Motorists handed loophole lifeline which could help get around harsh DVLA driving restrictions

Motorists handed loophole lifeline which could help get around harsh DVLA driving restrictions

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Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 20/05/2024

- 13:06

Driving rule could benefit drivers who have been waiting months for their licence back

Experts are warning drivers of a DVLA driving rule loophole which could see them travelling without a licence.

Under Rule 88 of The Road Traffic Act 1988, motorists may be allowed to continue driving without holding a current driving licence.

The loophole rule can be used when a driver has applied to the DVLA to renew their licence which has expired or if they are in the process of an application.

But to be eligible, drivers must meet the medical standards of fitness to drive, the DVLA explained.

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UK driving licence

To be eligible, drivers must meet the DVLA medical standards


In a DVLA document, it detailed: “If you have a medical condition and have been told not to drive by a doctor or healthcare professional, you should not do so.

“If your doctor or healthcare professional is unsure about how a medical condition affects driving, they should refer to ‘Assessing fitness to drive’.”

In addition, drivers must have held a valid driving licence and only drive vehicles they have applied for on the current application.

The document added: “[A driver must] meet any conditions that were specified on your previous licence that still apply.”

The rule comes at a time when more drivers have complained of the lengthywaiting times for getting theirlicence returned by the DVLA after filling out medical renewal records.

One driver claimed that after filling out a medical form to disclose glaucoma, he still hasn’t received his licence back.

Taking to social media, he said: “Do believe it can happen folks. I have waited for three months for my licence to be renewed, complained several times only to be told they can't help.

“I have glaucoma and did all the tests they asked for but there were many delays.”

But through Rule 88,some drivers can reduce their waiting time and hit roads a lot sooner.

The DVLA explained that as soon as they receive the “correct and complete” application for a new licence and if motorists “meet all the Section 88 criteria” they may drive.

However, the DVLA warned that for drivers who are travelling abroad, Rule 88 may not be accepted in other countries.

The agency advised drivers to check with the relevant licensing authority before travelling.


DVLA sign

Rule 88 could help drivers get on the road quicker


Adding an important detail, the DVLA warned that it is the driver’s responsibility to make sure they meet the Section 88 criteria at all times while driving prior to receiving their licence.

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