So, you just found out that you need to get a medical exam to get you license renewed. Chances are you’re a bit nervous. What exactly is a driver’s medical and why do you need it? Is this something you should be preparing for? Below is everything you need to know about driver’s medicals.
What exactly is a driver’s medical exam?
A driver’s medical is a routine exam, performed by a physician, meant to ensure that a person is medically fit to drive according to provincial guidelines. It’s designed to keep all of us safe, and only specific groups of people need to have it done.
Driver’s medicals are an uninsured service, and are paid for by either an employer or the patient. If you’re 75 or older, provincial health will cover the cost of your exam.
Our AMA Rewards partner Medicentres Family Health Care Clinic offers both advanced and short notice bookings for driver’s medical exams. If you have to pay for the exam out of pocket, they also offer a 15% discount for AMA members.
Who needs to get a driver’s medical?
Seniors – When you turn 75 in Alberta it becomes necessary to pass a driver’s medical to ensure that your vision, hearing, cognitive ability and overall health continue to allow you to drive safely. Another exam is required at age 80, and every two years after that. To learn more about how licensing changes as you age, check out this AMA Insider article.
Commercial Drivers – If you have a class 1,2 or 4 license, or have a Condition Code ‘C,’ you’re required to have driver’s medical examinations done periodically. Some employers will pay for their employee’s driver’s medical.
Health Conditions – In Alberta, an individual is required by law to report any changes in health that may affect their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. There are a variety of health conditions that may require you to have a driver’s medical done to ensure that it’s safe for you to drive. Click here for a list of common medical conditions. A physician would notify you if this you are required to have a driver’s medical examination.
What do you need to do to prepare for a driver’s medical?
- Before your assessment with a physician, it is important to have a list of your medications and previous medical history written down to bring with you.
- If you wear corrective lenses (glasses and/or contacts) be sure to bring them with you to the exam. Glasses are preferable so you can take them on and off easily.
- You will need to take your blood pressure taken so ensure you wear short sleeves or a shirt that can easily be lifted to your shoulder.