Medical Licence Suspensions

Medical driver licence suspensions are given when a medical professional, police officer or person in authority believes that the drivers medical condition may their ability to drive.

This can be a result of:

  • mental health issues
  • substance/alcohol abuse issue
  • a medical issue, heart condition, cognitive impairment, eye site ect.
  • any other medical issue that may interfere with the driver’s ability to safety drive a motor vehicle.

Physicians, optometrists and medical professionals are required by law to report any driver who may be suffering from a medical or physical condition.

The law is there to ensure that all drivers are safe to themselves and others while operating a motor vehicle.

Law – Medical Licence Suspensions

In Ontario the law requires that physicians report patients who, in the opinion of the physician, may be unfit to drive for medical reasons.

The mandatory reporting requirement for physicians is found in Section 203 of the Highway Traffic Act. The requirement states:

Every legally qualified medical practitioner shall report to the Registrar:

  • the name,
  • address and
  • clinical condition of every person sixteen years of age or over attending upon a medical practitioner for medical services,
  • who, in the opinion of such medical practitioner is suffering from a condition that may make it dangerous for such person to operate a motor vehicle.

No action shall be brought against a qualified medical practitioner for complying with this section.

The report referred to is privileged for the information of the Registrar only and shall not be open for public inspection, and such report is inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any trial except to prove compliance with subsection

Similar provisions are in place for optometrists to report visual conditions (s. 204).

This legislation has been in place since 1968 and was enacted at the request of the medical community. The request was made due to the medical community’s concerns about their inability to persuade unfit patients to stop driving.

Reporting – Medical Licence Suspensions

Mandatory reports – Highway Traffic Act of Ontario

203 (1) Every prescribed person shall report to the Registrar every person who is at least 16 years old who, in the opinion of the prescribed person, has or appears to have a prescribed medical condition, functional impairment or visual impairment.

Discretionary reports

(2) A prescribed person may report to the Registrar a person who is at least 16 years old who, in the opinion of the prescribed person, has or appears to have a medical condition, functional impairment or visual impairment that may make it dangerous for the person to operate a motor vehicle.

Authority to make discretionary report prevails over duty of confidentiality

(3) The authority to make a report under subsection (2) prevails over any duty of confidentiality imposed on the prescribed person by or under any other Act or by a standard of practice or rule of professional conduct that would otherwise preclude him or her from providing the information described in that subsection to the Registrar.

Required to meet the person

(4) Subsections (1) and (2) only apply if the prescribed person actually met the reported person for an examination or for the provision of medical or other services, or in the circumstances prescribed by regulation.

Authority to make discretionary report is not a duty

(5) Subsections (2) and (3) do not impose a duty on a prescribed person to report to the Registrar.

General rules respecting medical reports

204 (1) A report required or authorized by section 203 must be submitted in the form and manner specified by the Registrar and must include,

(a) the name, address and date of birth of the reported person;

(b) the condition or impairment diagnosed or identified by the person making the report, and a brief description of the condition or impairment; and

(c) any other information requested by the form.

No liability for compliance

(2) No action or other proceeding shall be brought against a prescribed person required or authorized to make a report under section 203 for making such a report or for reporting to the Registrar in good faith with the intention of reporting under that section.