If you operate a taxi, bus or any other commercial vehicle, you are legally required to pass your driver medicals every 1-3 years. This is to ensure the safety of yourself and others using the road.
Operating a vehicle is a task that requires a number of skills, including good coordination, fast reflexes, and sound physical abilities. If you have a long-term injury, illness or disability that may impair your ability to operate a vehicle in a safe manner, you need to tell your state’s licencing authority.
Driver medicals are especially important for professionals who operate commercial vehicles like buses and taxis, because you are responsible for the lives of your passengers. So make sure you stay responsible and stay safe with this helpful guide.
How it works
Gone are the days where you had to perform multiple driver medicals – one for the road authority and one for the bus company, for instance. Instead, you can complete just the one assessment and you’re good to go for both!
If you are aged over 60 or have an existing health condition, however, you may be required to get a specialist assessment done, too. Once you’ve passed your tests, you’ll need to get another test done every three years, or every one year if you are over 60 or have a health condition.
Your licencing authority should send you information 2 months before your birthday in order to remind you that your driver medicals are due. You can get your doctor to submit them via email or by completing the online forms.
Conditions which can impair roadworthiness
There are many long-term health conditions which can negatively affect your ability to operate a commercial vehicle with ease and safety. Some of the most common conditions to be aware of include:
- Sleep disorders (e.g. sleep apnea, insomnia)
- Epilepsy, blackouts & seizures
- Heart disease
- Vision problems (e.g. cataracts, glaucoma)
- Psychiatric illnesses (e.g. schizophrenia, dementia)
If you discover you have one of these health conditions during your driver medicals, ensure that you discuss it with your doctor and take their advice. You should also inform your employer and your licencing authority. It is your responsibility to respond to questions honestly and do all you can to keep you and your passengers safe by complying with healthcare advice and treatments.
Keep in mind that reporting an illness, injury or disability does not automatically mean your licence will be removed. It simply means that your licencing authority and employer will work with you and your healthcare team to address the issue and resolve it however possible, whether by using aids or medications.
Getting a conditional licence
It is common for those with a health condition to be provided with a conditional licence following their driver medicals. This allows you to continue operating a commercial vehicle as long as you adhere to certain conditions, such as wearing glasses or taking prescribed medication. It is your duty to comply with the conditions and/or restrictions imposed on you through your licence, and to have health reviews as required. You may also be requested to see a specialist.
Whether you’re a truckie or a chauffeur, if you have a long-term disability, injury or illness, it is vital that you inform your licencing authority and employer. Driver medicals help to ensure the safety of yourself, your passengers and your cargo. Don’t let the fear of losing your licence stop you, and keep in mind that it is most likely that you will be given a conditional licence and continue to be able to operate your vehicle.