State Laws About Driving With Oxygen in the US

State Laws About Driving With Oxygen in the US

You must know the state laws about driving with oxygen if you are on oxygen therapy. Yes, they exist, and you should know your limitations in using such equipment.

Each state may have different restrictions regarding this matter. In some cases, utilizing oxygen therapy while driving is highly discouraged due to certain risks.

Here are each state's existing laws when it comes to driving with supplemental oxygen.

 

Alabama

In Alabama, drivers applying for a license must state if they have an existing medical condition by answering two questions. The first one asks if they have a condition that affects their driving ability, including lung problems. The second is if they are currently in treatment with any of the mentioned medical conditions.

Conditions that affect respiratory functions are among the medical standards stated in the Code of Alabama, developed in 1975 and updated in 2005. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Dyspnea are some of the respiratory distress conditions that may require the use of oxygen even when driving.

However, the restrictions are solely based on the recommendations of the person's physician. If your doctor permits you to drive with some oxygen, Alabama's Medical Advisory Board (MBA) will likely allow you to drive. 

More Information:

https://casetext.com/regulation/alabama-administrative-code/title-760-alabama-law-enforcement-agency/chapter-760-x-20-medical-standards-for-driver-licensing

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Alaska

There are no existing laws in Alaska that discourages driving with oxygen. However, drivers are still required to undergo a physical examination to ensure that they can drive. The Alaska Admin Code also states that the department may require semi-annual examinations to see if a person's mental and physical state remains under control.

Even if your respiratory condition does not particularly affect your driving ability, you will still need a doctor's statement that proves your safety in operating a vehicle. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) would not issue a license to someone who has lost conscious control due to a medical condition in six (6) months. 

More Information:

https//www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Arizona

There are no specific laws in Arizona that say something about driving with oxygen. However, you will be required to mention upon application or re-license if you have a history of functional impairment, including respiratory problems. 

Suppose you have been previously determined by the court to be incapacitated. In that case, you should present valid court documents that indicate you are no longer hindered and now qualified for a re-license. You should report to the DMV if your condition worsens over time and how it may affect operating a vehicle.

Physicians are not required to report drivers with existing medical conditions that may affect their driving capacity, like several respiratory problems. Still, they can do so voluntarily if they deem it necessary.

More Information:

https//azdot.gov/motor-vehicles/driver-services/driver-license-information/medical-and-vision-screening#~text=You%20must%20have%20uncorrected%20vision,with%20a%20%E2%80%9CB%E2%80%9D%20restriction.

Arkansas

As of writing, there are no laws that prohibit the use of oxygen when driving within the state. However, there may still be some regulations to follow if you use a tank instead of a portable oxygen concentrator.

Consult your doctor on safely using a tank when driving and how you can ensure your safety and your passengers.

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

California

In California, a code authorizes the DMV to refuse to issue or renew the license of an individual who is deemed incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely due to physical and mental conditions. This involves severe respiratory issues that may require oxygen therapy.

However, other breathing problems that would not cause you to have lapses of consciousness will not take away your driving privileges. Portable oxygen concentrators, in particular, are safe to drive with, and most are compatible with a DC power source. In general, there are no laws that discourage the use of oxygen while operating within the state of California.

More information:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/driver-education-and-safety/medical-conditions-and-driving/evaluation-guidelines/

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/driver-education-and-safety/medical-conditions-and-driving/

Colorado

Colorado is known for being at a higher elevation than most US states, which may cause altitude sickness for visitors. Tourists are advised to use oxygen within the first six (6) hours upon arrival. This is only to help your body adjust to the altitude.

In terms of driving, the state has no laws that prohibit the use of oxygen when you are on the road, given that it is safely rested and would not disrupt your driving. Still, the court will require you to undergo a physical examination to see if you are fit to drive or not. 

More Information:

https://www.denverpost.com/2015/01/14/colorado-drivers-responsible-for-self-reporting-medical-conditions/

https://dmv.colorado.gov/sites/dmv/files/Hrng%20Rule%203%20-%20Medical%20Re-Exam%20Rule%20Redline%20Workshop%20Changes%20clean%20%281%29.pdf

Connecticut

In Connecticut, conditions affecting respiratory function are one of the diseases the MAB considers when issuing a driver's license. During the first-time and renewal application, drivers have required a medical certification statement that indicates they have no vision and health problems that will keep them from driving safely. If your supplemental oxygen would not affect your driving, then you are mostly safe to do so.

More information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Delaware

Delaware's DMV follows a specific guideline on who they can allow driving within the state. Most conditions that may interfere with driving safety are most likely rejected from renewing and applying for a license. However, people who pass the functional standards are granted permission to drive.

