DVLA issues urgent warning about major driving licence plans which could impact elderly motorists

Elderly driver

Elderly drivers could be affected by the outcome of the call for evidence

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 22/10/2023

- 08:00

The call for evidence will end tonight at 23.59pm

Drivers are being urged to answer a Government call for evidence today which could have a dramatic impact on the future of driving licence applications.

Earlier this week, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to call on motorists to take part in the open call.

The post read: “Our call for evidence on driver licensing for people with medical conditions is open until October 22.

“If you have knowledge or experience of the current legislation and wish to respond, please visit GOV.UK.”

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The DVLA launched a call for evidence to hear the views of people who may be affected by changes to driving licences for those with medical conditions.

When applying for a driving licence, motorists must inform the DVLA if it can affect their ability to drive safely.

Medical conditions could include diabetes, heart conditions, sleep apnoea, epilepsy, strokes and glaucoma.

The DVLA wants to hear the opinions of those who may have experienced the system of informing about medical conditions in the UK abroad.

For example, Denmark requires those applying for their first driving licence to provide a medical certificate based on a medical exam and eye test.

There are no follow-up exams for those who meet the requirements, although when they turn 70, they need a medical certificate. This is needed again at 75 and every year after that.

Suggestions have been made in recent years to call on the UK Government to introduce new rules on driving licences to ensure everyone who gets behind the wheel is fit to do so.

A report from the Older Drivers Task Force in 2021 proposed that mandatory eyesight testing should be introduced once they reach 70 as a “driver MOT”.

Another proposal included an alternative to prosecution for careless driving for those who are over 70 with a “fitness to drive” assessment.

The call for evidence questions whether other Great Britain should consider adopting a different approach to dealing with drivers with medical conditions.

Section four looks into the growing prevalence of drivers with multiple medical conditions and how the DVLA could deal with an ageing population.

Richard Holden, Minister for Roads and Local Transport, said the aim of the call for evidence was to help the Government identify areas where policy changes can be made.

The MP for North West Durham said: “As the volume and complexity of driving licence applications or renewals where the applicant has one or more medical condition increases, the Government believes that the time is right to review the existing legal framework.

“However, we recognise that there are many people and organisations with a wide range of expertise that might have views or ideas that they wish to share and that is why we are launching this call for evidence.


UK driving licence

The call for evidence could influence future DVLA changes


“We want to understand any opportunities for change in this area and we need your help with that.”

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