Drivers License reveals

There has been much talk in South Dakota about requiring that the word “Diabetes” be placed on our driver’s license’ much like epilepsy is required. I am wondering what states now require this information, and if there are reprecussions if you don’t reveal the big “D”.


I couldn’t reply the way you wanted me to but in Maine, we have to let the DMV know if we have any medical conditions that could impair our ability to drive, including depression. We have to have a form filled out by our doctors letting the DMV know if we are responsible in caring for our condition. So really it’s our doctor’s say so.

I imagine, if you don’t reveal it, and you get in an accident or cause damage, you could have your license revoked and most likely be held liable if someone wanted to sue you for driving to endanger. Now that I say that, you could be held criminally liable for driving to endanger. At least, that’s what I’d guess. I’ll ask my brother in law, he’s on the police force here.


Texas requires you to disclose if you use insulin. I think it’s pretty unlikely that you would have any endorsements printed on your license as a result unless you had already been involved in an accident that was directly related to being diabetic and needed medical certification or something.

I wear glasses… to date, I can still pass the DMV’s eye exam, so I don’t get that lovely stamp on the back of mine.

My rule is, reveal the absolute minimum private information required. For instance as Devon notes, in Maine, you have to note any condition that impairs your ability to drive. If I took insulin, but have never had a hypo requiring assistance, then I would consider it appropriate to answer “no.” And I would be very hesitant to volunteer “depression.” As far as I am concerned DMV records are public information, and that information can and will be used against you.

It is my “D” and I will not voluntarily give up my right to health privacy.


So in Maine, you can get a commercial drivers license to drive a school bus (with kids on it) as an insulin dependent diabetic if your doctor certifies you have less than ONE severe hypo a month (

I’ll take my chances.

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I have mixed feelings about this… On one hand, it should be required because so often cops mistaken low blood sugars for being intoxicated. As a result of this, many diabetics are subject to forced arrest, and bodily harm, or even worse; being tasered, because of a cop(s) assumptions of driver being drunk.

On the other hand, this can cause unintended discrimination amongst the diabetic community in terms of job searches. Diabetics will start needing passports for IDs instead!

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ok, you are right. I still stand by my point. Although my wife finds me without a doubt an “unreasonable person” I think I am a “reasonable person” for making that interpretation. I could after all drive your kids to school.


In MA, if you lose consiousness due to a continuous medical disorder, you are supposed to turn in your license for 6 months. If after 6 months your doctor certifies that it hasn’t happened since, you can get your license back. You don’t have to report anything until you become a potential danger to drive.
I can’t believe that SD would print medical info (other than glasses) on an ID card! How does that not violate HIPPA rules? IDs are used for more than driving.


In the state of Florida it is not a requirement to have our license marked, however there is a voluntary program to have it marked that a medic alert tag is to be worn at all times. For the officer stopping me he’ll probably notice the markings on my license long before he notices the bracelet.

For those who are concerned about privacy and HIPPA and not having a license marked in that fashion which is stashed in your wallet or purse 98% of the time. . .how many stick their arms out everywhere they go with their medic alert bracelet hanging out for the whole world to see?

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I appreciate your discussion, Cathy… as I am a SD-licensed driver, T1DM for almost two years now, and in need of a new license next year after I turn 21. I am not sure what I will do yet…perhaps my parents have an opinion on this topic.

The point is that drivers license information is available publicly ( and can (and will) be used against you.

The medic alert is voluntary. I rarely wear mine and I don’t wear it when I think that its “too much info” like a job interview.
I use my licence alot as I’m 25. I wouldn’t want every bouncer to see my medical info on it. When you get a new job you have to show your ID, if you don’t have a passport. You have a right to not reveal medical info to a new job- you should have a choice.

I wouldn’t like it, but I can see the justification for it, not only to protect the public but to protect the diabetic.

As Yogiraji points out, diabetic drivers are sometimes mistaken for intoxicated drivers and mistreated. As the same time, what’s the difference between an intoxicated driver and a hypoglycemic driver? Not much. They’re both hazards to everyone else on the road. The only differences is that one should be arrested, the other should be given medical treatment.

Since driving is a privilege and not a right, drivers ought to have the burden of proving they’re capable of driving safely without creating a hazard to everyone else on the road.

It’s not a HIPPA issue. HIPPA applies to information we give to medical professionals with an expectation of privacy and prevents THEM from revealing it to others. This kind of rule requires US to reveal the information knowing in advance that it will be revealed. If you don’t want to reveal it, don’t apply for a license. Or you could lie about it.


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I should add to Maine that we don’t print “diabetic” or anything like that on the license. It just has a spot for a code for things like, “needs corrective lenses” is a “Restriction A” on my license, so I imagine if there were a medical restriction it would be like that.

I need a medical for diabetes every 2 years to get my license to drive a car.


i’ve been t1 for 50 years and driving for 34 and never once have i disclosed my ``condition.’’ i never will. none of the states where i’ve lived and been licensed require it and honestly, even it was required, i’d dodge it. i’ve never had an accident. in 50 years i’ve never had a seizure, never been to the hospital for a d-related event or even incapacitated by a high or a low in all those years. my record is pretty good. so, for me, it’s a non-issue.
as far as i’m concerned talking on a cell phone and texting are much bigger threats to my safety on the road than my BG.


Honestly, I think disclosing it is not going to protect you from ignorant cops who think you’re drunk, or from a lawsuit of the state or whoever blaming you for causing harm if you have a low… You will still be held responsible if you have a low. Sure, they’ll get mad if you don’t declare it… but if you do, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook in any way. A medical id bracelet is more effective than declaring that in your license… At least they’ll see THAT right away, rather than your license. And having to declare all the time that you’re Diabetic, and go through a physical every year, doesn’t curtail people from getting complacent about their lows, either… so it doesn’t ‘protect’ anyone, imho… I know someone right now with these issues, and they just don’t seem to care much… Sad, really. Not saying that we shouldn’t take care of ourselves, but the hassle of the DL is not worth it…

I don’t know in Missouri and frankly, its none of their business. I’ve never had an issue, knock wood, and I drive better than most of the morons I encounter. I’ve been asked and thought about saying something, but I don’t.

I do not have anything that states diabetic here in ok, but I have a restriction to have food within my reach while driving. I also have a glasses restriction but I have never even had a cop notice. Though they often notice the meter and glucose tabs sitting next to me.

In Minnesota we have to disclose if we have any conditions that COULD possibly impair our ability to drive. I’ve never had any problem with bg’s being low, and heck, I test before I drive to make sure I am able to do so safely, but diabetes COULD impair my ability to drive so I am obligated to note it.

Nothing special is printed on my card just because I am a diabetic, but because I am, I willingly chose to have a boxed “M” printed on my card to mark that I have a medical condition, which a police officer could then find by looking up my license information.

About this information being public record: it is no more public record than your social security number that you put on the same form to get your driver’s license. I would be more afraid of that been available to the public than the fact I am a diabetic.

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