doc-spreadsheet doc-text doc-image doc-video doc-slideshow doc-pdf

Government considers medical changes to driver licensing

dusk road

The DVLA has launched a call for evidence on driver licensing for people with medical conditions, as it looks to ‘strike the right balance between the road safety risks and the needs of a driver to maintain mobility’. The DVLA assesses the fitness to drive of individuals with medical conditions and makes licensing decisions to make sure that driving licences are only issued to those who meet the required medical standards.

However, with the onus on drivers to inform the DVLA of any medical condition which may affect their ability to drive safely, there have been long-standing concerns about this system.

For example, in some other countries, there is a legal obligation on doctors to inform the driver licensing authority if someone has a medical condition that might make them unfit to drive. The DVLA says it is important that licensing decisions are made based on the correct information.

The new consultation, which is open until 22 October, asks for external views on where policy or legislative changes may be able to improve outcomes for drivers and other road users. It is described as an early-stage request for input to help formulate proposals that could support potential future changes to the legislative framework.

Richard Holden, minister for roads and local transport, said: “A range of medical conditions, disabilities and treatments can affect an individual’s ability to safely control a vehicle. 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.”

Skip to content