fi70 30/01/18
Last reply 2 months ago
DVLA

Hello everyone

I was diagnosed with MS in 2006 and only discovered in Oct 2017 that I should have informed the DVLA of my diagnosis. Anyway I dually contacted them and underwent the medical assessment (if you can call it that), anyway I have now received a letter from the DVLA informing me that the law requires that my driving license is subject to medical review every 3 years. I believed this to be a discriminatory decision based on my MS diagnosis and not on my actual physical condition.

I hold down a full time job which requires me to drive a 40 mile round trip per day, walk up and down 3 flights of step multiple times a day (80 steps per journey) and function at a high cognitive level as I am a data analysis. In addition to this I regularly attend yoga and walk at the weekends, none of these aspects of my life were discussed during my medical assessment. I am well aware that should my condition deteriorate then I am legally obliged to inform them and I would or I am sure my doctor would.

Being in Scotland I only have a 21 day window to appeal, but I was wondering what other peoples experience have been regarding disclosing their condition to the DVLA and their subsequent medical. Is it the case that all those diagnosed with the disease are automatically placed on the 3 year medical review license

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crystal-2017
2 months ago

Hi, I have recently advised DVLA of my condition after being recently diagnosed. They are making me send me license back to them and will be given a medical license which will be reviewed every year! I am unhappy about this but seems to be no point putting myself under more stress by disputing this. I believe also that it is unfair just based on our MS. My neuro said I was fit to drive.


fi70
2 months ago

I also believe the tone of their letters are aggressive and threatening, I am waiting for my solicitor to get back to me regarding launching an appeal against their decision, as I live in Scotland I only have 21 days after receipt of their letter to appeal. I totally get where you are coming from regarding not putting yourself under undue stress, but for some reason this decision has really upset and infuriated me, I feel like something is being taken away, which is why I am interested to hearing about others peoples experiences, as I suspect that the mere diagnosis of MS triggers an automatic issuing of a medical license and not the medical review from the consultant and GP.


crystal-2017
2 months ago

I only had a small window to appeal also and it had to go through the Magistrates Court to do so. They give you the chance to appeal knowing it is not feasible in the timescale and method to do so. They said their decision was based on my neuro’s information, which it cannot have been as he has no problems with my symptoms for driving. I just feel they have us where they want us and we are just stuck with their decision. I feel very strongly about it also and that there are various options, yet I have been given the worst one of review every year of my license. They hear MS and panic and think we are unsafe, it is so annoying. I am still trying to come to terms with this new diagnosis so this was just added stress I have decided personally to avoid. I do hope you can get somewhere with your appeal 🙂


novemberrain
2 months ago

The DVLA diagnosed me with (temporal lobe) epilepsy without speaking to any medical professionals. My licence was revoked the day before I received that terrible letter. I screamed! I will be very careful when I resend my revised MS/epilepsy update in a few weeks. Not that there is anything to hide. The crux of the matter is nobody knows how each MS case will progress. I have to leave that to my neuro to tell them I am fit to drive. But I hope I will get a 3 yr licence. Its far better than not driving at all. Good luck 😚


stumbler
2 months ago

@fi70 , try not to take the DVLA’s decision personally. They see MS as a progressive condition and therefore would like to keep it under review. It’s the law of the land.

They are not stopping you from driving. That decision is really down to your Consultant and GP, who would be contacted on licence renewal.

It’s purely a procedural situation. As the prognosis for MS is ever improving, I had heard through the grapevine that 5 year medical licences were to be offered.

Look on the plus side, no more licence renewal fees………. 😉


vixen
2 months ago

Hi there, as @stumbler says, don’t take it personally. I think that the 3 year renewal is standard practice for an MS diagnosis. I don’t experience physical restrictions and immobility at all but had to go through the same. I also informed my insurance too, who can’t hike the fee just because you have MS. But best to make sure your insurance isn’t invalidated by not declaring to the DVLA. And yes, it’s free renewal so that’s something!


fi70
2 months ago

Thanks for the discussion guys. It is this standard practice of automatically issuing a 3 year license when they see the MS diagnosis to which I object and want to questioned, maybe more people should!. I appreciate that the DVLA need to know you are safe to drive, but I have enough folks who already review my condition on a regular basis, and as the law stands I would be obliged to tell the DVLA if my condition deteriorated and I was not safe to drive. I can appreciate others sentiments that it is not worth fighting but I am sick of just lying down and excepting stuff, so this time I am not going to just accept it without a better explanation as to why our physical abilities are not considered as part of the assessment (I was asked nothing about either).


stumbler
2 months ago

@fi70 , life’s too short to take on bureaucratic Government bodies. Do you need the additional stress in your life, when we know what that can do to us.

Whilst I agree that MS is a very variable condition, that can vary from person to person and even day to day, it would be expecting too much for the DVLA to assess everyone individually. The cost would be enormous and would need to be passed back to the drivers of this country.

