Medical Affairs Overview

decorative Caduceus medical symbolThe Medical Affairs Branch of the Registry of Motor Vehicles is a division of the Driver Licensing Department. Medical Affairs has 2 main functions:

  1. the branch is responsible for the issuance of disabled plates and placards; and
  2. the branch sets policies and procedures regarding minimum physical qualifications to operate motor vehicles.

Disabled Plates and Placards

The Medical Affairs Branch issues disabled plates and placards to qualified Massachusetts residents who meet our eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria to obtain a disabled plate or placard were developed in consultation with the Registry of Motor Vehicle's Medical Advisory Board and in accordance with federal guidelines governing the issuance of disabled plates and placards. For further information regarding applications for plates and placards, you may contact the Registry at 857-368-8000. Refer to our telephone center page for more information.

Physical Qualifications To Operate Motor Vehicles

The Medical Affairs Branch is primarily responsible for setting agency policies and procedures regarding physical qualifications for operator licensing. The Branch sets its policies in accordance with recommendations made by the Registry's Medical Advisory Board. The Medical Advisory Board is appointed to the Registry by statute, Mass. Gen. Laws c. 90, sec. 8C, and consists of a panel of approximately 15 physicians of varying specialties. Currently, the Medical Affairs Branch has set minimum standards for vision qualifications, loss of consciousness and seizure conditions, and cardiovascular and respiratory conditions. When the Registry has cause to believe that a person may be unable to operate a motor vehicle due to any other condition not specifically addressed by the Registry's minimum standards, the Medical Affairs Branch shall conduct an individualized assessment of that person's qualifications to operate a motor vehicle safely.


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Massachusetts Department of Transportation

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