321.186  Examination of new or incompetent operators.

The department may examine every new applicant for a driver's license or any person holding a valid driver's license when the department has reason to believe that the person may be physically or mentally incompetent to operate a motor vehicle, or whose driving record appears to the department to justify the examination. The examinations shall be held in every county within periods not to exceed fifteen days except that the driving skills test for a commercial driver's license shall be given only at locations where required driving skills may be adequately tested, including pretrip and off-road examinations. The department shall make every effort to accommodate a functionally illiterate applicant when the applicant is taking a knowledge test. The department shall make every effort to have an examiner conduct the commercial driver's license driving skills tests at other locations in this state where skills may be adequately tested when requested by a person representing ten or more drivers requiring driving skills testing.

The department shall make every effort to accommodate a commercial driver's license applicant's need to arrange an appointment for a driving skills test at an established test site other than where the applicant passed the required knowledge test. The department shall report to the governor and the general assembly on any problems, extraordinary costs and recommendations regarding the appointment scheduling process.

The examination shall include a screening of the applicant's eyesight, a test of the applicant's ability to read and understand highway signs regulating, warning, and directing traffic, a test of the applicant's knowledge of the traffic laws of this state, an actual demonstration of ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motor vehicle and other physical and mental examinations as the department finds necessary to determine the applicant's fitness to operate a motor vehicle safely upon the highways. However, an applicant for a new driver's license other than a commercial driver's license need not pass a vision test administered by the department if the applicant files with the department a vision report in accordance with section 321.186A which shows that the applicant's visual acuity level meets or exceeds those required by the department.

A physician licensed under chapter 148, 150, or 150A, or an optometrist licensed under chapter 154, may report to the department the identity of a person who has been diagnosed as having a physical or mental condition which would render the person physically or mentally incompetent to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner. The physician or optometrist shall make reasonable efforts to notify the person who is the subject of the report, in writing. The written notification shall state the nature of the disclosure and the reason for the disclosure. A physician or optometrist making a report under this section shall be immune from any liability, civil or criminal, which might otherwise be incurred or imposed as a result of the report. A physician or optometrist has no duty to make a report or to warn third parties with regard to any knowledge concerning a person's mental or physical competency to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner. Any report received by the department from a physician or optometrist under this section shall be kept confidential. Information regulated by chapter 141A shall be subject to the confidentiality provisions and remedies of that chapter.

Section History: Early form

  [C31, 35, § 4960-d14; C39, § 5013.12; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 321.186]

Section History: Recent form

  90 Acts, ch 1230, § 31; 92 Acts, ch 1175, § 32; 98 Acts, ch 1029, §1; 98 Acts, ch 1073, §9; 99 Acts, ch 181, §16

Internal References

  Referred to in § 321.180, 321.180A, 321.180B

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