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General Laws

Section 22I. (a) For the purposes of this section, “health care provider” shall mean a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, physician, physician assistant, psychologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, optometrist, ophthalmologist, osteopath or podiatrist who is a licensed health care provider under chapter 112.

(b) If a health care provider acting in his professional capacity or law enforcement officer has reasonable cause to believe that an operator is not physically or medically capable of safely operating a motor vehicle or has a cognitive or functional impairment that will affect that person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, the health care provider or officer may make a report to the registrar, requesting medical evaluation of the operator’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle; provided, however, that such report shall not be made solely on the basis of age. The report shall state the health care provider’s or officer’s good faith belief that the operator cannot safely operate a motor vehicle and shall disclose the medical information underlying his good faith belief in his report to the registrar. The good faith belief shall be based upon personal observation, physical evidence, or, in the case of a law enforcement officer, an investigation which shall be described in the report. A report regarding an operator’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle shall not be based solely on the diagnosis of a medical condition or cognitive or functional impairment, but shall be based on observations or evidence of the actual affect of that condition or impairment on the operator’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

A health care provider or law enforcement officer who reports, in good faith, pursuant to this section shall be immune from civil liability that might otherwise result from making the report. A health care provider or law enforcement officer who does not report shall be immune from civil liability that might otherwise result from not making the report.

(c) Not later than 30 days after receipt of the report, the registrar shall conduct a review to determine the operator’s capacity for continued licensure to operate a motor vehicle. The commissioner of public health shall, in consultation with the registrar and with medical experts on cognitive or functional impairments, and with the medical advisory board established in section 8C, promulgate regulations designating the cognitive or functional impairments that are likely to affect a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. The registrar shall consider information contained in a report under subsection (b) in determining whether to issue or suspend a license to operate a motor vehicle.

(d) A report to the registry pursuant to this section shall be confidential and shall be used by the registrar only to determine a person’s qualifications to operate a motor vehicle. All reports made and all medical records reviewed and maintained by the registry under this section shall be confidential, or upon written request of the respondent to examine any medical records or reports made about the respondent under this section.

A report made under this section shall not be a public record as defined in section 7 of chapter 4.

The registrar shall include the information about the procedures authorized in this section on the electronic website of the registrar.

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