Monday, September 12, 2011

Medical Information on Georgia Drivers Licenses

Georgia drivers with certain medical conditions can now choose to have their conditions listed on the back of their Georgia driver's license or state identification card. The Georgia Department of Driver Services now has 16 conditions which may be included on the license, including pacemaker, autism, hearing loss, seizures, brain injury, and diabetes. Other conditions could be added in the future according to Susan Sports, a spokeswoman with the state agency.

Having the information on a driver's license could aid emergency responders in knowing how to best treat people who may be unconscious, advocates say. The information could help law officers determine whether a medical condition, such as a brain injury, may be affecting treatment or behavior.

The information may also be especially helpful for people with hearing loss who are unable to hear instructions or communicate well with law enforcement.

The decision to give motorists the option of having the information was prompted by a state Senate bill signed into law last year that allows people with post-traumatic stress disorder to put a notation on their licenses. "It could make the difference in saving a life," said state Sen. Ronald Ramsey, D-Decatur.

Participation in the new program is voluntary. Forms are available online that need to be filled out by the applicant and submitted at the time of obtaining a license or ID card. For some (non-obvious) conditions, verification from a doctor will also be required.

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