The renewal process every three years isn’t really that onerous.


fi70
2 months ago

Hi @stumbler, I completely get where you are coming from regarding stress etc., but I have already undergone the medical, I spent an hour with my GP and read what my neurologist sent, so feel that I have been individually assess to a certain extent. I believe that all this was a pointless exercise when at the end of it they automatically issue the 3 years license, without actually asking the professionals, does this person need to be on a 3 year medically reviewable license or can they continue on the full license. I guess I just feel like something has been taken away without due regard for my personal circumstances and I am finding it hard to accept.


stumbler
2 months ago

Don’t take it personally, @fi70 . They haven’t taken anything away from you, you’ve still been able to drive throughout.

It’s a typical process-driven piece of bureaucracy. But, with MS, it is so unpredictable that we are never too sure how we will be tomorrow, let alone in three years time.

I’m sure there will be other fights in your life, so you may be better off conserving your fighting spirit for one of these fights that really matter.

Sending cyber-hugs as you are still the same person as you were yesterday and that you will be tomorrow.


mscyclist
2 months ago

Just to add to others comments, it’s probably wise to keep a copy of the form for reference purposes. I’m lucky that my symptoms rarely change over the 3 year period so i pretty much copy the previous application every three years and just change appointment dates!

I did have it rejected once over a confusion to do with low dose amitriptyline, they rejected licence and then did enquiries to find out that i was ok to drive. Hopefully they now do things the other (more sensible) way round!


geordie57
2 months ago

Hi, first time round I got a 3 year licence. I am now on a 5 yearlicence! I have since had two relapses so I guess I will go back to 3!? I think it’s just an automatic 3 year unless the condition is worse? My friend has Parkinson’s and she is on 3 years x


hollylb10
2 months ago

I have a license that needs to be renewed every 3 years (I am in the UK) I was devastated, I felt like it was rotten reminder of my MS and like you I felt it was discrimination. I don’t think I can drive a van anymore – which is something that won’t affect my daily life but I have hired vans for various reasons before and my husband has a van with 6 seats so we can take it out for family days as well as work – I won’t be able to share the driving which is something we do on long journeys. But I have forgotten about it all now. It is a shock, and it does make you angry but you don’t need extra stress in your life. Unfortunately we just have to accept some of these things 🙁


hels
2 months ago

Mine’s just been changed to a 3 year and I drive consantly for work. If I lost my licence I would probably have to change my career which I wouldn’t want to do. Understandably it’s not ideal but just bare in mind it’s for yours and other peoples safety.

My friend in work is diabetic and he’s also on a 3 yr licence.


nutshell88
2 months ago

I was daignosed in 2005 parents didnt want me to panic in age 17 so they didnt tell me. I found out in 2010 my health is perfect not disabled. Never been on treatment apart of steroids but stopped taking it since 2013. MS isnt as bad as everyone imagone sometime.
I hope you best of luck
And as a Saudi young lady I bet you will drive soon enough 😉


richj
2 months ago

Hi, I am going to appear really thick, but I haven’t informed the DVLA of my RRMS. I have told my car insurer and it is on my insurance policy. Am I breaking the law? I wouldn’t drive if I didn’t feel safe. Should I advise DVLA? Rich


stumbler
2 months ago

@richj , the short answer is yes, you are breaking the law.

Your car insurance company have been a bit remiss as they should have confirmed that you had advised the DVLA, as your insurance would be invalid too.

Give the DVLA a call (0300 790 6806) on Monday and get the process moving. They won’t hold it against you that you haven’t advised them earlier.


richj
2 months ago

Thanks Tumbler. I feel like screaming some profanities very, very loudly. I will call them. I have to drive my son every morning and he already gets up at 6.oh well, he’ll have to get up at 5.30. Can I make an appointment to see my GP or do I need to see my consultant? Or should I wait until the DVLA send me the forms?
My licence is due for renewal in 2019. If I could wait until the school Summer hols…but I guess not.
Sorry to ask. Utterly ** cked off with this and with myself for not realising earlier.
Cheers,
Rich


stumbler
2 months ago

@richj , don’t beat yourself up, your Neuro and/or MS Nurse should have told you.

The DVLA process is fairly straightforward, although it can take time for letters to go back and forth between DVLA and Neuro and GP. But, you can continue to drive whilst this process is happening. So, no lie-in! 😕

So, wait for the forms to arrive, complete and return them. Then wait and see if Neuro or GP wants to see you.

