I know i have read on this forum re notifying dvla about af and driving licence revocation and i think the conclussion was that it was not necessary but yesterday a facebook posting from The Atrial Fibrillation Association seemed to suggest that it was a requirement, although i couldn't specifically find the instruction to do so. Please would one of you sensible, properly informed people help alliviate my confussion? What is the current position?

17 Replies

  • AS far as I know the current situation is that you do not need to advise DVLA unless you are incapacitated or distracted by your AF.

    There used to be considerable confusion because the DVLA advice to medical practitioners stated that AF need not be advised yet under advice to drivers it said it did. This has now changed unless they have just changed it back! It is easy enough to go on the DVLA website and check which I will do when I come back form taking my wife out to lunch.

    It is worth mentioning that should you have a medical condition which does require advice to DVLA then failure to inform your insurance company will invalidate your insurance.

  • Thank you. I was pretty sure that it was as you have said but doubt and fear took over my certainty. I hope you enjoy your lunch with Mrs Bob!

  • Very nice thank you. Always go out on a Thursday as it is one of her days off.

    Just scrolled though DVLA and you only need to advise if Arrhythmia is distracting or causes incapacity. Interestingly I note that I have been correct about not driving after catheter ablation which is listed as 2 days. Several people have claimed a week and frankly I wouldn't have wanted to drive that soon anyway.

    I always smile when I think of my prostatectomy. I asked the Doctor when I could drive and he said when you can do an emergency stop without screaming. So, that will be about a month then. ha ha.

  • Thank you for the info, appreciated and it makes sense too!

  • I asked my cardiologist. He asked a couple of questions and said I was fine to drive, just pull over if it started. I don't drive long distances on my own.

    PS, my sessions don't tend to last top long (15mins)

  • I think the wording that says you need to tell them if your "Arrhythmia is distracting....." needs caution. Point is, can an arrhythmia ever not be distracting? If you're driving along and suddenly you go into AF, or just have a bit of a wobble, could you say that isn't distracting? I suppose if it was mild and happened so regularly you were used to it all the time, then yes, you're not distracted, but otherwise I reckon you would be, or might be.

    I'm sure the wording has changed again. Last time I read it, it seemed clear that you only had to notify them if your doctor said you needed to! Now it seems different and open to interpretation.

    Sorry to throw a spanner in the works!


    PS. (edited) But if you're arrhythmia is controlled by drugs, then you can say it's not distracting I guess, I would.

  • Look through past posts especially those in 2016.

    It is ambiguous and the key thing interpretation. Unfortunately the onus and the cost will be on YOU to prove in the event something happens later and for sure it won't be on your medical record so!!!

    My advice is play safe and notify then.

    By the way the rules changed in January re SLEEP APNOEA. It is now COMPULSORY to tell the DVLA for all levels even if you only have mild SA and are not on a CPAP.

  • ..... if in doubt etc.. Notification will bemade. Thank you for your advise.

  • I went to my sleep clinic yesterday, and although I was told my CPAP is working very well. It feels it as well. I was told off for not informing DVLA and insurance, even thought I'm under treatment and not going to fall asleep at the wheel. I was told that my licence wouldn't be taken away and my insurance wouldn't go up. I don't believe the 2nd one. Insurance companies use any excuse to add premiums.

  • I only have mild SA and not on a CPAP. My insurance company did not ask for any other money at the time of advising them (mid policy term), nor did there get any loading at the time of renewal (in fact premium was slightly lower).

    Did consultant advise you to? When I saw mine in June she was very thorough about explaining the revised situation and apologised because it had been 10 months since last appointment (and therefore I would have been advised earlier).

    In fact if you are using a CPAP there is I believe less risk than someone who has mild SA because they might have progressed to medium and need a CPAP.

  • As a matter of interest ....... and to use the formal bureaucrateeze ... I have a PCV entitlement to my driving licence. I HAD to notify DVLA because of the PCV entitlement which was immediately revoked, but, I could still drive my car. After some 8 weeks ( I think from memory) and my GP was satisfied that my medication was working and that I was in NSR DVLA, following their own enquiries made with my permission, reinstated my PCV entitlement.

    I still hold my PCV and on account of age have to have a DVLA based medical each year now for my PCV. No further AF events now since April 2015.


  • I informed the DVLA back in 2014 and received a letter back from them saying "we do not need to make medical enquiries for this condition, so you can keep your driving licence" which I keep tucked inside my licence at all times.

  • I hope you keep the original at home and a copy on you.

    BTW I don't keep my licence on me since if you lose it there is a lot pf hassle getting it replaced and can cause you to be stopped by the police.

  • This gets asked from time to time and there always seems to be a variety of opinions.

    What is fact is that should you see fit to complete form H1 the first question is something like "has your doctor told you not to drive" to which the answer is NO. After that there is nothing else to answer so a complete waste of time.

    Similarly most insurance proposal forms contain a question such as "do you suffer from any medical condition which requires report to DVLA. Again No.

    In October 2013 at HRC a doctor told us that DVLA did not need to be advised because that is the advice to doctors. Flapjack and I both pointed out the difference in advice to drivers at which point he requested that this be investigated and corrected. I suspect that this is why the advice to drivers was changed in 2014.

    Also of interest. When I checked DVLA website yesterday I note that whilst back then AF was a separate heading it is now grouped under arrhythmias which I did not expect.

    There are many conditions which can reduce a driver's capability which do not need to be advised. A common cold for one! It is beholden on everybody to be sensible and if you don't feel well then don't drive. As for distracting that is up to each individual to assess. I can think of lots of other distractions. Roadcraft does not like " in car entertainment" for example and if I went for my regular check drive with the radio on I would fail yet all cars come with it these days. Changing a CD on the motorway could kill you!

    If you have an ICD then you can't drive unless it has not operated for six months I think. Again all the details are on DVLA site as are those for pacemakers.

  • In fact I added additional information after answering no. I was one of the random NOs where DVLA did contact my doctor. Got letter back and the key thing is that means a benchmark and the fact that no medic can say at a later date that I was advised not to drive.

  • I was advised to tell insurers but when I said DVLA did not need to be informed they hadn't got a box to tick so just put a note on computer.

  • Broadening the scope beyond AF - I've never found AF distracting - don't assume that if your GP or a clinician hasn't said that you can't drive, that it's OK to drive. When I had a full stroke, I had the standard advice that I mustn't drive for a month. Thereafter no one mentioned driving. It wasn't until three months later when I reported my partial vision loss to the DVLA Medical Group, that the subsequent test resulted in my licence being revoked. If you are unsure about your ability to drive safely, it might be safer to report it. That said, it's a kick in the teeth when you can no longer legally drive.

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