The DMV permitted the use of oxygen and other breathing apparatus as long as it would not interrupt the driving. If you somehow got an unfavorable medical report, you could still drive with your oxygen but with license restrictions.  

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Florida

There are no Florida laws that discourage the use of prescribed oxygen while operating a vehicle as long as it is secured to prevent distractions on the road. Mild pulmonary disorders that would not cause consciousness loss while driving are permitted.

However, it would be best to get a physician's advice to ensure that you are safe with your case and have the right capabilities to drive, whether with a passenger or alone with your supplemental oxygen. The Florida law allows doctors to report people, applicants, or license holders if they are not safe to drive with their existing conditions. 

More Information:

https://www.clickorlando.com/traffic/2022/03/31/ask-trooper-steve-can-i-drive-with-a-prescribed-oxygen-tank-in-the-car/

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Georgia

Respiratory function problems are one of the many conditions the MBA considers in granting a license among applicants in Georgia. Such conditions are grouped by severity in four (4) levels, and where your condition falls in the levels will determine if you are eligible for a license or not.

If you are found physically qualified, the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) will require you to pass the skill and knowledge test before driving. Mild pulmonary distress that you can aid with portable oxygen concentrators is mostly allowed to drive within the state. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Hawaii

When applying for a license in Hawaii, drivers with certain conditions may be required to undergo a medical evaluation. This involves several lung issues like shortness of breath while resting, trouble breathing, audible wheezing, excessive coughing, and other disorders that require you to use supplemental oxygen.

However, there is no specific law that disallows the use of oxygen when driving in Hawaii. As long as your condition does not cause you to lose consciousness while on the road, you are mostly allowed to drive in the state. 

More Information:

https://hidot.hawaii.gov/administration/bac/mab/

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Idaho

Idaho has no existing laws that state the prohibition of using oxygen while driving. If you have a pulmonary condition, you should mention it to your examiner. Note that physicians are not required by law in Idaho to submit medical records, but they can report people who they deem not safe to drive due to some condition.

Still, people with medical conditions involving respiratory problems must get a clearance from a physician before they can be allowed to apply or re-license. Mild breathing issues that do not require a high flow of oxygen therapy can safely drive. 

More Information:

https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/title49/t49ch3/sect49-301/

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Illinois

In Illinois, they have a section in their code that addresses the rights of persons with disabilities to drive. You will provide a medical report, so the authorities know what restrictions will be included in your license. It may vary depending on the severity of your condition.

Overall, they do not have a law that prohibits the use of oxygen while you are driving, given that it will not impair your abilities and be a distraction. 

More Information:

https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/legal-information/people-disabilities-and-their-rights-drivers

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=062500050HCh%2E+6&ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=78000000&SeqEnd=97700000

Indiana

It is generally allowed to drive with oxygen in Indiana, but it is important to disclose any existing conditions when applying for a license or renewal. You will be required to undergo a medical evaluation if a report is received by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) based on a self-report of observation. People with severe conditions may not be granted permission to drive within the state due to the risk of being harmful to themselves and others.

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Iowa

Driving with oxygen in Iowa is allowed as long as the person is competent and can drive safely. Most breathing equipment, particularly portable oxygen concentrators, are designed for easy transportation and handling.

In the case of oxygen tanks, they can also be safe for traveling if you secure them well in the backseat. However, they pose more risks and require high maintenance, which can be a hassle when you are often traveling. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Kansas

There are no current existing laws that ban the use of oxygen while driving in Kansas. All license applicants are asked if they have any physical disabilities that may affect their driving, and those who do will be given a form to their physician within 30 days.

Although breathing issues are not included in the conditions given in the form, the doctor may still provide a diagnosis and describe how it may affect the person's driving ability. They can still be granted a license, but it comes with restrictions that cater to their medical condition. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Kentucky

In Kentucky, you are allowed to drive with oxygen. However, in the state's medical standards, you should have no dyspnea and required medications that can compromise your ability to drive safely. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Louisiana

Like in other states, you will be asked a series of questions that includes whether or not you have an existing disability that may affect your driving in Louisiana. If yes, you will be required to get a medical examination from your physician and return it within 30 days.

Mild respiratory distress would not take away your driving ability, so driving with oxygen is generally okay. However, consult your doctor first to ensure that you are competent and would not cause harm.

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Maine

In Maine, pulmonary disorders are one of the risks and limitations listed by the MBA. There are multiple levels under which a condition may fall, and that will help them determine whether you are capable of driving safely with oxygen or not.

Respiratory issues under minimal and mild levels are fairly allowed to operate a vehicle, whereas moderate to severe conditions will rule you out of driving.

