Diabetics and Driver's Licenses

I have been told that when we diabetics go for a driver’s license and are asked that special question: “do you have any physical or mental conditions preventing you from properly operating a motor vehicle” that we should answer yes. I’ve also been told that if you answer “yes, I’m diabetic” your license is renewed for only one year at a time and you have to go to a special center for some sort of testing to actually get your license each time.

I never answered “yes” and I’m not planning on it either for a few reasons.

  1. I don’t get the importance of it. The only person who would see this and care would be the police -if they stop you for driving like you are drunk, but in that case they wouldn’t care anyway because they have heard all kinds of excuses in the career and will do a field sobriety test anyway.
  2. I have plenty of identification indicating I’m type 1 diabetic (Medical Alert Bracelet, Wallet Card etc) so if I’m in an accident and unconscious the EMS won’t have any trouble knowing what kind of help I need.
  3. This “testing center” I must go to is a 3 hour drive from where I live (2 hours at my speeds) and I don’t have that kind of time to take road trips once a year for no good reason.

So am I missing something? Is there another reason I haven’t been told that will change my mind? Do you guys answer “yes” to that question?


I somewhat disagree. It’s idiots on cellphones, but it’s the idiots that are texting while driving that are far worse than talking while driving.

no I dont tell them because I am super conscience of testing before I get in the car and get behind the wheel and if I go somewhere before I start the car i test . and yes I agree with others who say cell phones are a bigger danger than diabetics behind the wheel .

wow lucky you where do you live ? that is just ridiculous for you to have been going through that for all this time . I am glad you get it off of there finally .


WOW - how you change your TUNE.

I did… and basically I just have a note on my account that I’m diabetic and use insulin. They don’t require any medical tests or doctor’s letters and I don’t have to renew my license any more often. I always test before I get in the car, and I would regardless of what info was on my license.

I do not however, tell them I wear glasses - until I can’t pass the vision test without mine, that’s one designation I’d rather not have. My vision correction is not that strong, and I can “see” without them, I just see better with them :slight_smile: But I’d rather not get ticketed for wearing non-RX sunglasses while driving… if I were to get pulled over for something, that is :slight_smile:

Can’t you always say that you’re wearing contacts if you get cited for wearing non-RX sunglasses?

I’m afraid I don’t understand. Who’s changing their tune and on what?

I’ve always checked “no” but thought maybe I was alone in doing so. Your situation is exactly what I was afraid would happen if I said “yes.”

The next question I guess is: are there any legal complications to this if we are required by law to check yes? For example, if for some reason I was pulled over because the officer thought I was drunk, did the sobriety tests and then I told him I’m diabetic but license didn’t have the restriction are we liable for a fine or something.

Not that I’m ever planning on driving with low or unknown BG numbers.

No. And I agree with Dave. The real danger are people on cell phones and little old ladies that can barely see over the dashboard. No offense to little old ladies out there.

It’s just a liability thing. Lots of us here on TuD are vigil with our BG, but imagine if a diabetic overcorrected and was on the road with a 40 or below BG, becomes unaware of his surroundings, and hits someone/something. It’s probably best to say “NO” on a question like that if you have great control, cause like Danny, you’d go through a lengthy process just to have the privilege of driving. Also, it assumes automatically guilt on a diabetic, like we’re a danger on the road.

When I first got my license, I don’t think I mentioned it.

When I moved to another state, I wrote it down. They didn’t care. (Which is ridiculous, because I get low more than I should. But I also don’t drive.) So my only restriction is glasses (and, since I’m blind without mine, I don’t mind having that down there). It probably depends on where you live and who’s working at the DMV the day you apply.

I also said no. And will continue to. I will also ALWAYS check my blood sugar before driving.

I admit that I have checked my blood sugar while driving before. That puts me in the same category as the stupid cell phone people. So I made a promise to myself to pull over when I want to test.

I check NO. But it depends on the state. Some have questions specifically asking about diabetes. When I had to indicate I had diabetes I had an annual review where I had to send a current letter from my MD. No letter, no license. Then I moved accross state lines 20 miles from my previous address and they had no such question and I didn’t have to think about. When I came to Washignton 7 years ago, I answered no.
I understand why they ask but am I worse than the old man with cataracts, a nonfunctioning hearing aid, and a wife in the passenger seat of the RV yelling at him. Or the high school kid texting with the stereo so loud he can’t hear the sqeal of the tires as someone is about to hit him.

Well, when I started driving at 16 - against my wishes I might add - as I wasn’t interested in driving a car - happy with my 2 wheeler - 3 speed - my Dad said “Every woman must learn how to drive” - or something to that effect.

I remember having to say I wore glasses - not sure about the diabetes bit (I lived in Ontario at the time). When I arrived in the province of Quebec - somehow diabetes came into play. Do I regret saying I’m a diabetic - I don’t think so - but it has made me feel like I’m handicapped with what I go thru’ every 2 years. Read my blog and maybe you’ll understand.

Oh - and yes to a few of you about people on cell phones - they are dangerous on the road. Here in Quebec we have a law against driving with cell phones - if I was a police officer I would have my ticket book filled up within a few hours - people still yack on those things - don’t do shoulder checks as they change lanes whilst conversing/texting to their loved one, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I have never said yes to that question I am not dealing with all that crap

I ALWAYS check" No"

God Bless,

I lived in Dallas, TX when I was diagnosed with T1. When I started on fast acting insulin, it occured to me that I would generally prefer to have some note on my record, that should I be pulled over, or should I be pulled over on the side of the road already, and the officer checks on me, to know to ask about my diabetes, and or call an EMS first rather than arrest me.

So I took time off or work, went down to the DMV, and politely told them that i wanted to add someting to my record, etc.
Turns out that there was no such way to do it. I either told them that I was a poorly controlled diabetic (which I am generally not, and would likely result in my drivers licencse being suspended or probation or some such) or noything would be added to my file. AFter 1 hour at the DMV talking to this woman, I realized it was way too much trouble for her, for me, for the system to do as I wanted, and the alternative wouldn’t serve anyone.

so I left, and will continue to check NO, even though I really wish there was an optional space to say: I am a WELL controlled diabetic with no incidents on my record, however, please note that I take insulin and would appreciate any officer that encounters me for unsual behaviour to be aware of this, and to call an EMS as a precaution.

or some such version of the above.

Oh well…