There are several common medical conditions which might affect your ability to drive, and if you begin to suffer from them it’s very important to contact the DVLA telephone number and let them know. The DVLA has teams of employees who work with drivers affected by various medical conditions to keep them safe and help make sure their condition doesn’t put them or other drivers at risk, so they’ll know what to do and will be able to help you work with your condition as much as possible.
We’ve published this handy guide to help talk you through the process of informing the DVLA about a medical condition, what they’ll do, and where to go from there.
Informing the DVLA of a medical condition, injury or disability
You are required by law to tell the DVLA if you currently hold a driving licence and you develop a “notable” medical condition or disability; or if an existing disability or condition has worsened since you got your licence.
A “notable condition,” as we called it above, is any condition that may change your ability to drive. A few quick examples would be:
- a stroke, no matter how minor
- epilepsy in any form
- any neurological or mental health condition that might affect coordination, concentration or awareness
- physical disabilities
- any visual impairments or long-term damage to your eyes
In England, Scotland or Wales, you should contact the DVLA for these issues – but if you’re in Northern Ireland, you should instead contact the DVA (the Driver and Vehicle Agency), which is the official government agency for drivers in Northern Ireland.
Contacting the DVLA about a medical condition
Contacting the DVLA about a medical condition is easy to do – just click here for the list of forms and questionnaires available, and find the one that applies to you. You’ll need to post it to them, but the address you need is on the forms, so it’s just a matter of writing it out and posting it!
Each condition or disability has its own form, so the DVLA employees working with you can process your case quickly and effectively. If you’re unsure of what to do, contact the DVLA on their phone line to speak to an advisor who will be able to help you through every step of the process!
Potential consequences of not informing the DVLA
If you choose not to tell the DVLA about a medical condition or disability that might impact your ability to drive, you could be fined up to £1000 – and if you are involved in an accident, you could face prosecution for failing to register the condition.
What to do if you have to surrender your licence
If your doctor tells you that you can no longer drive due to a medical condition or disability, you are legally required to surrender your licence. The same holds true if you realise that you no longer meet the required standards for driving safely – for example in the case of gradual visual impairment or if you realise you can no longer focus intently enough to work safely on the road.
If you choose to surrender your licence voluntarily, it will be much easier to get it back once you are again safe to drive.
Informing the DVLA of a medical condition or disability when applying for a licence
When you first apply for your driving licence, you will have to option to inform the DVLA about a notable condition as part of the application. Again, if you have a notable condition, you are legally required to tell them here. Similarly, you’ll be asked again when renewing your licence for the first time over the age of 70, as notable conditions become much more common in the population at this point. You won’t need to go to the trouble of contacting the DVLA just for this – the forms will be included with your application.
After you tell the DVLA
After informing the DVLA of a notable condition, you will receive news of their decision within 6 weeks. The DVLA may contact your doctor for more information, arrange for a medical examination or ask you to take another driving assessment, eye test or additional driving test to make sure you are fit and safe to drive before reaching a decision.
Their decision may include any of the following options:
- you may need a completely new driving licence
- your licence may be valid for a shorter time, whether 1 year, 2 years, 3 or 5, and at the end of that period you will need to pass a review test to make sure you are still fit to drive
- you may need to adapt your car to work with your condition by fitting custom controls
- you may need to surrender your licence completely if you are no longer safe to drive
If your licence is revoked, you will be told how to appeal against the decision.