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Driver Ability Program

Driving on Indiana Roads is a way of life for many Indiana Residents. One may spend years honing their physical and mental abilities to maintain independent driving privileges. In time, one may experience a life changing event that could alter their ability to maintain safe driving practices. A life changing event could be a potential physical, mental or vision disability. The Driver Ability Department for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is tasked with investigating requests for reviews of Indiana drivers who may be showing signs of diminished driving skills.

About the Driver Ability Program

The Driver Ability Department, at its discretion, may initiate an investigation to consider the invalidation, revocation or restriction of a driver’s privileges upon a written request for driver ability review. All requests for driver ability review must be submitted on State Form 54750.

The form must be completed in its entirety and mailed or faxed to:

Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Attn: Driver Ability Department
100 N Senate Ave RM 481
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Fax Number: (317) 974-1614

Once the completed form is received, the Driver Ability Department will thoroughly review the information submitted and determine if further investigation is necessary.

  • Who can request a review?
    1. Medical Professionals 
    2. Law Enforcement
    3. Court Officials
    4. Power of Attorney 
    5. Family Members
    6. Any concerned citizen
  • What would you need to know when completing a request for a review?
    • Driver’s name, date of birth, address, and driver’s license number or enough information for the Driver Ability Department to identify the individual. 
    • The reason for requesting the review. 
    • The requestor’s name, address, affiliation, signature and date. 
    • A review will only be accepted on the Request for Driver Ability Review form (State Form 54750). The form must be completed in its entirety.

    The Driver Ability Department will not process any reviews from an anonymous source.

  • What should you expect after a request for review?

    If the Driver Ability Department feels a review is warranted, they will notify the driver via mail within 10-14 business days. The notice will state that the Bureau of Motor Vehicles Driver Ability Department is investigating their safety to operate a motor vehicle. The notice will also include the Medical Review Form (State Form 54747). This form must be completed by the driver’s primary care or treating physician (one that knows their medical history).

    The driver will have 60 days from the date of the notice to comply with the request. Failure to comply by not returning the information requested will result in the automatic invalidation of their driving privileges.

    The Driver Ability Department, upon reviewing the provided information, may take one of the following actions:

    • Request additional medical information  
    • Request additional vision information 
    • Request a behind the wheel driving evaluation with a BMV approved Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS) 
    • Require restrictions to be added on driver’s credential  
    • Follow up for information every 6,12 or 24 months 
    • Revocation of driving privileges 
    • No further action

    If the Driver Ability Department requests additional information the driver will have 60 days from the date of notice to comply.

    Failure to comply will result in the automatic invalidation of their driving privileges.

  • Where are evaluations completed?

    The driving evaluation cannot be completed at your local license branch. The driver will need to refer to the list of Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists attached to the notice.

    Before enrolling in the behind-the-wheel evaluation the driver will need to contact their primary care or treating physician for a written referral. The referral will need to be provided to the CDRS; not the Driver Ability Department. 

  • What should you expect after the Driver Ability determination?

    If the driver should disagree with the Driver Ability determination provided they may request an Administrative Hearing. This request must be submitted in writing within 18 days from the date of the determination notice. 

    The following information will need to be included in the request:

    • Drivers Full Name 
    • Date of Birth 
    • Driver’s License Number 
    • A copy of the notice mailed to customer 
    • Address on file

    A typed or handwritten letter stating that the driver is requesting an Administrative Hearing.

    • Please include any new evidence or documentation you wish to have considered in regards to the hearing.

    This information will need to be mailed to the following address:

    Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
    Attn: Hearings Department
    100 N Senate Ave RM N404
    Indianapolis, IN 46204

  • What happens if a driver is unable to pass a vision screening?

    If an Indiana Driver is unable to pass a vision screening at the local license branch, they will be provided with a Vision Certificate (Eye Referral State Form 22106) that must be completed by the drivers Ophthalmologist or Optometrist.  If an Indiana Driver already has been issued a “J” restriction for “Annual Vision Screening” or “Biennial Vision Screening” the driver must submit their Vision Certificate to the Driver Ability Department prior to the Vision Screening expiration date. A courtesy reminder will be mailed 60 days prior to the driver’s due date.

    The form must be completed in its entirety and mailed or fax to:

    Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
    Attn: Driver Ability Department
    100 N Senate Ave RM N481
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
    Fax Number: (317) 974-1614

    In the event that the driver’s acuity reading is a category #6 or #7, the driver is required to submit their visual fields.

