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Hello, I'm a type 1 diabetic and I'm getting ready to take my driving test. I'm hearing all kinds of stories from my friends. I don't know if I should talk to my doctor about this or not. I happen to live in Florida. So far I have been able to keep my BG levels under control. I'm very strict about my diet and I exercise regularly. I've experience a few hypos but they were mild and I haven't required any assistance. I just don't know what I'll do if they ask me questions. I'll probably get nervous about it and say the wrong thing. Need advice! Thanks.

 

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Hello, If you are in the U.S. then both commercial and private driving licenses are subject to the laws in different states. Most states are very different on their approach to determining medical fitness and have different rules depending on the medical issues. Who is evaluated in terms of their diabetic condition depends on hypos and other complications depends on the laws of a given state. So, each state identifies drivers with diabetes (type 1 and type 2) in different ways. At least half of the states will ask you directly if you have diabetes or you may be required to identify yourself if you have diabetes. Some states will ask a general question such as do you have a medical condition that is likely to cause some form of altered perception or loss of consciousness while your are driving. If you answer yes, you will probably be required to submit a medical evaluation before you can be issued a license.

 

If you have experienced hypos while driving, even if it didn't cause an accident, you will probably be required to be evaluated for fitness to continue to drive. Keep in mind that if you have experienced hypos while not driving and your doctor reports you/or hospital, you may be asked to relinquish you license or it won't be renewed if you are renewing it at that time. Some doctors are required to report your diabetic issues in a few states. In other states, doctors are permitted to make reports but it's up to them if they want to or not. If your doctor feels that you are dangerous to the public on the road, chances are the will report you. If you are reported by a physician chances are your driving privileges will be taken away for some period of time, usually 3 to 6 months or perhaps longer. There is leniency if you have had one hypo event due to changes in medication.

 

If you have to be evaluated due to an episode it could be as simple as a doctor clearing you or could involve a state medical advisory board, hearings, and presentation and assessment of medical evidence. But, keep in mind the federal government has no specific restrictions for diabetics who manage their disease with diet, exercise and/or medications. Overly, you should be okay if you haven't had any serious hypos needing help.

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