The PennDot Drivers License Medical Recall

In Pennsylvania, when a person is examined by a doctor and diagnosed with a disorder or disability that renders that person “incompetent” to operate a motor vehicle, that doctor must notify PennDot within then (10) days of the examination. Common ailments that render a person “incompetent” to operate a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania are: seizures, poor eye sight, and drug or alcohol addiction. When PennDot receives that notice from the doctor they then send out a notice to the driver advising them that their driver’s license is being “recalled” due to their condition. In the plainest terms, they are telling you they think you are too sick or infirm to drive a car – so they are not going to let you. Now what to do?

Once a driver gets the recall notice, they have thirty (30) days to appeal PennDot’s decision. There is a problem here – the driver does not get to keep their license pending their appeal unless the driver submit, and pass, a PennDot medical examination (and who wants to do that?) or produce independent competent medical evidence, usually from a doctor of their own choosing, that can convince a judge the driver is not so much of a danger as not let let the driver keep their license until the appeal is heard. This in itself can can require some pretty fancy footwork by the lawyer that the driver has hopefully retained to keep his license. Which begs the question – “What does the lawyer do for the client in a case like this”?

Firstly, the lawyer must make sure that the client may keep his license pending his appeal as mentioned above. Next, the lawyer must keep PennDot from taking it at all. This issue very often falls into the lap of a Court of Common Pleas Judge. This is because, at some point, the driver will have a court hearing on whether this alleged medical condition actual does disqualify the client from driving safely. Here, the Pa. medical license recall attorney’s job is to: cross examine PennDot’s medical evidence AND present the client’s own evidence, from his own expert medical professional, and persuade the judge that Penndot has not carried their burden of showing that he client suffers from a medical condition that renders them “incompetent” to operate a car. If the lawyer is successful, he has earned his money and the client goes home with his drivers license. Good stuff.

Michael Ortiz

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