Driver's License Laws By State
For many people with diabetes, driving is a central part of daily life. The ability to drive gives personal freedom and lets people to get to jobs, schools and stores. The good news is that most people with diabetes can safely drive motor vehicles. However, in some situations symptoms or complications of diabetes might make it difficult to drive safely. There are precautions that people with diabetes can and should take to make sure they are safe behind the wheel. For more information, see the American Diabetes Association's comprehensive Position Statement on Diabetes and Driving.
All states have special licensing rules about medical conditions. Some may apply to people with diabetes. Some states apply these rules to all drivers with diabetes. Others apply them only to people with diabetes with these medications or symptoms:
- insulin use
- loss of consciousness
- low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- foot problems (such as neuropathy)
- vision problems (such as retinopathy)
Choose your state from the menu below to learn more about the laws and policies that may affect you. This information relates only to private drivers, driving noncommercial vehicles. Licensing for commercial driving is governed by very different rules. See our information on Commercial Driving for more information.
While the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has made every effort to provide accurate information, it cannot guarantee that this information is accurate or that the laws and policies have not changed since this information was gathered in August 2013. The ADA hopes this information helps you to learn more about the law. But it is not legal advice, and it is no substitute for the advice of a competent attorney who understands the law in your state.
Things to remember
- Drivers must meet other standards not mentioned here, such as vision tests and driving examinations. For more information, you should contact your state licensing agency, which is included in the information about each state.
- You should carefully examine questions about medical conditions on licensing applications. Pay careful attention to the wording. Your answer might decide whether or not you get a license or whether you need to undergo additional evaluation. For example, if a question asks if you have a condition that has caused you to lose consciousness, and you have never experienced severe hypoglycemia, you could answer no. But if a question asks if you have diabetes, you would need to answer yes.
- Licensing might require medical evaluations from a doctor, either before receiving your license or after. They might prohibit driving for a certain period of time after an episode of severe hypoglycemia. To get back a license, a person may need to take a road test.
- Most information is taken from state and local statutes, regulations and officially published forms. See citations for more information. Some un-cited information comes from pre-2004 surveys sent to the agency responsible for driver licensing in each state, and from a 2003 report on driver licensing and medical conditions prepared for the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.