I've seen a fair number of discussions where folks puzzle whether they should drive or not. I have the opposite problem. My MS is long-term, stable R/R. I'm mobile, but not super-coordinated in the AM; I can drive fine in the PM's (while in remission.) So for decades, I've worked a PM job that involves some rural driving, and I have reasonable accommodations that include no scheduled driving before noon--although I can often drive safely by 10 AM, I don't want to stress or push myself to do something unsafe. I also avoid too-hot temps and radical temp shifts, but that's for all activities, not just driving, because I get painful paresthesia. I haven't touched alcohol in over a decade, never drank much, and never drove after drinking any alcohol.
I have always declared my condition to the DMV, noting "self-policing, no sudden onset of impairing symptoms." I pose no "direct threat" as defined under the ADA, and the CA DMV's own research shows that those of us who have moderate disabilities and self-restrict actually have fewer accidents than the general populace (which, of course, includes all those young guys who are actually the worst risk.)
I was dx'ed in Oregon in 1983; no problem with their DMV even though I got a temporary parking placard during an early attack which did affect my legs/mobility. Dut to obtaining that placard, I began declaring my MS, including when I returned to CA long-term in 1987. For a few years in the early 1990's, I did have a "medical probation" on my drivers license, but got it lifted when my neuro confirmed that I hadn't had any attacks in three years. Then routine drivers license renewals for 25 years...I did have a temporary condition (differentiation of systemic rheumatoid disease) four years ago which stopped almost all my driving for a bit over six months; however, I began taking low dose naltrexone, which put it into 95% remission over the course of approx four months, and may have even helped my MS a little bit, too! No lasting pain or effect on my driving, and according to DMV regs, that kind of issue doesn't need to be reported.
Suddenly, last year, at my renewal, the CA DMV wanted doctors' forms, a "hearing", and then a driving test. I went through the process. The result: my license was reissued with only my usual "corrective lenses" restriction. However, another result, of which I was not informed until I called six months later to try to get my "report", was annual reexam! I also must report if my condition worsens.
I have no moving violations, and no at-fault road accidents, in 45 years of driving. I strictly self-police. The DMV won't tell me what their specific concern is--"it must have been something you said during your hearing." My hearing was over the phone as RA, as the Safety Division is in a too-hot town in the summer where I never go for at least six months a year. My hearing officer wasn't happy ("people lie about their capabilities")...probably why I had to do the driving test, too.
I offered to come to the Safety Division earlier in the year. Their response: no, we won't review your file until your anniversary date. Then we'll decide whether you must come here for your hearing! They said if I don't show up for any of these appointments, that I will lose my license. (But don't worry; you can appeal to Sacramento!) And that if I do pass everything again, that I could still have to do annual reexam next year, indefinitely.
I'm already having issues at work concerning taking leave as a RA. Taking more for this is a real problem. And losing my license, even temporarily, will greatly impact my work, and could get me fired. I've worked at, loved, and performed very well at this job for 30+ years, and have no plans to leave it soon.
Apparently the CA DMV has more citizen complaints than any other CA state agency. I am not surprised.
I called an MS navigator; I was told to reach out in this forum, as there is no specific advocacy program for drivers license discrimination/harassment. Has anyone else had this experience with a DMV? I know there was a lawsuit in NC a while back, concerning folks with multiple disabilities. I am not a person who sits back and acts the victim. Please contact me if you've had a similar experience.
Thanks in advance,