Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since October 1, 2019, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.


R708. Public Safety, Driver License.

Rule R708-7. Functional Ability in Driving: Guidelines for Physicians.

As in effect on October 1, 2019

Table of Contents

R708-7-1. Purpose.

The purpose of this rule is to establish standards and guidelines to assist health care professionals in determining who may be impaired, the responsibilities of the health care professionals, and the driver's responsibilities regarding their health as it relates to highway safety.

R708-7-2. Authority.

This rule is authorized by Sections 53-3-224, 53-3-303, 53-3-304, and 49 CFR 391.43.

R708-7-3. Definitions.

(1) "Board" means the Driver License Medical Advisory Board created in Section 53-3-303.

(2) "Division" means the Driver License Division.

(3) "Health care professional" means a physician or surgeon licensed to practice medicine in the state, or when recommended by the Medical Advisory Board, may include other health care professionals licensed to conduct physical examinations in this state.

(4) "Impaired person" means a person who has a mental, emotional, or nonstable physical disability or disease that may impair the person's ability to exercise reasonable and ordinary control at all times over a motor vehicle while driving on the highway. It does not include a person having a nonprogressive or stable physical impairment that is objectively observable and that may be evaluated by a functional driving examination.

R708-7-4. Health and Driving.

(1) Every driver operating a vehicle is individually responsible for their health when driving. Each applicant for a Utah driver license shall be required to answer personal health questions related to driving safety in accordance with recommendations made by the Driver License Medical Advisory Board pursuant to the provisions of Section 53-3-303(8). If the applicant experiences a significant health problem, the applicant is required to take a medical report form furnished by the division to a health care professional who provides all requested information, including a safety assessment level that reflects the applicant's medical condition.

(2) The health care professional will be expected to discuss the applicant's health as it may affect driving abilities and to make special recommendations in unusual circumstances. Based upon a completed safety assessment, the division may deny driving privileges or issue a license with or without limitations in accordance with the standards described in this rule and lists, tables, and charts incorporated herein. Health care professionals have a responsibility to help reduce unsafe highway driving conditions by carefully applying these guidelines and standards, and by counseling with their patients about driving under medical constraints.

R708-7-5. Driver's Responsibilities.

(1) The 1979 Utah State Legislature has defined driver operating responsibilities in Section 53-3-303, related to physical, mental or emotional impairments of drivers. Drivers are:

(a) responsible to refrain from driving if there is uncertainty caused from having a physical, mental or emotional impairment which may affect driving safety;

(b) expected to seek competent medical evaluation and advice about the significance of any impairment that relates to driving vehicles safely; and

(c) responsible for reporting a "physical, mental or emotional impairment which may affect driving safety" to the Driver License Division in a timely manner.

R708-7-6. Health Care Professional's Responsibilities.

(1) Pursuant to Section 53-3-303, health care professionals shall:

(a) make reports to the division respecting impairments which may affect driving safety when requested by their patients. Nevertheless, the final responsibility for issuing a driver license remains with the director of the division;

(b) counsel their patients about how their condition affects safe driving. For example, if medication is prescribed for a patient which may cause changes in alertness or coordination, the health care professional shall advise the patient about how the medication can affect safe driving, and when it would be safe to operate a vehicle. Or, if a patient's visual acuity drops, the patient should similarly be advised, at least until corrective action has been taken to improve vision; and

(c) in accordance with Section 53-3-303(14)(b), be responsible for making available to their patients without reservation, their recommendations and appropriate information related to driving safety and responsibilities, whether defined by published guidelines or not.

R708-7-7. Driver License Medical Advisory Board.

(1) The Driver License Medical Advisory Board, as per Section 53-3-303, shall advise the director of the division and recommend written functional ability and safety assessment guidelines and standards for determining the physical, mental and emotional capabilities of applicants for licenses, appropriate to various driving abilities.

(2) In case of uncertainty of interpretation of these guidelines and standards, or in special circumstances, applicants may request a review of any division decision by a panel of board members. All of the actions of the director and board are subject to judicial review.

(3) In accordance with Section 53-3-303(8),the board shall administer the functional ability and safety assessment guidelines, which are intended to minimize such conflicts as the individual's desire to drive and the community's desire for highway safety.

R708-7-8. Persons Authorized to Complete Functional Ability Evaluation Medical Report Form.

