Hearing impairment
If the driver answers yes to this question, a DMV employee tests the hearing of the driver. If hearing is not acceptable, a restriction of "HEARING AID OR FULL-VIEW MIRROR" is added to the driver license.
If the driver wears a hearing aid and cannot pass the hearing test, they must also use a "full view" rearview mirror.
- Lost use of leg, arm, foot, hand, or eye
If the driver answers yes to this question, they must meet with a DMV examiner from the Testing and Investigation Unit at a DMV office. The examiner determines what is required and whether restrictions must be added to the driver license. The DMV can also require the driver to take and pass a road test to keep the driver license.
The DMV Web Site has additional information about driver medical conditions and re-examinations.
Below is a list of common driver license restrictions for medical or physical conditions.
|Code||Driver License Note||Description|
|A||ACCEL LEFT OF BRAKE||Requires an extension on the gas pedal so the pedal can be reached by the left foot. Normally required because the driver cannot use their right leg.|
|B||CORRECTIVE LENSES||The driver must wear corrective lenses.|
|C||MECHANICAL AID||Requires a device to assist the driver to operate the vehicle.|
|D||PROSTHETIC DEVICE||The driver is required to use an external or implanted device that replaces or supplements a missing or damaged body part.|
|E||AUTOMATIC TRANS||The driver cannot operate a vehicle with a standard transmission.|
|F||HEARING AID OR FULL-VIEW MIRROR||See the hearing impairment explanation above.|
|G||DAYLIGHT DRIVING ONLY||The driver can only drive in daylight hours (between one-half hour after sunrise until one-half hour before sunset).|
|P||POWER BRAKES||The driver can only operate a vehicle that has power brakes.|
|Q||POWER STEERING||The driver can only operate a vehicle that has power steering.|
|R||BUILT UP SEAT/PED/SHOE||Special equipment and/or shoes are required that allow the driver to see over the dashboard and clearly through the windshield when driving.|
|U||HAND-OPERATED BRAKE||The driver can only operate a vehicle that has brakes operated by hand controls.|
|V||FOOT OPER PARKING BRAKE||The driver can only operate a vehicle that has a parking brake operated by the foot.|
|X||FULL HAND CONTROL||The driver can only operate a vehicle that has hand controls for the accelerator and the brake.|
|Y||SHOULDER HARNESS USE||The driver must use the shoulder harness of the seat belt system.|
|Z||WHEEL SPINNER||The driver is allowed to have a knob installed on the steering wheel because of a physical condition.|
|3||TELESCOPIC LENS||The driver must wear telescopic lenses when driving. See the explanation above.|
|5||NO LIMITED ACCESS RDS||The driver cannot drive on highways that have on ramps and off ramps.|