Ultimately, California DMV usually ask the driver for medical records, check with a doctor to complete an evaluation form, and/or require a driving test. San Diego lawyers know.
41,000 folks in 2011 had to prove their ability to drive after concerns about their driving were reported by police, doctors, friends, neighbors or others - even family members. Why? Dementia, physical disabilities, vision loss, impairment due to DUI / alcohol or drugs, and just plain lousy driving. 38,256 of those reported last year had their licenses suspended or revoked by California DUI.
Did you heard about the blind man who walked into California's DMV office in Santa Monica, took an eye test and left with a new driver's license?
Actually, that is not quite accurate. The gentleman did not walk out with his new license; DMV mailed it 2 weeks later.
According to the LA Times, seventy-two-year-old Mark Overland of Pacific Palisades, California is legally blind, with ninety-four % of his vision missing.
Mr. Overland has not driven for fifteen years because of his deteriorating vision. But he kept renewing his license by mail for the sake of having a valid ID. Five years ago, when he got a license renewal form, he noticed a portion that asked if he had any visual impairment that would affect his driving.
He checked off 'yes.'"
Asked what that might be, and Overland wrote "retinitis pigmentosa." That's a progressive condition in which peripheral vision is lost. Overland has a narrow tunnel of vision, and can see pretty well within that field. But anything to the right or left, up or down, is lost to him. He reportedly was more than a little surprised then to get his license in the mail a couple of weeks later.
After Overland received his latest renewal notice a month ago, it instructed him to go to a DMV office for a written test and eye exam. He was curious to see what would happen if he did not mention his disability, so he went to the DMV on Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica, with his daughter Courtney doing the driving. Overland thought briefly about entering the office with his white cane, but decided against it, and Courtney instead served as his guide.
Overland was called to the counter by a clerk and told to read the eye chart.
"I'm looking around, and I can't find it because it's not in my line of vision."
He located it and was able to read most of the letters, but not all of them. The clerk then had him peer into a machine for another eye test. Overland began to read, but Courtney reportedly watched the clerk scrunch his face and ask her Dad:
"Sir, what are you reading?"
Overland was looking at something other than the eye chart, which he hadn't yet located. Redirecting his line of vision, he found the chart and did well enough to pass. He later aced the written test, left the building at his daughter's side, and his new license arrived in the mail.
DMV says anyone with retinitis pigmentosa is required to take a driving test, and if that person fails, the license is revoked. According to the Los Angeles Times, California DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez could not say why Overland wasn't ordered to take a test 5 years ago, when he wrote his condition on his renewal form.