Drivers' licenses and Diabetes

To obtain a driver&rsquo;s license in most states&mdash;Utah included&mdash;people with diabetes need a medical evaluation and completed evaluation form attesting to their functional ability to drive. </strong>As adolescents prepare to start driving, their physician should counsel them and their families about the risks of driving with low blood glucose. Recommendations from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) include testing blood glucose before driving, stocking the glove compartment with quick-carbohydrate snacks, and pulling over at the first hint of hypoglycemia.</li> </ul> All states have special licensing rules governing medical conditions that may apply to people with diabetes. Some states apply these rules to all drivers with diabetes, while others apply them only to those who have experienced episodes of altered consciousness due to the disease. Special licensing rules can include requirements for periodic medical evaluations from a physician and prohibitions on driving for a period of time after an episode of lost consciousness.
In Utah, no specific episode-free time period is required, but the instructions given to doctors filling out medical evaluation forms suggest that individuals who have had an episode of altered consciousness due to diabetes within the last three months should not be licensed unless special circumstances are present.
Patients with diabetes should be encouraged to read the brochure Driving When You Have Diabetes, by the ADA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For information regarding obtaining a driver&rsquo;s license in states other than Utah, please see the ADA website, Drivers' Licenses and Diabetes.