What is a Confidential Morbidity Report? In the interest of public safety, the California Legislature has enacted a series of laws which make it mandatory for physicians or other health professionals to report certain types of medical conditions to the Department of Motor Vehicles. In accordance with Health & Safety Code section 103900, physicians are required to report any person who is 14 years or older if they suffer with any of the following conditions:
- Any condition or event resulting in a “Lapse of Consciousness.”
- Any episodes of confusion or dementia.
Health & Safety Code section reads, in part:
The department, in cooperation with the Department of Motor Vehicles, shall define disorders characterized by lapses of consciousness based upon “existing clinical standards and shall include Alzheimer’s disease and those related disorders that are severe enough to be likely to impair a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle….” Related disorders include seizure disorders, brain tumors, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and other abnormal metabolic states, including hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia associated with diabetes. They also include conditions with a “marked reduction of alertness or responsiveness to external stimuli” and the inability to perform one or more activities of daily living.
The physician will report physical or mental conditions in a Confidential Morbidity Report (CDPH form 110 c) which is first sent to the County Department of Public Health and then onto the DMV. The DMV is thus required by law to investigate the condition and make a decision as to the patient’s ability to drive.
How does the DMV use the Confidential Morbidity Report to suspend a license? In some instances the information contained in the Confidential Morbidity Report is too vague or ambiguous to take an immediate action against the driver. In those cases, the department will open an investigation and bring the driver in for an interview known as a reexamination. In nearly all cases, however, where the DMV receives a Confidential Morbidity Report from a physician documenting a physical or mental condition which can effect driving, the department will immediately suspend the person’s driver license in accordance with Vehicle Code section 13953. Even though the Confidential Morbidity Report is not a sworn document and does not record specific medical diagnosis, the DMV will accept it as valid evidence that a driver is not safe to drive and will immediately remove that person from the road.
Most drivers only learn there is a problem when they go to their mail box and find a letter addressed from the DMV. Inside they find an “Order of Suspension/Revocation” that tells them their privilege to drive has already been suspended and that their “Medical Information was not Favorable.” The letter will, however, tell the driver they have a right to request a hearing to demonstrate why the suspension/revocation action is not justified. Care should be taken however to react quickly. In most instances, the DMV will deny a person their right to a hearing if they do not contact a local Driver Safety Office in a specified period of time (normally 10 to 14 days).
Call California Drivers Advocates, we can help you. If you have received an “Order of Suspension/Revocation” you should make no mistake. The DMV is not telling you they plan to suspend your driver license. They are telling you it has already happened and you must stop driving. If you have received this devastating letter, do not despair. You can still fight to protect yourself.
Read the notice carefully and then call the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates (CDA), immediately. With years of experience and literally hundreds of DMV victories, we give you the very best opportunity to reinstate your driving privilege. There are scores of people driving today with a myriad of physical and mental issues because we were able to demonstrate that their conditions are stable and they are safe to drive. Make no mistake, however, the DMV is not in place to be kind or helpful. Without guidance, a driver may find themselves stumbling around the DMV process without any sense of what is required. Don’t let the DMV steal your driver license without a fight. Call CDA today.