If the DMV receives a report of a physical or mental condition (“P& M”) or lack of skill, a “reexamination” is scheduled.

When the DMV determines that an evaluation must be made of a person’s driving skills, they call it a “reexamination.” A person with a recent physical or mental (P & M) condition, or a poor driving record could prompt the need for a reexamination. Reexaminations are generated from many sources including the following:

  • A physician or surgeon who is required by law to report to the DMV certain conditions or disorders characterized by loss of consciousness or control, including Alzheimer’s disease. The law also allows them to report other conditions, which, in their opinion, may affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
  • Emergency medical personnel who may see you in an emergency facility due to a sudden loss of consciousness, awareness, or control.
    Unsolicited letters from family members, friends, or neighbors who report that you may no longer be able to drive safely.
  • A law enforcement officer who stops you for a traffic law violation or is at an accident scene in which you were involved and you appear to be an unsafe driver.
  • A Request for Priority Reexamination from a peace officer who has observed your driving and believes you are an unsafe driver and should not continue driving.
  • Your driver license application or renewal-by-mail notice where you indicate that you have a disease, disorder, or disability that affects your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
  • Your driving record which indicates accidents, traffic law convictions, reckless, negligent or incompetent driving habits, fraudulent use of a driver license, or other grounds which would cause DMV to refuse a driver license.

A Priority Reexamination (also called a “priority reex”) is the immediate evaluation of an individual by a DMV Driver Safety hearing officer. A Request for Priority Reexamination starts with a report from a peace officer who has observed your driving and believes you are an unsafe driver. A peace officer will start the priority reexamination process if he/she observes a driver:

The peace officer may also issue the person a citation for the driving offense and give you the Priority Reexamination Notice. You may be referred to the DMV even if you were not cited for a driving offense.

After the officer issues you the Priority Reexamination Notice, the local DMV Driver Safety Office must be contacted within five days or your driver license will be suspended.

Driver Safety Offices

There are currently 12 DMV Driver Safety Offices located throughout the state of California for those drivers scheduled for departmental re-examinations or requesting administrative hearings. These offices are listed alphabetically for your convenience. Simply ‘click’ on the link below to obtain detailed information for the Driver Safety office in that city.

What happens during the reexamination process?

An attorney may accompany you to the reexamination, but you must appear as well. The reexamination may be conducted in-person or over the telephone. At the reexamination, the DMV hearing officer will ask many questions. These may include your driving history and specific incidents on your driving record. You may be asked about the “Rules of the Road” and how you would handle specific driving situations. The DMV hearing officer will definitely ask you about your health and medical history. You may also be asked to provide medical information from your physician.

The reexamination process may also include a vision test, a written test, and a driving test. After the reexamination, the DMV Hearing Officer will review the evidence and decide what action, if any, they believe is warranted under the circumstances. The possible action taken against your driving privilege could be a restriction, probation, suspension, or revocation. DMV personnel will notify you in writing of the decision. If you feel the decision is unjustified, you then have the right to challenge the decision by requesting a hearing, and retaining an attorney if you wish.

What Happens If I Do Not Appear For The Reexamination?

If the driver does not personally appear for and complete the reexamination as scheduled (either by telephone or in person), his/her driving privilege will be suspended. The suspension will remain in effect until he/she appears, provides the requested information, and/or submits to any required tests.

What Decision Can DMV Make After A Reexamination?
Following a reexamination, the DMV hearing officer will take one of the following administrative actions:

  • No Action: Your condition or driving record does not warrant an action against your driving privilege.
  • Medical Probation (Type I): You must comply with your medical regimen and report to any changes in your medical condition to the DMV.
  • Medical Probation (Type II): Your physician must submit periodic medical reports to the DMV on specified dates.
  • Limited Term License: You are issued a license for up to two years, and you are required to return to the DMV for reevaluation and potential retesting.
  • Calendar Reexamination: You are required to appear for a reexamination at specified intervals, provide updated medical information, and submit to possible retesting.
  • Restriction: You may only operate a motor vehicle under specific conditions and circumstances, such as: driving during certain times of the day, driving within certain geographical areas, or having your vehicle equipped with specialized equipment.
  • Suspension: Your driving privilege is suspended for an indefinite period of time. Your driving privilege can be reinstated at any time if you can show that you are compensating for a physical or mental condition, or your driving behavior no longer presents a safety risk.
  • Revocation: Your driving privilege is terminated. Generally this action is taken when a hearing officer believes that your physical or mental condition is so severe it does not appear likely that your condition will ever improve, or a driving incident is so severe that you are found to present a safety risk.

What If the DMV Takes An Action Against My Driving Privilege?

DMV will notify you in writing of:

  • Any action taken.
  • Your legal rights, including the right to a hearing.

Can the DMV Reexamine Me If I Do Not Have A Medical Problem But My Driving Skills Are Deteriorating?

Yes. The DMV can/and will reexamine you when information suggests that you no longer have the knowledge and/or skill necessary to drive safely.

Does the DMV Automatically Reexamine Drivers After A Certain Age?

No. DMV will not reexamine a driver solely based on age.

How Long Will My Driving Privilege Be Suspended Or Revoked After A Reexamination?

Generally, the length of a suspension or revocation is indefinite. However, the DMV will consider reinstating your driving privilege when:

  • Additional information is available to indicate that any physical or mental condition has been controlled and is no longer a potential threat to safe driving; or
  • Your driving record no longer indicates negligent driving activity.

What If I Need An Interpreter?

If you need a sign language or foreign language interpreter, the DMV will provide one. You must contact the DMV immediately so an interpreter will be available on the date of your reexamination.