Information for health professionals
Roads and Maritime Services has a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of all road users and that licence holders are both medically fit and competent to drive a motor vehicle. Health professionals play a vital role in enabling Roads and Maritime to meet this obligation.
Online Fitness to Drive medical assessments
From 1 March 2017, a new online system is available to streamline the medical assessment process. The NSW Fitness to Drive Medical Assessment form can now be filled out and submitted directly to Roads and Maritime online. The online system can be used by medical practitioners, optometrists and specialists. This will enable faster and more efficient turnaround for customers and will mean more than 400,000 motorists in NSW will no longer need to visit a service centre or registry to complete their assessment. For more information, see the HealthLink website.
From 1 March 2017, a new online system is available to streamline the medical assessment process.
The NSW Fitness to Drive Medical Assessment form can now be filled out and submitted directly to Roads and Maritime online. The online system can be used by medical practitioners, optometrists and specialists.
This will enable faster and more efficient turnaround for customers and will mean more than 400,000 motorists in NSW will no longer need to visit a service centre or registry to complete their assessment.
For more information, see the HealthLink website.
Assessing fitness to drive
The medical standards for licensing and clinical management guidelines, Assessing Fitness to Drive, have been developed by the National Transport Commission and Austroads in consultation with a wide range of medical experts, peak medical bodies and colleges, the road transport industry and State and Territory licensing authorities.
These guidelines have been adopted by all licensing authorities when assessing a licence holder’s medical fitness to drive. The publication was last updated in October 2016 and can be viewed on the Austroads website.
Roads and Maritime has four different medical report forms that relate to assessing medical fitness to hold a driver licence:
- NSW Fitness to Drive Medical Assessment
- Medical Specialist Fitness Assessment Report for Driver Licences
- Medical Condition Notification
- Vision/Eyesight Disorder.
In most cases, Roads and Maritime will provide an appropriate medical form to the driver, who in turn provides it to you, the health professional.
The key role of the health professional with respect to fitness to drive is to assess the person’s fitness to drive based on relevant clinical and functional information and on the relevant published medical standards.
Whether you're completing the form digitally or manually, you will need to report to the driver licensing authority on a person's fitness to drive, including their suitability to hold a conditional driver licence in accordance with legislated requirements and public safety and ethical considerations.
Medical information that is not relevant to the person's fitness to drive should not be included on a medical form.
Health professionals must adhere to the Assessing Fitness to Drive medical standards when recommending conditional licences. Recommendations that conflict with these standards and/or Roads and Maritime medical review and licensing schemes, may not be implemented.
Completed medical reports
From 1 March 2017, if a patient provides you with a NSW Fitness to Drive Medical Assessment form, you can now submit the medical assessment form online.
Submitting medical assessments to Roads and Maritime using the new online forms will be immediate, resulting in faster case reviews and completions.
The online medical tool will automatically populate existing customer information, saving you time.
Health professionals will save even more time through the ability to reference Australian medical driving standards for commercial and private vehicle drivers, while the form guides you through the process to ensure greater compliance with published rules.
Reporting a medical condition for the first time
During a consultation or treatment with a patient, if you find their ability to drive safely has been affected, and they do not have a Roads and Maritime medical form, you should encourage the patient to report their condition to Roads and Maritime.
You can also submit the Medical Condition Notification Form in this situation by submitting the Form online which will immediately send it direct to the Roads and Maritime Licence Review Unit.
Direct reporting to Roads and Maritime
You may feel obliged in some circumstances, to make a report directly to Roads and Maritime regarding a patient’s medical fitness to drive. This may be in cases where the patient:
- Is unable to appreciate the impact of their condition
- Is unable to take notice of your recommendations, due to cognitive impairment
- Continues to drive despite your advice, and is likely to endanger the public.
You can submit the Medical Condition Notification Form online, which will immediately send it directly to the Roads and Maritime Licence Review Unit:
Even when making a direct report to Roads and Maritime, you should inform the patient that this is what you’re doing.
Roads and Maritime will also accept a letter directly from you, regarding a patient under your care, provided the letter includes sufficient information to allow us to make a decision. Please include:
- The patient's full name, date of birth and address
- Any relevant medical conditions or concerns
- Whether the patient meets the relevant medical criteria in Assessing Fitness to Drive
- If appropriate, recommendations for the patient to undergo further assessment, such as a specialist review or driving assessment.
Need more information?
If you need more information about submitting online medical assessment forms, please contact HealthLink.