    Listed below are the acceptable visual fields:

    1. Humphrey 120 full field point screener
    2. Esterman Monocular
    3. HVF Kinetic 
    4. Goldman III 4E
    5. An equivalent test that will obtain a 60 degree range or larger temporally from “Point of Fixation”. This test is required on each eye.

    Upon reviewing the provided information, the Driver Ability Department may take one of the following actions:

    • Request additional Vision Information 
    • Request a behind-the-wheel driving evaluation with a BMV approved Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS) 
    • Require restrictions be placed on driver’s license  
    • Follow up for additional information every 12 or 24 months 
    • Revocation of driving privileges 
    • No further action

    If a request is received for additional information the driver will have 60 days from the date of notice to comply.

    Failure to comply will result in the automatic invalidation of their driving privileges.

  • What are the requirements for individuals using a Bioptic lens?

    The Bureau of Motor Vehicles Driver Ability Department processes all applications for Bioptic Driving in Indiana. “Bioptic” refers to a severe visual impairment that requires a driver to wear a “Bioptic” lens to operate a motor vehicle.

    The driver must meet the following requirements in order to participate in the Indiana Bioptic Program:

    • Vision is no poorer than 20/200 with best ordinary spectacle correction.
    • Visual acuity must be at least 20/40 through a Bioptic telescope.
    • Magnifying power of the Bioptic telescope may not exceed 4X.
      • A higher magnification may be considered in special cases.
    • Full peripheral visual fields of at least 120 degrees in horizontal diameter.
    • Recognize standard traffic signal colors; red, green and yellow.
    • Adequate cognitive and perceptual skills to safely operate a motor vehicle.

    Individuals who wish to qualify for driving privileges in Indiana using a Bioptic lens must follow the process listed below.

    Driving Evaluation and Training for Bioptic Drivers

    Once the low vision specialist feels the applicant is able to effectively use the Bioptic system, the specialist will refer the applicant to a BMV-Approved/Certified Bioptic Driver Rehabilitation Program to schedule an initial assessment.

    The completed Certificate of Vision for Bioptic Driver, Visual Fields and the initial assessment results must be mailed or fax to:

    Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
    Attn: Driver Ability Department 
    100 N Senate Ave RM N481
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
    Fax Number: (317) 974-1614

    The Driver Ability Department upon reviewing the provided information may take one of the following actions or none:

    • Request additional Vision Information required 
    • Require restrictions required on driver’s license  
    • Follow up for information every 12 or 24 months 
    • Revocation of driving privileges

    If a request for additional information, the driver will have 60 days from the date of notice to comply.

    Failure to comply will result in the automatic invalidation of their driving privileges.

    Upon Completion of Rehabilitation Training

    • The rehabilitation specialist will notify the Driver Ability Department when the driver has completed the required training/assessments with the facility.
      • The Rehabilitation Center will notify the Senior Drive Examiner in the driver’s area to schedule their BMV driving skills test. 
      • The Driver Ability Department will send the driver’s file to the Senior Driver Examiner.
    • If the applicant does not complete the required Bioptic training, the rehabilitation specialist will notify the Driver Ability Department. The Driver Ability Department will notify the applicant in writing that their driving privileges will be revoked until the training is completed.

    A Bioptic driver can only hold a learner’s permit or operator’s license and is not eligible for a motorcycle endorsement.

    Out-of-State (OOS) Bioptic Drivers

    If the applicant currently holds an out-of-state driver’s license with a Bioptic driving restriction, the process below must be followed:

    The Driver Ability Department upon reviewing the provided information may take one of the following actions or none.

    • Request additional Vision Information required
    • Request a behind the wheel driving evaluation with a BMV approved Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS)
    • Require restrictions on driver’s license 
    • Follow up for information every 12 or 24 months
    • Revocation of driving privileges

    If we are requesting additional information the driver will have 60 days from the date of notice to submit that information back to the Driver Ability Department.

    Failure to comply will result in the automatic invalidation of their driving privileges.

  • How do you maintain your independence after retiring from driving?

    When the recommendation/decision to retire from driving are made, it can be very devastating for most Indiana Drivers. This does not necessarily mean your independence is being taken away. It just means it is time to make arrangements on alternative means of transportation for getting around to the store, pharmacy, medical appointments, etc. Take advantage of the following resources to identify possible ways to maintain your independence after retiring from driving:

    • Local City Bus Services
    • Senior Mobility Services
    • Uber/Lyft Apps
    • Taxi
    • Family Members
  • How do you obtain an identification card?

    When it comes time to retire from driving, the BMV wants to make sure you an alternative method of identification. You may visit any local license branch to get a valid identification card. For further instructions and necessary documents, please review the Real ID Overview webpage.

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