Elderly drivers could face massive changes under new DVLA licence proposals

An elderly driver

Elderly drivers could be heavily affected by a new call for evidence

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 31/08/2023

- 15:31

Motorists need to inform the DVLA if they have a medical condition that may affect their driving

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has launched a new call for evidence that could lead to law changes for motorists with medical conditions.

The aim of the call for evidence is to look at potential avenues for legislative change to improve outcomes for motorists.

Motorists are already required to inform the DVLA if they have a medical condition that is on the designated list as this can affect their driving ability.

This is a required part of the driving licence process as it can find if drives are more likely to be at risk on the roads or cause an accident.

A UK driving licence

The DVLA is calling for more views on the current licence system


Because driving licence applications can be very complex, especially with medical conditions, the Government believes that a review of the existing guidance may need to change.

This could potentially affect older motorists who may be more at risk of having a medical condition and will be affected by any changes which stem from this call for evidence.

The call for evidence compares the UK with other countries and how they assess medical conditions.

In one instance, it states that Germany does not routinely screen drivers, including elderly motorists, with road users being relied upon to report health conditions that could affect their performance behind the wheel.

The call for evidence also highlights how the natural ageing process could lead to older people having to report conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and arthritis.

Richard Holden, Minister for Roads and Local Transport, said: “As Roads Minister, the safety of all road users is one of my key priorities.

“While many factors contribute to road safety, the health and fitness of drivers is a very important consideration.

“Driving a vehicle is a complex task which involves perceptions, using good judgement, adequate response times and appropriate physical capability.

“The aim of this call for evidence is to tap into a wide range of experience, views, and research to help us to identify areas where policy or legislative changes may be able to improve outcomes for drivers and other road users.”

One of the main questions in the call for evidence is whether changes are needed to “address the growing prevalence of drivers with multiple medical conditions”.

In July 2022, the DVLA announced law changes allowing more healthcare professionals to complete medical questionnaires for drivers.

This was designed to speed up elements of the medical licencing process, as well as reduce the burden on doctors completing DVLA questionnaires.


A DVLA sign

The call for evidence will end on October 22


The call for evidence can be answered online, via email or by post and will close at 11:59pm on October 22, 2023.

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