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Driving Medicals

For the safety of everyone on our roads, The New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) requires all drivers to be medically fit to drive. You have to prove that you are medically fit every time you apply for, or renew or replace your driver licence. Mostly, this simply involves a declaration of any medical conditions. But you may be required to obtain a medical certificate where a condition you have may affect your ability to drive safely.

Once you turn 75 there are a few changes to the process for renewing your driver licence including that your new licence will be valid for only two to five years. You need to present a medical certificate each time you apply and if recommended by your doctor, you will have to sit a 30-minute On-road Safety Test.

In your driving medical your doctor will consider:

  • Your ability to drive safely, eg some people may not respond well to treatment, and therefore may not be able to drive at the end of the recommended minimum period of refraining from driving
  • Risk of serious motor crashes due to sudden driver failure, eg presence of any factors that may cause sudden loss of vision or sudden impairment of driving ability
  • Type of licence held and type of driving undertaken – professional drivers spend up to an entire working week in their vehicle, and that vehicle can weigh greater than 25,000kg or carry many passengers. A crash involving such a vehicle could put many people at risk.
  • In addition to the type of licence or endorsement held, the type of driving an individual undertakes should also be considered, e.g. if an individual regularly drives buses or unloads heavy vehicles
  • Medication – consider the effects of medications, and likely compliance with medications, on the individual’s ability to drive safely
  • Individual’s motor vehicle crash history (if known) – medical practitioners may need to recommend a longer period of refraining from driving if an individual has a history or pattern of crashes that may be associated with their condition. Where a medical practitioner is aware of a medically related crash, they must inform the Agency if the individual’s medical condition remains unresolved and the individual is likely to continue to drive
  • Presence of multiple medical conditions – where an individual has one or more medical conditions, consider any possible combined effects on their ability to drive safely

More information is available on driving medicals - click here   

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