DVLA

Been told I have to inform DVLA about my hubbys accident, and have had a look at the form online. I don't know most of the answers required, Can I get in touch by phone ? Also how easy is it to get license back afterwards and do i need to keep a note of license number etc. Really seems like overkill to me as Jon can't physically drive for a long while anyway and his head injury will probably heal before his body at the rate he is improving.

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  • You can ring and ask for the form by phone but you can't complete it by phone. I had to ring because I couldn't answer the questions but they just told me if I was having problems to seek my GP's advice.

    I had to surrender my licence because the Neurologist had assumed I may be having subclinical fits (although there was no visible evidence) which was why I wasn't coming out of the coma. At that time the hospital I was in did not do EEG's and I was too poorly to be taken to Kings in London. There was no mention of this on my discharge letters and although i was on anti convulsants I assumed it was as a precaution. I didn't drive when I came home because I couldn't but when I went for my 8 weeks follow up apt with the Neurologist I asked if he thought it was ok to resume driving soon. This was when I got to of the 'fits' concern and that I had to inform the DVLA. He explained to me that if I didn't and then was involved in an accident, even if it wasn't my fault, my medical records would be gone through and the blame could be put on me. Also not to inform the DVLA would invalidate my insurance. I can't really remember what I had to do but I think I rang them (or maybe I did the initial form online). Anyway after completing the initial form you then get more medical forms to complete specific to the reason that need to be consider for fitness to drive. For me it was about 3 different forms all in some way relating to epilepsy. I found it impossible to fill in the boxes as it asked things like 'when did you have your first fit' 'when did you have your last fit' etc etc. I ended up writing all over the form! It was these forms that I rang the DVLA about but they wouldn't offer any guidance. Anyway I didn't get to start driving again and lost my licence for a year but then after a year I reapplied and got it back as a 3 year medical review licence. It also had restricted the vehicles I could drive. The 3 years have just ended and over the last 3 months I had to fill out all the forms again, this time I also had to fill ones about depression as well as Epilepsy but I didn't think depression was notifiable! The DVLA then contacted appropriate specialists on receipt of the forms for info from them too, and although I have never had a fit since and have been off the anti convulsants for about 2 years, it has only be renewed as a 7 years medical review licence. This really annoys me because at the start it was only an assumption that at the time of infection and inflammation in my brain that I may have had subclinical fits although there was no evidence of this. So i have ended up caught in the 'epilepsy' catargory with the DVLA, I had hoped this time I would get my licence back as a full licence but I didn't!

    My advice is that you must let the DVLA know, especially as you have been told too ?by hospital specialist, otherwise he will be breaking the law if he drives and you haven't. It will no doubt be documented in his medical records that this advice was given.

  • Yes, DVLA no NEED to know our MEDICAL private info! Should be between our doctors and us. Doctors should advise. VERY tricky though I know: HOW can they know how we drive?!

    I asked my GP about driving coz thought/knew I wasn't safe coz distracted by blowing leaves, crisp packets, colours, jumbles of images = all too much. BUT was SO lucky just knew enough to know and pretty much stopped driving for a bit. BUT walking hurt and I NEEDED it so took it really easy and relearned it/concentration. I remember telling bloke (for PTSD, I was trying to get help privately, Edward Street Brighton) that now take longer to pull out into a road coz have to MAKE SURE I've LOOKED and actually SEEN (what looked at = registered/thought).

    I'm continually surprised at the things I can/can't do coz can't concentrate on a DVD at all at mo or cinema = for even ONE hour but can drive for hours. WHY is this?! For me driving is so very calming, I think it takes enough attention (must be LOTS) for others/possibilities on the road, but I've relearned enough of the other bits (the mechanics of driving) to do on automatic again, which I lost ALL on auto at start. PLUS: my reactions are OK, nearly tipped motorbike over and body FELT it and itself (no conscious thought) righted it.

