Topic:
MEDICAL CARE; DRIVER LICENSES; EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES;
Location:
MOTOR VEHICLES - LICENSES;

OLR Research Report


May 21, 2004

 

2004-R-0432

MEDIC ALERT SYMBOL ON DRIVER'S LICENSE

By: James J. Fazzalaro, Principal Analyst

You asked if any of the surrounding states provide for placing the “medic alert” symbol on their drivers' licenses and if this has ever been the subject of legislation in Connecticut.

None of the states surrounding Connecticut appear to provide for such a designation on their drivers licenses. We were unable to find any Connecticut legislative proposals to provide for this in the last 10 years.

The practice of providing a medic alert designation on a driver's license does not appear to be widespread. However, we were able to identify four states where it appears to be done. These states are Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, and Mississippi. Only Mississippi appears use the actual symbol as shown below.

Arizona uses the term “Medic Alert” on the front of the license (no picture available). Iowa shows the medic alert designation along with the organ donor designation in a separate box on the front of the license as shown below.

We found no indication of these three states requiring this by statute, although Arizona does have a law that requires the licensing agency to provide a space where a licensee may indicate that he suffers from some type of adverse medical condition using a medical code prescribed by the licensing agency. To avail himself of this, the licensee must present a signed physician's statement saying that he suffers from the indicated condition (A.R.S. Sec. 28-3167). We could not determine if this is the basis of the medic alert designation, or if it is done administratively.

However, Minnesota apparently does provide for the medic alert designation statutorily. It requires the licensing agency, upon the written request of the applicant, to issue a driver's license or Minnesota non-driver identification card bearing a medical alert identifier. The applicant must request the medic alert identifier at the time his photograph or electronically reproduced image is taken. We were unable to find out what form this designation takes on the license (Minn. Stat. Sec. 171.07 subd. 6).

While we limited our search for medic alert designations to an actual symbol or written term that appears on the face of the license, it may be possible that some states could be providing similar information through code designations or restrictions that are not obvious on the license.

JF:ro