Epilepsy Policy

As of June 16, 1998:

The following standard is applicable to all persons applying for a School Bus Operator Certificate or Class 7D or 7D½ School Pupil Transport Vehicle Learner's Permit or License.

For the purpose of this standard, "physician" is defined as "a medical doctor who is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."

The Registrar, or his designee, may require such additional evidence of the applicant or licensee's medical qualification criteria as she deems appropriate, or may modify this standard as an individual case may require.

  1. Epilepsy standard:

    Any licensee or applicant for a school bus operator certificate or class 7D or 7D½ school pupil transport vehicle learner's permit or license who has a current diagnosis of epilepsy is not eligible to receive a certificate or license. The Registry of Motor Vehicles Medical Advisory Board has determined that individuals who have a current diagnosis of epilepsy, even if controlled through treatment, present a significant threat to their own safety and to the safety of the children they are transporting, and may interfere with their ability to perform the duties and responsibilities associated with operating these types of vehicles.

    Based upon the advice of the Medical Advisory Board, the Registrar has determined that operators who do not have a current diagnosis of epilepsy have a significantly reduced risk of harm to themselves and to their passengers as well as a reduced risk of impairment while performing the duties and responsibilities associated with operating school pupil transport vehicles, and therefore are eligible to hold a school bus operator's certificate or 7D or 7D½ license, unless the Registrar has cause to believe that such person cannot operate safely in a particular case.

  2. Policies applicable to existing school bus operator's certificates and school pupil transport vehicle licenses:

    An individual who is unable to meet the medical qualification standards contained in the Vision, Epilepsy, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular/Respiratory Disease Policy Statements of June 16, 1998, but who held a valid school bus operator's certificate or Class 7D or 7D½ school pupil transport vehicle license or learner's permit as of the effective date of such policy statements, shall be eligible to retain or renew such certificate or license, provided:

    1. he or she satisfies the medical qualification standards in effect immediately prior to the effective date of this policy (which are set forth in Appendix A); and
    2. he or she provides a certification from his or her physician that, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the individual is medically qualified to safely operate a school bus or school pupil transport vehicle, as the case may be and perform the other functions associated with such operation; and
    3. the Registry has no other cause to believe, based upon the individual's driving history or otherwise, that the individual cannot safely operate such motor vehicle.

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Massachusetts Department of Transportation

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