Anyone else maddened by the DVLA & how they treat you once well?

I became well in Autumn/Winter 2011, was off medication and discharged by Psychiatrist in May 2012. This Feb my driving licence expired as I was put on a 12 month licence due to PP. I've been dealing with the DVLA since last November over the renewal and it is still ongoing! They now want me to see my GP for a medical examination to help them decide my fitness to drive. It's crazy and makes my blood boil, the number of letters, phone calls and now £130 unnecessary cost for a medical I don't need and I hardly think the GP will have heard of PP let'll own know how to assess in a few mins if I'm still ill or not. It's a farce!

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14 Replies

  • Oh no! How annoying! Can only imagine your frustration. Hope it gets sorted out quickly x

  • Thanks :-)

  • Hi I had pp in early 09. I couldn't drive for 6 mths. Then I got a 12 month licence and now I have a 3 yr licence which expires later this year. I called dvla a few months ago to see if I could get 10yr licence when mine needs renewed. I have to get another medical but the lady highlighted that the 3 yr licence was free whereas you have to pay for 10yr licence. Also I don't recall having to pay for my medical first time round. I thought dvla paid the gp for completing the form. I could be wrong, I would need to check as my memory back then was abit hazy. Hope this helps

  • Maryraff if you don't mind me asking how long were you on a 12 month licence before they increased it to 3 yrs? I can't understand why they'd make you pay for the 10yr especially when that's the one that'll save them money. I dread to think how much it costs for them to keep renewing for such a short term.

  • Hi after my pp I couldn't drive for 6 months. Then I got one 12mth licence and then a 3 yr licence. That 3 yr licence will expire this Oct. I rang dvla and they advised me to re apply about July time.

  • Thanks maryaff, I was expecting to get my 10 year licence back now so it wont be such a disappointment if I don't hearing about your experience so thanks for sharing. I was told not to drive for 6 weeks but think that was as much about having had an EMC as the PP ;-)

  • That's awful! & doesn't seem right that you should have to pay for a medical. I myself have been wondering at what point I will get a longer license. I had pp in July 2011 so surrendered my license. I was classed as "well" when I was discharged from hospital in August so as the psychiatrist had advised me on discharge I apllied to get my licence back in October. In the january I got a 12 month one. By the time that expired I'd been completely off medication for 6 months + & had no signs of pp & yet was still just given another 12 months. I find the having to reapply & fill out medical forms every yr frustrating & wondered if this will ever stop. Having read sbove though I now realise it could be much worse.

  • I'm hoping that when I show the GP the letter at my medical appt they'll send the bill directly to the DVLA as it implies they'll bear the cost. Oh migh, can't believe they might give me just another 12 months, thanks for the forewarning :-) I thought PP was only something you got postnatally and therefore we're not at risk of suffering again unless we have another child (which I wont as I'm now too old)? If that is the case, then it's just a waste of everyone's time and money and it just takes me back to a place in my life that I want to leave in my past rather than have dragged up every 12 months or so ;o

  • Yes, dvla is an awful experience after pp, I completely sympathise with your story! I gave up my license on discharge from hospital after in early 2010. My cpn supported me to complete an application in the June and I got it back for 12 months. I don't remember Having to pay, so you might want to query this? What really infuriated me was that my next renewal came back as 3 years and I felt so upset it was not longer. Like I was still somehow a risk although I finished meds, consultant discharge etc. It feels so unfair and stigmatized to be treated like this. I rang to query it and was told it was likely to be a few years like this for a long time, perhaps only going back to a 10yr license after 2 or more shorter ones, although perhaps 5yrs it could go up to next. I can't help but wonder how many people out there are driving for whatever health reason (sight, age etc) and haven't declared it or surrendered their license. It really upsets me in some ways. I hope you can challenge the costs at least, and good luck with it all.

  • Thanks for your reply. I'm hoping that when I show the GP the letter at my medical appt they'll send the bill directly to the DVLA as it implies they'll bear the cost. Thanks for the luck with getting it sorted, feel I need it ;o

  • I'm finding it very frustrating to not be able to drive, I applied last week after I surrendered my licence. 6 months ago, I was hoping I'd be allowed to drive by the end of the month but it sounds like that's very unlikely reading your replies! Oh no!

  • I find it really frustrating not being allowed to drive after PP. To me it feels like another liberty taken from you (& not always for any good reason). It just increases your isolation & dependency on your family too which isn't good for recovery. Grr! I was lucky, I knew I wasn't supposed to be driving but it wasn't something I or my Psychiatrist ever pushed - thankfully he had a good understanding of PP & my state of mind! I hope you all got it sorted / get it sorted soon!

  • I'm finding it slightly odd now that PP didn't effect my licence at all. We didn't have a car at the time, and I remember them asking me if I drove but that was it. We then got a car a couple of years later and I just drove without thinking about it. Was I supposed to notify them off the PP?


  • Yes it is odd Jododo, it seems so random & just at the Psychiatrist's discretion (which is pretty worrying if they're not perinatal specialists & might not entirely understand PP). I don't think there are any guidelines set out but I'll find out.

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