Gateway Gazette

Improving Access to Driver Medical Exams

Nurse practitioners are now authorized to complete driver medical examination forms.

Before this regulation amendment, only physicians could complete driver medical examination forms in Alberta. Driver medical examinations are required at specified intervals for drivers age 75 or older, commercial drivers, and those with certain medical conditions.

“Nurse practitioners are already able to complete the tasks to assess a driver’s medical fitness, but they are not legally allowed to conduct a driver medical exam and fill out the driver medical form in Alberta. This change is long overdue and will reduce red tape while increasing Albertans’ access to services without affecting safety on our roads.”Ric McIver, Minister of Transportation

“Our government is creating another way for Albertans to benefit from the skills of nurse practitioners as part of our broader strategy to allow all health-care professionals to work to their full competence and give Albertans more choice and better access to services.”Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“Nurse practitioners have advanced qualifications that enable them to provide independent primary care in Alberta. This is a welcome change and will give nurse practitioners more opportunities to work to their full scope of practice. We will continue to work with government to support nurse practitioners’ expanded role in our health system.”Mary-Elizabeth Cooper, president, Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta

“CARNA is pleased Albertans will now benefit from the skills and professionalism of nurse practitioners with this amendment. Keeping Albertans safe on our roads is critical and nurse practitioners are an ideal health-care profession to help safeguard the licensing process.”Dennie Hycha, council president, College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta

The government will engage with other health-care professional regulatory colleges to determine if other health-care providers are also qualified to conduct driver medical examinations. 

Quick facts

  • The amendment to the Operator Licensing and Vehicle Control Regulation authorizes nurse practitioners to complete driver medical examinations.
  • About 150,000 driver’s medical examination forms are filed with Alberta Transportation each year. Most are for individuals applying for a commercial driver’s licence.
  • Driver’s medical examinations are required for:
    • Class 3, 5, 6 and 7 licences at age 75, age 80 and every two years after age 80
    • Class 1, 2 and 4 commercial driver’s licences every  five years until age 45, every two years after age 45 until age 65, and annually after age 65
    • Medically-at-risk drivers
  • Allowing nurse practitioners to complete driver medical examinations is not considered a change in responsibilities, as the tasks they complete when assessing a driver’s medical fitness are already within their regulated scope of practice under the Health Professions Act.

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