Information for health professionals
Roads and Maritime Services has a legal responsibility to ensure all drivers have the appropriate skills and ability, and are medically fit to hold a licence. Health professionals make a vital contribution to this process.
Assessing fitness to drive
The medical standards for private and commercial drivers are available in the publication Assessing Fitness to Drive. These standards are set by the National Transport Commission and Austroads, and are used in all Australian states and territories.
Roads and Maritime has two different medical report forms that relate to assessing medical fitness to hold a driver licence:
- Standard (green) Medical Report
- Medical Specialist Fitness Assessment Report for Driver Licences (for use by specialists).
In most cases, Roads and Maritime provides a medical report form to the driver, who in turn provides it to you, the health professional.
You’re required to complete the form with details of any medical criteria not met, as well as details of recommended conditions, and monitoring requirements for a conditional licence. Medical information that is not relevant to the person’s fitness to drive, should not be included on this form, for privacy reasons.
Completed medical reports
If a patient provides you with a medical report form, once you’ve completed it, give it back to the patient, so they can return it to Roads and Maritime.
If you determine that the patient is medically unfit to drive, Roads and Maritime suggests that you return the form directly to us, to ensure that we can review the information, as soon as possible.
Checklist for completing the Standard (green) Medical Report
When you’re completing the Standard (green) Medical Report form, make sure you:
- Complete the ‘Treating Doctor or Medical Specialist Certification’ on the front of the report, including the standards the patient was examined to
- Tick one of the three options available on the first page, regarding ‘conditional’ or ‘unconditional’ licence
- Complete the doctor or medical specialist details (doctor’s stamp and signature is acceptable), and date the form
- Assess visual acuity in ‘Section 1 Vision’. However, if a patient has an eye disorder or visual field defect, they need to be referred to an optometrist or ophthalmologist, to have this section of the form completed. The optometrist or ophthalmologist must include their name, date, signature and telephone number on the form
- Complete all other sections relevant to your patient, and where appropriate, provide additional information which may be helpful in determining their medical fitness and competency to drive
- Do not include medical information that is not relevant to the patient’s fitness to drive.
What do the result options mean?
- Option 1: Meets the relevant medical criteria for an unconditional driver licence and requires no further periodic medical review
Roads and Maritime takes this to mean that the person does not have a medical condition that requires regular review, and is medically fit to drive
- Option 2: Does not meet the relevant medical criteria for an unconditional or conditional driver licence
Roads and Maritime takes this to mean that the person is not medically fit to drive
- Option 3: Meets the relevant medical criteria for a conditional licence, subject to periodic review
Roads and Maritime takes this to mean that the person has a serious or long term medical condition, but is considered medically fit to drive, subject to further medical review, driving assessment, driving condition or vehicle modification. Tick this option for any person with a medical or licence condition, who you still consider to be medically fit to drive.
Checklist for completing the Medical Specialist Fitness Assessment Report
When you’re completing the form, make sure you:
- Check that the patient has completed Part A – Driver Details, and signed the Driver/Applicant declaration and privacy statement
- Complete Part B – Medical Specialist Details (a doctor’s stamp is acceptable, if qualifications and speciality details are included). Please pay particular attention to the Instructions for Specialist Medical Practitioner on the form
- Complete Part C – Specialist Report, and include specific details relating to the patient’s medical condition, diagnosis, treatment, and any details relevant to their medical fitness to drive
- In all cases, complete Part D – Specialist Medical Practitioner Certification.
What do the result options mean?
- Meets the criteria for an unconditional driver licence
Roads and Maritime takes this to mean that the person does not have a medical condition that requires regular view, and is medically fit to drive.
- Meets the criteria for a conditional licence – I recommend future review
Roads and Maritime takes this to mean that the person has a serious or long term medical condition, but is considered medically fit to drive, subject to further medical review. Tick this option for any person with a medical or licence condition, who you still consider to be medically fit to drive. Please also indicate a recommended review period. The standard review period is yearly.
- Does not meet the criteria for an unconditional or conditional driver licence (as per AFTD March 2012)
Roads and Maritime takes this to mean that the person is not medically fit to drive.
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 complete the Medical Condition Notification Form in this situation. Explain the circumstances to your patient, and advise them to take the form to their nearest registry or service centre.
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 complete the Medical Condition Notification Form and send it directly to the Roads and Maritime Licence Review Unit:
Post: Locked Bag 14 Grafton NSW 2460
Fax: 02 6640 2894.
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 assessing fitness to drive, how to complete the medical report form, or the Roads and Maritime Older Driver or Medical Review Schemes, phone 13 22 13 and ask for the Licence Review Unit.