If you don’t declare a medical condition to the DVLA that could affect your ability to drive, then you could be fined up to £1,000.
Furthermore, if you cause an accident then you open the door to prosecution.
The DVLA lists all the conditions that are notifiable, including diabetes, visual impairments, heart conditions or epilepsy.
But given the seriousness of informing the licensing agency, it was surprising to learn last week that an estimated 3.4 million drivers have not made a relevant disclosure.
Even more surprising is that, given the millions of motorists ignoring the fact they’re blind, or at least blind to the risks, only 64 were prosecuted in England and Wales in 2015.
These were for offences such as driving after failing to disclose or declare your physical status, or driving after refusal or revocation of licence.
This follows on from the revelation last year that there has not been a single prosecution by the DVLA of false declarations.
Analysis by Direct Line suggests around 9.5% of the 35.3 million licence holders are keeping quiet about a medical condition, with the majority (51%) presuming it doesn’t affect their ability to drive anyway.
About one in seven did not realise they had to inform the DVLA about their condition and 5% didn’t see the point.
One in 20 admitted that they didn’t declare their medical condition because they feared they would lose their licence, which is possibly the nub of the problem.
Direct Line points out that some conditions have more of an impact on driving ability than being over the drink drive limit, so it’s concerning almost 10% are not bothering to report it to the DVLA.
It’s also a problem for insurers, which is presumably why Direct Line has highlighted the issue. As its press release concludes:
“It’s clear that there’s no deterrent for those flouting the law in this way, as shown by the small amount of people convicted.”
If you have committed a motoring offence due to an undisclosed medical condition contact our specialist motoring solicitors for advice on 0800 046 3066