COVID-19 and your driver's licence

Diabetes SA CEO, Angelique Pasalidis, recently sent a letter to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles in SA regarding an extension to the requirements for some drivers to periodically submit a Certificate of Fitness (medical) for driver licensing purposes.

We are pleased to advise that the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) have indicated that medicals will only be required for those drivers deemed the highest road safety risk. This means that all other medicals will be delayed, thereby reducing the demand on the health sector during COVID-19.

Our approach to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure in SA was part of a national approach by Diabetes Australia, Australian Diabetes Educators Association and the Australian Diabetes Society to advocate for changes for people with diabetes. This was supported by the state and territory CEO’s, who leveraged this approach to write to their state/territory Registrars for Motor Vehicles. A great result for people living with diabetes.

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure have advised that medical due dates will be extended under the following circumstances:

  1. Licence holders with the class C, R, RD or LR will have their due dates extended by 6 months

  2. Licence holders without a medical condition with class MR. HR, HC and MC will have their due dates extended by 12 months

  3. Driver accreditation holders will have their due dates extended by 12 months 4) Licence holders with class C that are 75 years or older will have the due date for submitting their medical self-assessment extended by 12 months.

Medicals will still be required in accordance with the usual due dates for the following persons:

  1. Licence holders with the class of MR, HR, HC or MC that have a medical condition

  2. Driver accreditation holders with a medical condition

  3. Licence holders whom a medical professional or the South Australian Police have advised are not medically fit to drive.

The DPTI have advised that in line with measures being taken to restrict prolonged close contact with people and social distancing the DPTI has ceased conducting Practical Driving Assessments to assess drivers’ ability and fitness to drive. Where a client is required to undertake an assessment, they will be unable to do so until further notice.

With consideration for the safety of all road users, if a licence holder is required to sit an assessment to determine their ability to drive safely and comply with the Australian Road Rules, their licence will be suspended. Temporary driver permits will be issued on a case by case basis for licence holders, where it is reasonable to do so, which will include restrictions on driving for essential travel only. These permits will be in place until such time as assessments are resumed, and the licence holder can successfully pass an assessment.

All these measures will be communicated to licence holders both online and via an additional insert included in medical that are sent out prior to the new extended due date.

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