Driving licences and medical conditions

Driving licences and medical conditions

If you suffer, or have suffered from, a medical condition or disability which could affect your driving then it is essential that you notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of this condition immediately. They will also need to be advised if the condition or disability becomes worse since your licence was issued. Failing to do so is a criminal offence and you could face a fine of up to £1000.

If you have been summonsed to appear before a Magistrates Court as a result of failing to notify the DVLA, you should contact keepmedrivingto discuss your matter.

Voluntary surrender of your driving licence

You have been informed by your doctor that, in the light of your medical condition or disability, you should not attempt to drive a motor vehicle. If this is the case then you may wish to consider surrendering your driving licence to the DVLA since this will remove the need for the DVLA formally to enquire into your fitness to drive. Forms for surrendering your driving licence can be obtained from the DVLA.

If, following the surrender of your licence, you decide that you wish to reapply for your licence, then, and only then, will medical enquiries need to be made. However, as soon as your application is received at the DVLA, and whilst these enquiries are being undertaken, you are entitled by virtue of Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act, 1988 to resume driving, provided:

  • a valid application is held at the DVLA
  • you have not been, nor would be, refused a driving licence for medical reasons and from a mkedical perspective you are fit to drive. Your doctor will be able to advise you about this.
  • you have held a GB or Northern Ireland licence issued since 1 January 1976 or another exchangeable licence
  • you keep to any special conditions which may apply to you, and to your licence, and
  • you are not disqualified from driving.

Applying to keep a licence despite a medical condition

If you have a medical condition or disability which may prevent you from being able to drive but you wish to continue driving then you will need to notify the DVLA of this on the appropriate form. The form will depend upon your condition – thus for example if you have a heart condition you will complete a foirm H1 whereas if you have had a stroke or brain surgery you will complete a form B1. All of these forms are available from the DVLA.

Once you have informed the DVLA of any medical condition the medical advisor to the DVLA may request permission to review your medical notes or may request a consultation with you or ask that you sit through a further assessment. After considering your case, the DVLA will inform you of their decision and this could be one of 4 possible outcomes:

  • the DVLA could allow you to keep your licence, or issue a new one if applicable;
  • the DVLA could give you a licence for between 1 and 3 years if the DVLA medical advisor decides your health will need to be reviewed periodically;
  • the DVLA could grant a licence which specifically requires you to drive a specially modified vehicle to enable you to overcome the effects of any physical disability; or
  • the DVLA could withdraw your licence or turn down your application for a licence or renewal.

If you are not granted a licence or your licence is withdrawn, you have a right to appeal the decision of the DVLA to the Magistrates Court. If you find yourself in this position, you should contact one of our solicitors at keepmedrivingso that we can make the necessary application on your behalf.