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Maryland

Maryland MAB does not include pulmonary disorders among their listed guidelines to follow when making recommendations to the administration. For the most part, you are allowed to drive with oxygen in the state given that you undergo a medical evaluation stating that you are capable of driving safely.

More Information:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/regulations/maryland/COMAR-11-17-03-04

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, they follow a standard when reviewing applicants for a license with existing pulmonary disease. To be granted safe to operate a vehicle, their oxygen saturation levels should be more than 88% when at rest, with or without supplemental oxygen support.

On the other hand, applicants with an oxygen saturation level of less than 88% at such minimal exertion are not deemed safe to drive, even with supplemental oxygen. If you are already a license holder, you will be required to surrender your license. This is due to the threat of cognitive dysfunction, loss of consciousness, and even heart failure.

However, if your saturation levels change to more than 88%, you can be granted the edibility to drive safely with oxygen. You will need medical documentation and other information from your physician that proves such positive changes.

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Michigan

As long as you never experienced an episode of loss of consciousness within six (6) months, you can drive with oxygen safely in Michigan. Still, some restrictions may come with your condition, depending on your medical evaluation.

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Minnesota

Currently, there are no laws that prohibit driving with oxygen in Minnesota. As long as you do not experience loss of voluntary control of your body and vision impairment, you are deemed capable of driving safely.

Still, it would help to ask your doctor for advice or reach out to your local DMV to ensure that you are qualified to drive with oxygen. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Mississippi

There are no laws that ban driving with oxygen in Mississippi. The only medical standard documented for licensing was for seizures. If you are recovering from your respiratory condition or only have mild pulmonary distress, there is little to no risk when driving.

If you are unsure, ask a physician for help and see whether or not you can safely drive with supplemental oxygen. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Missouri

In Missouri, a physician's assessment of medical conditions falls under three (3) judgments: likely capable, unclear if capable, and not capable. In probably capable, your medical evaluation results state that you can safely operate a vehicle. Your condition will be unclear if capable if your medical status requires further evaluation.

You cannot drive a vehicle if your medical-functional results are compromised, or your condition is severe.

There are no laws that prohibit driving with oxygen in the state. It is solely based on your evaluation results if you are fit to drive and will not cause harm to yourself and others on the road. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Montana

In Montana, you are likely allowed to drive with supplemental oxygen as no laws ban such actions. However, you must ensure that you are capable and have complete control over your bodily functions to ensure road safety. 

Whether using a tank or a portable concentrator, be sure that it is rested safely and would not move if you suddenly hit the brakes.

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Nebraska

Nebraska has no laws that say anything about driving with oxygen. Most portable concentrators are approved for transportation and come with the necessary inclusions you need when you are out.

If you never have an episode of losing consciousness, you should be safe to drive around with supplemental oxygen. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Nevada

Respiratory dysfunction is one of the conditions listed in the medical guidelines of Nevada that the DMV considers before allowing an individual to drive. They also stated that having such a condition is not an automatic prohibition if the person is not severely impaired.

You may present medical documents that prove your capacity to drive safely to the DMV or a letter written by your physician.

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, the agency adheres to the recommendations of the applicant's physician regarding their capacity to drive safely with medical conditions. As such, no laws prohibit driving with oxygen within the state. However, the agency may suspend your license if you are proven impaired.

Before they can issue you a new license, you must be symptom-free of the medical conditions that led you to suspension. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

New Jersey

No law states the prohibition of driving with oxygen in New Jersey. Even though the physical qualification is mentioned in the medical licensing guideline, the person will only be prohibited from obtaining a license if they are incapable of driving safely. 

If your condition and breathing apparatus does not affect your driving, you are likely to be allowed to drive with oxygen in New Jersey. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

New Mexico

New Mexico has no concrete medical guidelines on licensing that concern certain medical conditions. A person with pulmonary disorders is eligible to drive with oxygen as long as the driver's physician deems them capable of driving safely. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

New York

In New York, their medical guidelines to be eligible to drive mainly focuses on the loss of consciousness. If you have never had an episode of this before, you are likely to be fit to drive safely with prescribed oxygen, given that your physician allows you to. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

North Carolina

In North Carolina, respiratory disorders are among the medical conditions considered by the DMV. The category your current situation falls into will determine whether or not you are allowed to drive safely within the state. If your breathing problem does not interfere with your driving, you are allowed to drive with your supplemental oxygen.

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

North Dakota

As of writing, North Dakota has no existing laws that ban driving with oxygen. Concentrators are fairly safe and never discouraged for people with mild to moderate breathing problems.

