Some tips on completing the Alberta Driver’s Medical Exam and form.
- Which class of driving licence? (affects some questions)
- Check every item (even if not logical e.g. hypoglycemia)
- Hearing? Do you have to yell? (not all classes)
- Vision tests are always confirmed at Registry office
- Exam is otherwise not extensive
- How long a patient of ours? (better if >1 year)
- Usually ‘No’ to needs a road test. (Consider DriveAble if in doubt.)
- Don’t sign as p.p.
- Be careful re printer page size (must not be truncated AT ALL).
Some further points about these tips:
- The class of licence affects eligibility. See back of form for more info. This affects some of the questions and criteria.
- Although not legally required, most Registry offices will refuse to accept a form that has any items at all left unanswered. In some areas, this does not make sense e.g. for diabetes. But put something in there anyway.
- Deafness: you are not required to administer a formal hearing test. If they can hear your questions, they are fine.
- Visual acuity: ironically, while we spend significant time testing this, be aware that all Registry offices will still do their own test. Their results, not ours, matter.
- Patients who have flunked their medical can easily go see another doctor. Be aware if patient is brand new
- Most patients should not be medically required to pass a road test. If you are in doubt, the most objective and accurate approach is with DriveAble. However, they have to pay for this assessment.
- If you are a resident, you are a medical practitioner and can sign this form. Use your own name. Do not sign ‘on behalf of’ — the Registry office will refuse this because clinic staff are not allowed to complete these forms.
- The government form is a legal size paper but most printers have letter size paper. Ask the MOA to help you scale the form to fit the page. It must not be truncated at all, not even the last line with the form identifier on it.
Responsibility to Report
In Alberta, it is the patient’s responsibility to report a medical issue that affects their ability to drive, not the doctor’s.
But there are some practical tips to this:
- If you have documented that they should not drive (does not have to be part of DLM), then their insurance is invalid. All significant accidents generate an insurance request for medical records so this will come to light. This can be much more powerful leverage in convincing the reluctant not to drive.
- If you believe that they will continue to drive and that their condition poses a significant public risk, then you can report them to Motor Vehicles. Public safety trumps patient confidentiality.
- Short term problems and sensible patients: suggest that they don’t report themselves, if they will refrain from driving. It can be difficult to get a licence reinstated.
- For those with cognitive decline, they drive poorly in new or complex traffic situations. This can be hard to assess, even for the Driver Examiner. By far the best way is with the DriveAble simulation, which is safe and accurate. But there is a charge for this: approx $250.