Epilepsy and Driving in Ontario

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In accordance with the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, the Ministry of Transportation makes all decisions about driver’s licences in Ontario.

You may drive with a seizure disorder in Ontario, if:

  • medication appears to have prevented your seizures AND:
    • you have been free from seizures for six months and your medication does not cause drowsiness or poor coordination.
    • your physician believes you are a conscientious patient who will take your medication responsibly and follow all the physician’s instructions carefully.
    •  you are under regular medical supervision and your physician believes you will report to him/her immediately should any further seizure(s) occur.
  • you have had a single spontaneous seizure unrelated to any toxic illness and for which a full neurological examination reveals no form of epileptic activity.
  • you have had seizures only during sleep or immediately upon awakening (nocturnal seizures) for at least five years.
  • you have been seizure-free for at least six months, but had a seizure after decreasing medication under your physician’s advice and supervision. You may drive once you have resumed taking your previous medication at the prescribed dosage.

If your doctor has already submitted a report to the Ministry, then you will usually receive a request from the Ministry either to provide detailed medical information within a reasonable time frame or to have your license suspended. This is usually the case, which allows the Ministry to confirm whether a suspension is warranted.

Alternatively, the Ministry may choose to send a notice of suspension with a letter of explanation instead.

Reinstating a license after suspension

When reinstating your licence or appealing the decision to suspend your licence, you may consider the following options:

1. You may submit further medical information with the aid of your physician.

The Ministry requires a detailed favourable report from a treating physician or specialist on the physician’s letterhead. The report must be specific to the condition reported and the history details already on file. Provide all the details of your condition including history, treatment, compliance, control and the results of any tests or investigations. The report should include:

  • the results of all investigations initiated by the doctor,
  • the cause for the seizure, prescribed treatment, and
  • current status with confirmation that no further seizures have occurred.

The Ministry will not reinstate your license unless it has full disclosure of your condition and its stability. Upon receiving the requested information, the case will be reviewed and the driver will be notified of a decision (by mail) within approximately two to six weeks.

2. You may discuss your suspension face-to-face with a Ministry of Transportation representative at an Administrative Review. This is an opportunity to provide in your own words any information you believe the Ministry did not know or consider when making their decision. To arrange an appointment, you may contact the Driver Improvement Office of the Ministry of Transportation.

3. You may also put your case down on paper, send it to the Ministry and ask for a reply. Be sure to state clearly in your covering letter that you want your written submission to substitute for attending an Administrative Review.

If these steps are unsuccessful, and you still believe the Ministry has erred in suspending your licence, you may proceed to a more formal hearing before the License Suspension Appeal Board. At this hearing, you may present your case in writing, orally, or with representation. To arrange an appeal date, contact the Ministry (see below) for an application form. There is a $25 fee for this form.

If you require further information or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact the Driver Improvement Office, Medical Review Section of the Ministry of Transportation.

Useful Agencies and Organizations

Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped (ARCH) Disability Law Centre

Law Society of Upper Canada – Lawyer Referral Service
416-947-3330 (within GTA)

Ontario Ministry of Transportation – Driver Improvement
Medical Review Section: 416-235-1773 or 1-800-268-1481

Ontario Human Rights Commission
Head Office: 416-314-4500
Human Rights Inquiries: (416) 326-9511 or 1-800-387-9080

Financial Services Commission of Ontario – Ontario Insurance Commission

Legal Aid Ontario
416-979-1446 or 1-800-668-8258
GTA Office: 416-598-0200 or 1-800-668-8258

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care

If driving is not an option, electric bicycles may be a suitable alternative. Click here to learn more about e-bike regulations.

Click here to learn more about Living with Epilepsy.

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