posted 1 month ago

How DVLA Decides If You Are Medically Fit To Drive

Steps to follow if you have a medical condition or disability, plus what happens next.

Safety top priority

The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency has confirmed the procedure it follows to establish whether, or not, you are medically fit to drive. Its purpose is to establish whether a condition or disability excessively increases your risk of collision. If not, you can keep/obtain a licence. If so, it will be refused/withdrawn.

Steps if you have a licence

The DVLA must - by law - be informed if you currently have a licence and develop a notifiable medical condition or disability. Examples include epilepsy. The full list can be found online at www.gov.uk/driving-medical-conditions. Furthermore, you must get in touch if a previously mentioned condition or disability gets worse.

Whereas it might be inconvenient and emotionally painful, it is important to report such issues. The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency explained the potential consequences of non-compliance. If an undeclared medical condition or disability contributes to a collision, you might be prosecuted and/or invalidate any insurance.

Steps if you apply for a licence

Let us now imagine that you are applying for a licence. Simply complete the health section of the relevant form. It states which conditions and disabilities to report. Once the DVLA has received the application, you can drive in some circumstance. These include:

  • you have previously held a licence;
  • you only drive vehicles within your licence entitlement;
  • you have not been - and would not be - refused a licence on medical grounds;
  • you have submitted a complete application within the last twelve months;
  • your last licence was not revoked/refused for medical reasons;
  • you are not disqualified by a court.

What the DVLA does next

The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency has a three stage procedure once your condition or disability has been reported. Stage One is:

  • request further information via a medical questionnaire (typically);
  • request permission to ask your doctor for further details. 

Stage Two steps include:

  • if practical, make a decision based on the supplied facts; 
  • or: request further information from your doctor and/or consultant, arrange for a medical officer or specialist to examine you, ask you to have your driving or eyesight tested. 

Stage Three is the decision. Options include:

  • you keep your licence or get a new one;
  • you receive a licence which expires in one, two or three so that the medical examiner can review your circumstances;
  • you receive a licence but it states that special controls have to be fitted to your vehicles;
  • your licence is withdrawn or refused.