Driving licence proposals could see the DVLA introduce 'stricter guidelines' for elderly motorists

Driving licence proposals could see the DVLA introduce 'stricter guidelines' for elderly motorists

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Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 03/04/2024

- 12:33

Drivers could face a £1,000 fine for not informing the DVLA of medical conditions

An expert has suggested that new measures could be introduced to help motorists get their licences faster and aid the DVLA with medical requests.

A total of 887,000 medical licensing decisions were made by the organisation between 2022 and 2023, a huge increase of 130,000 from the previous peak between 2019 and 2020.

The DVLA deals with these requests if someone informs them of a medical condition or disability which could have an impact on their ability to get behind the wheel.

This must be done if they develop a “notifiable” medical condition or disability, or if their condition has worsened since they got their licence.

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Driving licence

The expert suggested that licence changes could be made to help medical decisions


While many may not be aware of the rules, common conditions like diabetes, epilepsy and sleep apnoea could all have an impact on their driving ability.

Guidance on GOV.UK outlines how people renewing their licence with a declared medical condition will have to wait longer to receive it.

It urges motorists not to contact the DVLA for an update as the agency will get in touch with the driver as soon as a licensing decision has been made or if they need more information.

Darren Miller, from BigWantsYourCar.com, explained how the DVLA could introduce changes if the organisation believes it can no longer deal with medical licences.

He said: “Potential changes in DVLA policies could involve adjustments to the renewal process or stricter guidelines for reporting medical conditions.

“While the current system mandates reporting at age 70, there may be discussions around lowering this age threshold to 65, as suggested by recent petitions.

The DVLA states that when it considers an application to issue a driving licence, it aims to make a decision as quickly as possible.

When the decision process requires additional information from a doctor or the driver themselves, they are “wholly reliant” on receiving the information before a decision is made.

Although this will lengthen the process of getting a licence, it will ensure that the DVLA takes measures to ensure all road users are safe on the road.

Miller added: “Such changes could lead to more frequent assessments of older drivers' fitness to drive, ensuring that they meet the necessary standards for road safety.

“However, any alterations must balance safety concerns with the practical needs of drivers."

The DVLA considers each medical licensing request on an individual basis and has issued shorter-period licences in instances where it is merited.


Driving licence

The DVLA made 887,000 medical decisions between 2022 and 2023


Motorists who do not inform the DVLA about any conditions which could affect their driving ability and are involved in an accident could be hit with a £1,000 fine.

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