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What medical conditions must be declared to the DVLA when applying for a driving licence?

You must notify the DVLA about any medical condition or disability that could affect your ability to drive safely. If you don’t, you could be fined up to £1,000 and you could also be prosecuted if you have an accident.

Notifiable medical conditions include: diabetes (or taking insulin); epilepsy; glaucoma; heart conditions (including atrial fibrillation and pacemakers); sleep apnoea; strokes; and syncope (fainting).

You can look up your condition on the GOV.UK website to see if it affects your ability to drive safely. There is also an A to Z guide of medical conditions to check if you need to report your condition.

How do I apply for a DVLA medical driving licence?

If you are applying for a car, moped or motorcycle driving licence you complete the D1 form, which includes a health section to fill in.

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If you are aged 70 or over you should fill in the D46P form, which also includes a health section.

If you are applying fora driving licence for a lorry, minibus or bus (D2 form), there is a separate D4 medical examination form, which has to be completed by a doctor.

Can I renew a DVLA medical driving licence online?

You can only renew your medical driving licence online if you have diabetes, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, a visual impairment, a sleep condition, or a heart condition.

What happens after I notify the DVLA about a medical condition that may affect my driving?

The DVLA will normally ask you to fill in a medical questionnaire and give permission for details of your medical condition from your doctor. However, if you have applied for a lorry or bus licence and you have provided a D4 medical examination report with your application this may not be needed.

The DVLA then might contact your doctor or consultant, arrange for you to be examined, ask you to take a driving assessment, or an eyesight or driving appraisal. If you need to attend an examination or an assessment the DVLA will write to you explaining who you need to contact.

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Once the DVLA has all the information it needs, it will decide if you need to get a new driving licence, you can have a short-term medical driving licence for one, two, three or five years, you need to adapt your car by fitting special controls or you must stop driving and give up your licence.

Can I still drive while my DVLA medical driving licence application is being processed?

While your driving licence application is with the DVLA you may be able to drive under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, provided certain condition are met.

The DVLA must have received your correct and complete application within the last 12 months and you must have previously held a valid driving licence and only drive vehicles you have applied for on your current application and were entitled to drive on your previous licence. Any conditions that were specified on your previous licence still apply.

You must also meet the medical standards of fitness to drive. If you have a medical condition and have been told not to drive by a doctor or healthcare professional, you cannot drive under Section 88. You also cannot drive if your last licence was revoked or refused for medical reasons.

You must not have been previously disqualified from driving as a high-risk offender (a high risk-offender is a driver convicted of a serious drink driving offence) or be currently disqualified from driving by a court.

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The DVLA says that while it is completing medical investigations to decide whether a licence can be issued, it cannot tell you if Section 88 applies to you. It says that you and your doctor or healthcare professional are in the best position to consider the Section 88 criteria and to decide whether you should drive while you are waiting for a licence to be issued.

Do I have to apply for a Section 88?

No, you don’t need to apply for a Section 88 to continue driving while your medical driving licence application is being processed. However, the DVLA says it is your responsibility to make sure you meet the Section 88 criteria at all times while driving prior to receiving your licence.

Can I drive abroad while I am waiting for my DVLA medical driving licence?

If you are driving under Section 88 this may not be accepted in other countries because it is UK legislation. The DVLA says you should check with the relevant licensing authority before you travel.

What are the processing times for DVLA medical driving licences?

The DVLA does not publish monthly figures showing the average processing times for medical driving licence applications.

It says to allow four weeks for non-medical paper applications and that medical licence applications “will take longer”.

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When considering an application to issue a driving licence, the DVLA aims to make a decision “as quickly as possible” but where it requires additional information from a driver’s doctor or the driver it says that it is “wholly reliant on receiving this information before a decision can be made”.

How do I get in touch with the DVLA medical department?

You can phone the DVLA on 0300 790 6801 or 0300 790 6806. Phone lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm and Saturdays, 8am to 2pm.

You cannot use the DVLA’s webchat to check the progress of your medical driving licence application. However, you can use this service to: notify the DVLA of a new medical condition; obtain advice on how to renew or reapply for your medical licence; withdraw your application; update yours/your doctors details; request a new form to be re-sent; enquire about an appointment DVLA have requested.

The DVLA webchat is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm and Saturdays, 8am to 2pm.

There is no email address but you can complete an online contact form.

You can also write to the DVLA medical department. The address is:

Drivers' Medical Enquiries
SA99 1TU

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