Still, you can always reach out to your local DMV for more information. You should also consult your physician to ensure that you can drive with oxygen. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Ohio

In Ohio, a person's ability to drive safely is based on a physician's evaluation of their current condition. Other than the risk of loss of consciousness and another severe status, all drivers are eligible to drive.

People with pulmonary distress can drive with prescribed oxygen as long as it will not disrupt their driving. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Oklahoma

There are no laws in Oklahoma that say something about driving with oxygen. This means that you can drive with oxygen without worrying that you are breaking any regulations. However, you must refer to your doctor's advice if you are capable, as they know the severity and risks of your condition. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Oregon

In Oregon, such conditions considered high-risk impairments, both progressive and reversible, are not eligible to grant a license to drive. On the other hand, moderate and low risk are medically qualified. If your respiratory condition falls under low to moderate, then it is mostly safe for you to drive within the state alongside your supplemental oxygen. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has no laws indicating prohibitions against driving with oxygen. As long as you are not experiencing seizures or loss of voluntary control, you can safely drive with oxygen in the state. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Rhode Island

The MBA in Rhode Island recommends certain conditions, including respiratory disorders, for evaluation to see if they would not compromise the driver's ability to drive responsibly. The state provides no law that bans it in terms of driving with oxygen.

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

South Carolina

South Carolina has no laws that pertain to driving with oxygen. If your condition is not as severe, it is safe to assume that you can do so. Such small equipment that helps regulate oxygen saturation levels is easily transportable and specifically made to cater to a person with breathing problems' needs.

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

South Dakota

Before allowing an individual to drive alone, South Dakota's medical guidelines focus more on seizures, convulsions, loss of voluntary functions, and none to respiratory issues.

If your doctor prescribed you a portable oxygen concentrator, you could drive with it, given that you are following the safety measures. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Tennessee

You can drive with oxygen in Tennessee, as long as your doctor permits you. If your condition has risks that might affect your capability to drive safely, it would be best not to do it, especially when you are alone.

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Texas

Dyspnea is one of the many mentioned conditions in the MBA's medical guidelines when granting a license to drive. This is also a common respiratory dysfunction that may require supplemental support.

If the dyspnea is severe, you will be incapacitated to drive safely, even with oxygen. If it is mild and controllable by therapy, you may be permitted to drive following your physician's advice. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Utah

Although pulmonary disturbance is included in Utah's medical guidelines upon granting permission to drive, it still depends on the severity of your situation and whether or not you are allowed to drive.

If the condition is low to mild risk, you are mostly safe to drive with your oxygen supply.

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Vermont

In Vermont, you will be required to take a physician's recommendations regarding driving fitness. You will only be allowed to take a vision and road test at least once your doctor clears you of a severe medical condition.

People with mild breathing issues are allowed to drive with oxygen within the state. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Virginia

Respiratory issues are not included in Virginia's DMV medical review policy for licensing. Therefore, you can probably drive around the state with your prescribed oxygen if your physician allows you to. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Washington

Washington requires people with medical conditions to get a certification from their physician if they experience threatening episodes in the past months that may be harmful. However, there are no specific laws that tackle restrictions against driving with oxygen. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

West Virginia

In West Virginia, they have a code of state rules they rely on when reviewing driving applications. They don't have certain regulations regarding respiratory disorders that disprove driving with oxygen, so you are mostly allowed to do so.

If you're worried that your condition may be putting you at risk, consult your doctor immediately to get a proper diagnosis. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Wisconsin

If you do not take medications and treatments that may affect your safe driving, you can drive with oxygen in Wisconsin. The Medical Review Board of the state also requires that you have no dyspnea, which a physician should assess. 

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Wyoming

In Wyoming, you can be denied license issuance if you are proven not physically, mentally, and legally qualified to hold a license to drive a motor vehicle. A physician's assessment is also a big deal on this, and you can only get the permission if they deem you fit to drive.

If your condition is mild and poses little to no risk, you can drive in Wyoming with oxygen, following your doctor's instructions.

More Information:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812402_medicalreviewdriverlicense.pdf

Is It Safe To Drive With Your Oxygen?

If your doctor approves it, you can safely drive with your oxygen concentrator almost anywhere in the US. It is a medical equipment and should not be restricted if it's what your condition requires. However, it's still important to know certain regulations of each state. 

If you need to use oxygen and drive or travel at the same time, you should use a machine that can provide you with enough oxygen and is also portable, safe, and easy to carry with you, like a portable oxygen concentrator.

We have a great selection of portable oxygen concentrators and their accessories in our shop, so feel free to check them out for a more convenient travel experience even on oxygen therapy.

If you need help, don't hesitate to contact us at (800) 314-8225.

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