The Secretary of State for Transport has the power to grant, refuse or revoke a driving licence depending on the physical and mental fitness of the driver. All decisions in relation to assessing this are carried out through the DVLA and, as such decisions have the potential to seriously impact the driver.
As a result it is important to know what is expected of you and what to do when you feel your licence has been unjustly revoked.
What do you need to be aware of?
You must contact and inform the DVLA if you have a ‘notifiable’ medical condition or disability. A ‘notifiable’ medical condition is something that has the potential to affect your ability to drive safely.
There are numerous medical conditions and disabilities that could be placed in this category. A full list can be found on the government website at https://www.gov.uk/health-conditions-and-driving however some of the most common are:
- Neurological and Mental Health Conditions
- Physical Disabilities
- Visual Impairments
While conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy have been widely publicised as concerns to road safety in light of the possibility of losing consciousness or control over bodily functions, there are certain conditions that many people are unaware could result in a licence revocation.
If you do not tell the DVLA about a condition that has the potential to affect your ability to drive safely then you could be fined up to £1,000 in additional to being prosecuted if you do have an accident.
It is important to clarify that, as ‘disability’ can encompass numerous definitions, diseases and dependencies such as a reliance on drugs or alcohol would be incorporated into this category.
Varying Medical Standards:
When it comes to the medical standards expected from road users, there are two categories that need to be distinguished between:
- Group 1 Licence Holders – This group generally encompasses only those who drive motor cars and motor cycles.
- Group 2 Licence Holders – This group generally encompasses those who drive lorries and buses. The standards for this group are much higher given the potential for damage on a larger scale due to the size of the vehicles.
What happens when the DVLA are informed about your medical condition?
Once the DVLA is informed of a licence holder’s fitness to drive, they will proceed with their own investigation by assembling relevant medical information from the licence holder’s doctor. If the DVLA comes to the decision that you are a risk on the road due to medical reasons, they will pursue to revoke your licence.
Will you be able to drive during the time of the investigation?
Under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, Group 1 and Group 2 preserve their right of driving while the investigation is in progress. However, this entitlement is lost if the licence holder has had a previous revocation as a result of medical conditions and must stop driving immediately.
What if you disagree with the decision to revoke your licence?
Before taking this step, it is advised that you consult your doctor, as challenging the DVLA will require detailed knowledge in order to challenge it effectively. If you have suitable grounds to appeal, you can contact the DVLA with proof that you meet the required standards for driving in being fit to drive without putting yourself or the public in danger. You can also appeal by contacting your local magistrates’ court within 6 months of the date your licence was revoked; in doing so, you must inform the DVLA you are appealing. If successful, the DVLA will send a letter to inform you if there is a time period you would need to wait before getting a new licence but you can reapply 8 weeks before the end date of this period.
If you have committed a motoring offence as a result of a medical condition contact our specialist motoring solicitors for advice on 0800 046 3066