(1) Physicians and surgeons licensed to practice medicine may complete the entire Functional Ability Evaluation Medical Report form.

(2) Nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and in accordance with 49 CFR 391.43, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, doctors of chiropractic and other health care professionals, may perform physical examinations and report their findings on the Functional Ability Evaluation Medical Report form provided that:

(a) they are licensed by the state as health care professionals;

(b) the physical examination does not require advanced or complex diagnosis or treatment; and

(c) in the event that advanced or complex medical diagnostic analysis is required, the licensed health care professional, consistent with sound medical practices, will be expected to promptly refer the patient to the appropriate physician, surgeon or doctor of osteopathy for further evaluation and for completion of the functional ability evaluations certifications report in those categories.

R708-7-9. Safety Assessment Level Categories.

Functional ability of a driver to operate a vehicle safely may be affected by a wide range of physical, mental or emotional impairments. To simplify reporting and to make possible a comparison of relative risks and limitations, the Medical Advisory Board has adopted physical, emotional and behavioral safety assessment levels as defined in 12 separate categories, with multiple levels under each category.

R708-7-10. Use of the Safety Assessment Level.

(1) Health care professionals who evaluate their patients' health status for purposes of the patient obtaining a Utah driver license, shall report safety assessment levels on forms provided by the division.

(2) In assessing patient health and completing these report forms, health care professionals shall apply the standards and related information contained in the following lists, charts, and tables, which standards and guidelines are referred to in a booklet entitled, "Functional Ability in Driving: Guidelines And Standards for Health Care Professionals." Specific categories are:

(a) "Category A" - diabetes and other metabolic conditions; narrative listing and table;

(b) "Category B" - cardiovascular; narrative listing and table;

(c) "Category C" - pulmonary; narrative listing and table;

(d) "Category D" - neurologic; narrative listing and table;

(e) "Category E" - epilepsy and other episodic conditions; narrative listing and table;

(f) "Category F" - learning, memory and communications; narrative listing and table;

(g) "Category G" - psychiatric or emotional conditions; narrative listing and table;

(h) "Category H" - alcohol and other drugs; narrative listing and table;

(i) "Category I" - visual acuity; narrative listing and table;

(j) "Category J" - musculoskeletal abnormality or chronic medical debility; narrative listing and table;

(k) "Category K" - alertness or sleep disorders; narrative listing and table; and

(L) "Category L" - hearing and balance; narrative listing and table.

(3) Copies of these guidelines are printed in a booklet and distributed by the division in addition to being published on the Driver License Division webpage. These booklets may be obtained at no cost for health care professionals or $5 per booklet for all other individuals. Copies may be obtained in person or by written request to the Driver License Division Medical Section at P.O. Box 144501, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4501.

(4) Report forms completed by a health care professional and received by the division are to be used as a screening tool in assessing an individual's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

(a) Some safety assessment levels as identified in the "Functional Ability in Driving: Guidelines And Standards for Health Care Professionals", may result in the division requesting an individual to complete a driver review, which may include a driving skills test in order to demonstrate the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle before determining whether the individual will maintain the privilege to drive. In some cases when a privilege to drive is granted, driving restrictions may be required in order to ensure public safety.

(b) A health care professional may also request that the division evaluate an individual's driving skill level at the health care professional's discretion.

(5) The division shall notify an individual that their privilege to drive is denied upon receipt of the following:

(a) a medical report that is completed in the categories A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, or L, for which the driver is assessed at a level "8" in accordance with the "Functional Ability in Driving: Guidelines And Standards for Health Care Professionals", or other documentation which indicates that the health care professional recommends that the individual does not drive; or

(b) a medical report that is completed in the category I for which the driver is assessed at a level "10" in accordance with the "Functional Ability in Driving: Guidelines And Standards for Health Care Professionals", or other documentation which indicates that the health care professional recommends that the individual does not drive.

(6) Upon receipt of a notice of denial of the privilege to drive, an individual may request a review of the division's decision by a panel of board members. All of the actions of the director and board are subject to judicial review.

KEY

administrative procedures, health care professionals, physicians

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

March 10, 2015

Notice of Continuation

January 8, 2017

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

53-3-224; 53-3-303; 53-3-304; 49 CFR 391.43


Additional Information

Contact

For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R708, please contact the promulgating agency (Public Safety, Driver License). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.