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Medical Conditions and Licence Revocation

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 19 Feb 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Medical Conditions Driving Licence

There are medical conditions that could mean a motorist will have to give up their driving licence. Drivers who do not meet the driving standards of the DVLA may find that their licence is revoked depending on the decision of medical advisors.

The Importance of Informing the DVLA of Medical Conditions

It is the driver’s legal duty to inform the DVLA of medical conditions that may affect their driving. There are medical conditions that can result in dangerous and careless driving and will mean that the driver is a hazard to other motorists. A driver with a medical condition that contributes to a traffic accident can be prosecuted. A motorist who has new medical conditions may be told by their doctor to immediately stop driving. It may be possible to regain a licence in the future if the driver meets the standards of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Medical Conditions that can Affect Driving

There are numerous medical and health conditions that can mean a driver is not fit to drive. Conditions such as epilepsy and diabetes can affect driving but this does not automatically mean licence revocation. For example, a driver with epilepsy may still be permitted to drive if they have been free from an epileptic attack for ten years without the use of medication. The DVLA has medical advisors who will be able to assess the driver’s medical conditions. They will make their decision on whether a person is safe to drive after a medical assessment including medical examination and a driving assessment.

Older Drivers and Medical Problems

Older drivers are susceptible to medical conditions that can affect their driving. This can include heart problems, Alzeimer’s disease, arthritis and failing eye sight and hearing. Older people may have slower reflexes, which can be a hazardous when driving. Many older drivers will recognise the importance of the need to be physically and mentally fit during driving. A doctor’s check-up for older people should be undertaken with an eye on health conditions that could affect driving.

Medication that Can Affect Driving Skills

Drivers who are taking medication for health conditions should consult their doctors to assess the effects of the medication on driving. Some medications can lead to drowsiness and dizziness, which will seriously hamper safe driving. Medications such as anti-depressants can have a tranquillising effect and can slow down the driver’s reflexes. A doctor who is prescribing the medication should already be aware if the patient is a driver and should advise the patient accordingly. Remember than some over the counter medications can also have a detrimental effect on driving.

Surrendering a Driving Licence to the DVLA

If the doctor does tell the patient to stop driving due to health conditions or medication then the patient should surrender their driving licence. If the driver does not surrender their licence then the DVLA could make medical enquires that could lead to licence revocation. Surrendering a driving licence voluntarily will mean that there is no need to sit a driving test if the driver meets the medical advisor’s requirements in the future. Surrendering a driver’s licence is the safer and wiser option and should also mean that car insurance premiums are not raised due to a revoked licence. An insurer will see a past disqualification or revocation as the opportunity to increase premiums or may not actually not provide insurance.

Applying for a Driving Licence

First time drivers who are applying for their licence must make the DVLA aware of certain health conditions. There will be a list of medical conditions on the licence application form that must be completed when applying. Drivers who have previously held a licence but are reapplying may still be able to drive once the DVLA has received their application. There are exceptions to this including disqualifications and licence refusal due to medical reasons. The medical examiners may provide a licence under special conditions and these can include:

  • A driving licence may be granted for a set period of time with medical exams and fitness reviews in the future
  • A licence may be granted with conditions such as fitted controls in the car for those with disabilities
Driving whilst unfit due to medical conditions can have serious consequences for the driver and for other road users. Surrendering a licence due to health reasons doesn’t have to mean the end of driving altogether and driving in the future may be possible. If a driver does have physical or mental health issues they should seek advise from a doctor on whether these conditions will affect their driving.

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[Add a Comment]
My licence has been revoked for life due to a brain tumour. Can I hold insurance for a vehicle but obviously not drive it?
Sam - 19-Feb-18 @ 9:40 PM
I have been informed that I am disqualified from driving for 6 months from 8th December, due to a one-off health issue lasting one minute. The episode leading to the disqualification occurred at the end of October. Should the disqualification not commence from the day of the episode?
Andy - 11-Dec-17 @ 10:13 PM
Murphy - Your Question:
Hi, I have surrendered my licence due to unprovoked syncope.There were 2 syncopes, will the 12 months be from first or last incident?Thanks