And, there’s a bonus. You’ll be saving £14 next year! 😉


cammo
2 months ago

@fi70 i am not sure if it is law in Australia to inform the Gov licencing authorities, but judging by your outcome I am less likely to let them know. None of their business if you ask me.
There are many elderly or just plain rubbish drivers on our roads down under so even if i was having an attack I think my driving ability would be above average (not that I would drive whil having a relapse). My grandmother drove until she passed away at 96 years old with no restrictions.


novemberrain
2 months ago

@richj I can feel your frustration from here, it really is a horrible situation. I saw my GP who waved an arm dismissively when I mentioned my driving, as if nothing would come of it (I was diagnosed with a mild form of epilepsy not MS at that stage). He was very wrong and I lost my licence as soon as my forms were received at DVLA. I now have my new forms ready, MS and epilepsy forms. Meds for epilepsy, none for MS. Wishing you all the best, we’ll get there 😊


novemberrain
2 months ago

@cammo the reason you need to inform the authorities is in case you are involved in an accident. If the insurers find out you have MS your policy may be null and void (worst case scenario). Best to do some covert investigation!


richj
2 months ago

Hi Stumbler and Novemberrain,

Thank you for your wise words. I called the DVLA yesterday and after a 5 second attempt to withhold my name, as it was a general enquiry you understand , I was singing like the proverbial canary giving all my personal details going back to the Ark😳.
They will send me the forms and I need to get the consultant to complete separately too. Once one makes the call, you have14 days to respond, or they take your licence away, which is s sobering thought. They might take it away anyway, but hopefully not. Trying to be calm about this. We shall see.
All the best


novemberrain
2 months ago

@richj all depends on how “comprehensive” you are with detail 😉 but write down everything you said during that call if you can remember and use this on your form as they will have recorded what you said. My son was at school 3 miles away when I found out I could no longer legally drive. And then relied on goodwill from January till the end of the summer term. This is an obstacle but it can be overcome you’ll see. Hoping you get to keeeeeeep driving ☺


richj
2 months ago

[email protected] Best of luck with resubmitting your 2 forms🤞


fingersandtoes
2 months ago

I sent my form off to the DVLA this morning.

What does the medical assessment entail? Do they not just contact your doctor?

I took ages about the form as I didn’t really know what to write. And I started it before I started medication so I got stuck at the what are you taking and how much question. Does it affect your driving? I said no but in truth I haven’t driven in years, I’m just assuming it wouldn’t affect my driving. Well when I’m not in the middle of a relapse anyway and there’s no way I’d drive with ON or double vision!

At any rate I live in London and don’t have a car. I hate driving but I don’t want my licence taken away (though the Freedom Pass would save me thousands). My neuro said there wouldn’t be a problem about my licence. I guess it’s just an administrative hassle.


grahamjk
2 months ago

Hi all, I’ve just sent my forms back for my second licence. The assessment on the first licence for myself entailed of just reading the number plate at the usual test distance but this time I’m a bit concerned as I’ve had to use hand controls for the last six months and obviously I’ve declared this fact so I’ll have to wait and see. But for all the people worrying about the first time don’t, I still had manual and auto licences. Graham


mscyclist
2 months ago

I have a question…
I’m on a 3 year restricted, i totally get that as they do need to review on medical grounds. what i don’t understand is why my license is itself restricted to certain classes of vehicles. If i can drive then surely i’m still capable of driving the same vehicles as before? i’m lucky enough to not need adapted hand controls so this can’t be used as a reason.
Also not understanding why i can no longer hire a car / van. We are constantly told that insurance is not able to discriminate because of disability so why can’t we hire cars?
I recently moved house and had to do it on a day that someone else was available to drive the van!
Any answers?


stumbler
2 months ago

@mscyclist , that’s rhetorical, isn’t it? There are no answers, that’s the way it works unfortunately.

It could be worse. At least they allow us to keep driving, albeit with restrictions.


novemberrain
2 months ago

Sent DVLA forms off today. 6 weeks and I should know the outcome. I’m positive I will be behind the steering wheel again soon 😁 good luck fellow petrolheads


stumbler
2 months ago

@novemberrain , “I will be behind the steering wheel again soon” ?

How about this afternoon? Your current licence is still valid whilst the DVLA deliberate………….. 😉


novemberrain
2 months ago

@stumbler It was revoked Jan 17, more due to partial seizures which are now controlled. I havent mentioned MS until last week as wasnt driving anyway and Ive had a relatively benign experience except for the seizures. But I have dutifully filled out CN1 and FEP1. Fingers crossed 🚘


stumbler
2 months ago

@novemberrain , oops, you mentioned your situation earlier, didn’t you?

Well, I wish you good luck with this application.


novemberrain
2 months ago

@stumbler much appreciated. Ta


marydev
2 months ago

Hi
I to lost my driving licence after I failed the off the road driving assessment test.
I drove my car to the test but I wasn’t allowed to drive it back.
A year before that I had to do a on the road assessment and they give me my driving licence for a year.
I knew my self the driving was becoming an issue but never thought it would go like that .
If you where to ask me which was the worst to lose my car or job I would to say the car
Marydev


musicalgills
2 months ago

I live in Northern Ireland and I have to say when I phone DVLA they couldn’t have been nicer. They explained that they would send me a medical to take to my GP to complete and once they had received that back then Disabity Action would contact me to arrange a Driving Assessment. As I’ve just been diagnosed with MS in January my symptoms were all new and therefore different from when I last had my driving license therefore I’m not able to drive until the Driving Assessment is carried out and I find out if I need any adaptations. They also said my license would be probably for 3 years. But honestly they were brilliant.

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