    So I have trouble deciding when washing up = WHICH thing to pick up next and where to put it after but not driving: what to do, why? Coz no TIME to think just react/do? Feels like. So for me (I think) when too many choices and no BIG reason (there ARE small ones though) to choose one over another (washing up)= I get lost in dithering but driving = no TIME to do that, MUST react.

    Trouble is for rest of life if pushed to react FAST I might react right or wrong, sometimes not important but other times really IS. And if I say/do wrong thing (rules, norms, laws etc.?) I get punished. WE're meant to LEARN, I did for driving but often fail in other life things, skills, can't regain/learn. So different bit of memory for car/bike driving? I don't know all this stuff, have looked up/read memory and types SO MANY times but not gone in, can't remember! Sounds funny all this stuff but it ISN'T, not when live with it year after year and NOT improving.

    So what's the answer to driving afterABI? Neuros et al have, can't remember name, same as they use to train pilots/update their skills flying. WHAT called? this drives me mad! It'll come later (often,not always) = SO frustrating. Anyway, if ever a doubt how about SAFE testing first = on computer, what called? Ahh, SIMULATOR! Then if appears OK = outside tests with distractions/real emergencies?

    So I now know in some areas I'm VERY injured but things like driving not - though fatigue worse now = stress, where I live, overload = but ONLY that? absolutely TERRIFIED of my future: it'll ALL get worse, I'll be WORSE. At my age the adapting/learning will (I think, probably, odds on ?) will NOT counteract the ageing/deteriorating? SCARY stuff but thing I think about sometimes.

    My GP wrote in med records that I'dASKED about driving, he deluded/wrong about how injured I was (and am). NO WAY he'd have been liable if I had accident (NONE since ABI = 9 years = proud!) I think, wrong diagnosis/advice? It would have been MY fault for 'not telling him' my symptoms coz NOT WRITTEN in notes by him = DID tell/ask LOADS.

    Yes, tricky but surely simulator and teaching to relearn FAR better after ABI ifat all possible. PLUS benefits = need enough money to buy/run a car = our independence and less pain. I'm STILL hurting after walking too far = 2 (?) weeks ago: big toe joint BAD/worse, so no: NOT good to hurt ourselves more, NOT go through the pain coz it causes MORE mechanical damage. Social Securities (insurances) TAKE NOTE!

    DVLA ruled by motor insurance = risk? Maybe we all pay for simulators through car insurance, spread the cost? Or taxes, spread the risk to all coz might be a pedestrian (etc.) and get ABI. Too scrambled now!

  • Hi little-anne

    try by phone. Dont think there was on line form when I had my accident. There doesnt seem to be a standard response from them. I know some people had to surrender their licience but in my case they let me physically keep my licience but I was told I couldnt drive( seemed strange but true). Be careful about extent of BI. I was physically able to drive about a year or so after accident. It took a further two years to pass fit to drive. If unable to do this via phone to dvla try citizens advice or better still your local Headway group. Hope this has helped good luck and all the best.

  • Hi little-anne

    me again . Just remembered ( this may not be how its done anymore) . After regaining the use of my arm and leg on my left side I was left with tackling my epilepsy. Once this wss under control and I appear normal ( not sure what this is anymore) and felt able to tackle driving I wss told ( although I still had a licience in my posession ) I had to have a medical driving assesment. Yep although the consultant now thought it ok for me to drive suddenly the DVLA decided they needed their own proof. So of I went to Derby for a full afternoon of test including two driving tests. The upshot was I was restricted to only automatic cars but I was issued a new licience....oh and I was sbsolutely shattered. So I was back on the road only to realise I had been left with no sense of direction. Thank god for sat nav. Was all this worth it...oh YES. Once again good luck.

  • Yes, like you I can drive OK but can get VERY lost but wouldn't understand how to use (and continually UPDATE = what a CHORE) a sat nav. It'd be good if EASY and not yet more WORK but til that dream I stick to try use TINY (and sometimes WRONG) maps.

