Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

Private citizens and family members

It is not easy to decide to report a relative or friend to WisDOT, but concern for the driver's safety and the safety of others is usually the deciding factor. If you know someone who could be dangerous behind the wheel because of a medical condition, you may report this to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), Medical Review Unit. Download a Driver Condition or Behavior Report form MV3141 or obtain one at the DMV service center nearest you.

How a decision is made

WisDOT cares about a driver's functional ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Decisions about impaired drivers are based on individual signs, symptoms, behaviors, and the observations of others, rather than the type of condition or a diagnosis.

Signs of impairment

  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired judgment
  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Difficulty making simple decisions
  • Chronic drowsiness
  • Impaired response/reaction time
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Episodes of impaired or altered consciousness

Conditions that may cause impairment

  • Alzheimer's and other types of dementia
  • Diabetes, if frequent episodes of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occur
  • Neurological conditions, such as seizure disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Behavioral or mental disorders
  • Respiratory (lung) diseases
  • Cardiovascular (heart) disease
  • Visual impairments

What is needed for WisDOT to act?

  • Positive identification of the driver such as full name, date of birth and current address. The license plate number is not enough; the driver could be someone other than the owner of the car.
  • A report that is signed. If the report is from a private citizen, another person must also sign the report indicating they are able to verify the information.
  • A description of behaviors, observations or impairment related to driving WisDOT will not take action based only on a diagnosis or a person's advanced age.

What can happen?

Depending on the nature of the driver's limitation, and the contents of the Driver Condition or Behavior Report, WisDOT may require a:

  1. Road test
  2. Knowledge test
  3. Medical report
  4. Vision exam or screening
  5. No further action
  6. Cancellation of the license*
  7. Any combination of 1-4

*Only a behavior report signed by a Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Osteopath (DO), Physician Assistant (PA-C) or Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber (APNP) can result in immediate cancellation of a license.

Can I remain anonymous?

Not entirely. Wisconsin has an open records law, which means that behavior report information is available to the reported driver. If this is a concern, you might want to discuss your concerns with the driver and suggest that the person stop driving or see a physician, physician assistant or APNP. The physician, physician assistant or APNP may be willing to send in a report. If you have good reason to remain anonymous and will not provide information otherwise, you may request a Pledge of Confidentiality form MV3454. You must sign this form in the presence of a WisDOT representative before we accept the information. Even with a signed/accepted pledge of confidentiality, your identity will remain confidential only to the extent permitted by law. This means a judge or court of law could require WisDOT to release your name to the driver.

Do medical professionals report unsafe drivers?

They can. But, Wisconsin does not have a mandatory reporting law, but a physician, physician assistant or APNP may report concerns about a patient's driving ability to WisDOT without informed consent of the patient. This applies to anyone whose physical or mental condition may affect his/her ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, based on the health care professionalís judgment.

Reports from health care professionals are considered confidential because they contain medical information. However, the information is available to the driver.

Questions? Contact us: Wisconsin DMV email service
Call: (608) 266-2327
Fax: (608) 267-0518

Last modified: September 13, 2012
BDS/QIS/MRU

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