Our Response:
It's usually from the last incident.
NoPenaltyPoints - 14-Sep-16 @ 2:15 PM
Hi, I have surrendered my licence due to unprovoked syncope.There were 2 syncopes, will the 12 months be from first or last incident?Thanks
Murphy - 12-Sep-16 @ 10:18 PM
Hi there maybe a chance that i may loose my licence for a short time for a mental health illness. i no people do drive with these problems but im quite sure it will be revoked. what happens with my car insurance when i get my licence back? will it be high?
kaza - 18-Aug-16 @ 8:05 PM
Markp540 - Your Question:
I have recently applied for my HGV provisional and have been sent a letter stating that further info is required from my doctor, I have only recently been put on antidepressants due to a friend taking his own life and also having a few issues at work. I have since stopped taking this medication as it didn't do anything. Could me taking this kind of medication cause my request to be refused?

Our Response:
It's common for medical information to be requested when applying for an HGV licence - it's unlikely it will be refused purely on this basis.
NoPenaltyPoints - 8-Jul-16 @ 12:43 PM
I have recently applied for my HGV provisional and have been sent a letter stating that further info is required from my doctor, I have only recently been put on antidepressants due to a friend taking his own life and also having a few issues at work. I have since stopped taking this medication as it didn't do anything. Could me taking this kind of medication cause my request to be refused?
Markp540 - 6-Jul-16 @ 1:31 PM
I HAD A PROVOKED ISOLATED SEIZURE FOLLOWING A BYPASS OP LAST OCTOBER. during WITHDRAWAL FROM ANESTHETIC. BELT & BRACES MEDS WERE WITHDRAWN IN NOVEMBER.15NEURLOGIST HAS CONFIRMED THE ABOVE TO DVLA LICENCE REVOKEDONMARCH 3OTH 2016 SINCE REAPPLIED AS STATUTORY 6 MONTHS HAS ELAPSED TWO REPORTS FROM CONSULTANT INDICATING NO EPILEPSY. CONFIRMED BY GP. DVLA HAVE HAD MED REPORT SINC FEB & ANOTHER FROM CONSULTANT RECENTLY. (END OF APRIL)STILL NO DECISION FROM DVLA OR REASON FOR DELAY ! JUST A BLAND IT IS IN THE PIPELINE. AM CONSIDERING COURT ACTION AS THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ME. ANY ADVICE TO SPEED THING UP PLS TRIED PHONEING TO NO AVAIL
PROFF - 12-May-16 @ 5:18 PM
abdul - Your Question:
Hi thereI have six penalty point left on my licence Can I apply for taxi driver Thanks

Our Response:
Find out what the policy of your local council is licensing taxi drivers.
NoPenaltyPoints - 29-Apr-16 @ 12:27 PM
hi there I have six penalty point left on my licence Can i apply for taxi driver Thanks
abdul - 28-Apr-16 @ 8:23 AM
@mcjon. You will need to go back and get medical evidence from your GP/Consultant to back this up and then re-apply.
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-May-15 @ 1:48 PM
Licence revoked for a condition that brain specialist said I don't have ( epilepsy). Had one seizure in 2005 took Dr prescribed meds hence revoked. Have normal driving licence but won't reinstate H.G.V Class2 any advice or help please thanks
mcjon - 5-May-15 @ 12:03 PM
@marty - sorry we don't have any details of your own situation but the DLVA has to ensure a medical /GP consultation takes place, so we cannot really give you a good idea of the timescales. There is more information on the Government website this.
NoPenaltyPoints - 30-Mar-15 @ 2:42 PM
Hi there ive applied for finance and have been accepted they ran a check on me and found my license has been revoked, I didn't know snuthing sbout this and called up dvla, they told me to send my licence in to be endorsed with photo of to and a covering letter explaining I was not aware I had been revoked! I was just wondering how long it takes to be in revoked and updated on the system for my financee to see this and clear my finance! Thanks
Marty - 26-Mar-15 @ 12:44 PM
My car was stationary and an elderly driver had a stroke and damage my car, her insurance company refuse to pay out as it was an 'act of god'. I am bloody angry and all drivers over 70 must have a medical test every year. I am going to sue this person for every penny she got, as I am not going to be out of pocket ! I hope EC or our government will make this a legal requirement.
Stephen - 27-Dec-11 @ 9:36 PM
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