  • you have to inform them & I think submit the licence, also inform your insurance company. I printed off the form & filled in what I could then added a letter with details of hospital, consultants etc.

    getting it back it not easy, but does happen. Took us 6 months, including a special assessment both driving & discussion with a clinical psychologist provided by DVLA & then John only got it for a year initially, then another form but now he has it back with full entitlement.

    Headway might be able to help too

    Jenni

  • Unless clinical psychologist EXPERT on ALL bits of ABI = not FIT to decide on driving! I'm a case in point and I think I've passed my 9 years driving tests OK. But if everything I struggle with written down think the 'experts' would ban me from driving - and at START = I was FAR worse! Maybe I'm wrong but if right (so MANY people banned after ABI but not other things = we're picked on) just goes to show how rubbish the experts are and how they must learn from our uniqueness, I expect they DO want to learn but no time/money/people = resources?

  • Have to say the one that assessed hubby was very good. They went on the driving assessment with him and then chatted with him for 20 minutes or so. They seemed to understand all his difficulties and accepted his explain actions of how he coped with the difficulties.

  • Great, brilliant. Wonder if enough well-trained/enough clinical psychologists, access to them and TIMELY?

  • Hi, anyone who has sustained a head injury has to surrender their drivers licence (I had to surrender mine and it was still provisional). Then it is an automatic year suspension until you can apply again. I applied in August; you can re-apply a certain amount of time early, I think 8 weeks. My head injury was in the October and I was advised by DVLA to apply early as this should make it quicker. This has not been the case, I am still awaiting a decision as to whether I can have my licence re-issued. I have been told they have a massive back log and it took over a month for my neurosurgeon to respond to them asking if he thought I was ok to drive again.

    It is very frustrating but if I hadn't of informed them and got back on my moped and they had found out I would have been hit with a massive fine and possible ban, I didn't think it was worth it. Even though I felt ok looking back my cognition wasn't as good as I thought it was, my balance was all out and my reaction times were all over the place.

  • I tried ti apply for bus pass and was told couldnt git it becaysr i have still got my driving licene tbh i forgot about it but havent drove since my bi and cant see anytime soon they told me to apply again in 3 montha but cant voulentry hand it in

  • I gave mine in at a local DVLA office. I applied to get it back again after a year, my consultant was approached for evidence that i was o.k by then and i sat with my GP to complete another long form to get it returned. Since i had not had any seizures it was pretty straightforward. Worth applying for a bus pass, you can use this across the country off peak times and mine was really helpful

  • I'm only guessing but the problem from your consultants point of view is most likely the possiblity of seizures or absences from his injuries.

    To drive when you've been advised not to by a medical professional would be a criminal offence and the insurance would be void, but more importantly, for me, would be the feeling of guilt should I cause harm to someone as a result of ignoring that advice.

    I filled in a paper form informing the DVLA and giving them the details of all the Doctors, consultants etc. dealing with my condition, but didn't surrender my license but waited for them to revoke my license. I did it that way because driving was my job I was frightened that if I just surrendered my license then, as I needed to claim benefit, that I would be penalised for making myself unemployed.

    I beleive if you voluntarily surrender your license it is easier to get it back. I can't really comment on how true or how easy that is because as yet I am still declared medically unfit to drive because of epilepsy that is difficult to control caused by a brain tumour.

    I do know that you have to be 10 years seizure AND medication free to get a vocational license back (HGV/PSV) and 12 monthe seizure free (with medication if required). If they change your seizure meds though you have to notify them and surrender license for six months as long as you're seizure free for that period.

    From the sounds of things at the moment, how, when or if your husband gets his license back must come secondary to getting hime as well and fit as he can be.

    Take care and wishing you both well

    Sporan

  • Hi there

    Don't hold your breath! I suppose mine is a little different, as I had a Zimbabwe Drivers Licence, but I sent my medical story at the same time as changing my licence. I am still waiting, and I sent the forms on 9/11/14. I had another medical form to fill in, and that was sent back on 6/12/14. My application has been forwarded to the Opthalmologist on 13/2/15, and I am still waiting!

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