Marks review for driving again : Bit nervous about... - Headway

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Marks review for driving again


Bit nervous about this . he has appointment next Friday with neurological as his 12 months is up on 7th after a small blackout . i thought it was nerve wracking when the daughters were first driving ! !!!!

I've asked his brother to take him as he wont be happy if they say no . He's desperate to drive again which I understand it's just abit frightening xx

15 Replies

Was the DVLA informed of Mark's 'blackout' because legally they have to be and he would have had to surrender his licence. If his neurologist considers Mark is from his perspective, safe to drive, that ultimate decision still has to be made by the DVLA. Mark would need to apply to have his licence reinstated. The DVLA will send appropriate medical forms to be completed and they then will themselves assess Mark's medical fitness to drive. They would seek medical information from all his relevant specialists and Doctor. His brain injury state would have to be considered as well because sometimes it can have affected things like his spacial awareness, concentration etc which could affect his ability to be a safe driver. Some people are sent to a test centre to be assessed driving. If the DVLA haven't been informed then I think Mark would be breaking the Law and if he was involved in an accident, he would invalidate his insurance and be breaking the Law. Whether or not it was his fault his medical records would be requested and gone through in detail.

It was thought that I was having subclinical fits when I was in a coma although there was no visual indicators of fitting. This meant that I had to notify the DVLA and was not allowed to drive for a year and then the DVLA conducted there own assessment when I reapplied for my licence. Initially I was then only issued with a medical review licence for a year.

Mark did inform dvla but they didn't take his licence he has rang them and they know about his blackout . he needs al clear from gp which he has and neuro next week

That's good to hear that DVLA were informed otherwise it's a legal minefeld! I think the neuro's opinion is the most important one. The DVLA didn't actually request my licence was sent back but it wasn't valid to use. When I applied to start driving again, because I still had a paper licence I had to send it back and was issued with a 1 yr's time further medical review plastic photo card licence. My neurologist wouldn't take the responsibility of making a decision as to whether I was now fit to drive he said it had to be the DVLA. That was his stance with everyone and think that more to do with implicating himself from making a wrong decision and getting sued! By the time I reapplied I was on antidepressants so ended up being reviewed for the impact of depression on my ability to drive as well as the bi and sub clinical fits. I was taken aback when I looked on the DVLA website at the massive list of conditions that have to be notified! Mostly we tend to know about epilepsy and obvious things like bi and dementia but not all the others!

I have to disagree re your statement that the neuro's opinion is the most important one! The science of neurology is still in its infancy - they now have some very good images of the brain courtesy of the scans but they still know very little about the workings of this most complex of all organs. They usually pass you on to the relevant organ specialist for neurological conditions. But anyway how on earth can a doctor judge whether someone is safe to drive a potentially lethal tonne of metal at 70mph?

Lives are at stake here remember and the inconvenience of not being able to drive is small beer compared to that.

When I had my TBI 26 years ago I was able to drive again without a retest - and I was fine then I even passed my Institute of Advanced Motorists Test and drove over 20k mile per annum for work. But then I started being very tired, having a stiff neck and dry painfully watering eyes and decided that I was not safe to drive and stopped. We live in the middle of the countryside and I pretty much only go out for hospital appointments for which I get hospital transport but I am sure that I could get lifts if I needed them. Much as I enjoyed driving it has not been an issue because it is a no-brainer (forgive the pun!)

Woah I think you have taken my comment wrongly. I was not stating that Neurologist know all about the brain and yes there is still lots that is not understood. My comment was in context of reapplying to the DVLA for a driving licence. It is the DVLA that do want information from any specialists that we are under which the DVLA consider to be more valid that the GP's. I was explaining my perception of the information that the DVLA want to source to consider to make their decision.


Hi Debbie,

My husband has been through all this, he had the driving test and passed with flying colours but the DVLA refused him a licence. He went to pieces as he loves driving. Do keep an eye on Mark as I wouldn't want you to go through what we have, our life has been awful since all this happened.


debbie36a in reply to Hidden

I'll bear it in mind Janet . this is why his brother is taking him i can't stand to see him upset if all doesn't go well xx hope your ok

CarolineLD in reply to Hidden

I am puzzled as to the basis on which he was refused a licence if he passed the test? Surely the purpose of the test was to ascertain his fitness to drive? Do clarify this and appeal if necessary - the CAB are usually very helpful.

Hidden in reply to CarolineLD

Hi Caroline, His driving has always been very good which is why he passed the test. However, his neurologist suggested that he wasn't safe due to episodes of confusion and occasional memory loss. I am happy that he isn't driving as I was too afraid of the repercussions if there was an accident but it means I have drive all the time (and unlike him, I hate it!). Unfortunately he absolutely went to pieces when his licence was revoked.

CarolineLD in reply to Hidden

Oh I see, that is tricky as the memory loss would not affect his driving! If he forgot where is was going that too would not make him dangerous. It is observation and control of the vehicle that is key and the risk of blacking out of course. It is a grey area and people have to do their best given the risks as you realise. If you have to drive have you considered doing the Institute of Advance Motorists course and test? You might enjoy it as a skill then. Best wishes!

Hidden in reply to CarolineLD

With his bad memory, he would probably not remember what had happened in the event of even a minor incident. He could easily get blamed for another person's bad driving. A minefield really. Very sad, as his driving in itself is far better than most peoples. A risk not worth taking. Very sad too, when you see the awful way some people drive and they are still on the road!

Debbie I feel for you.

One of the questions I was asked at my DVLA assessment was......

How would you feel/react if we recommended that your licence was revoked?

I was startled and shocked by this but it made me think. They didn't rush me to answer.

Eventually I was able to say that another step in the garden would probably get smashed as I would need to vent and hubby gave me things to smash last time but the sledgehammer slipped. I understand that they have a duty of care to ALL road users and that driving is a responsibility even if it often feels like a right.

Love n hugs


In my opinion people know in their heart of hearts whether they should be driving or not. I understand the DVLA has a responsibility to ensure safety in the issuing of licenses. But I do sometimes think they way too harsh. If I thought I was incapable of driving safely I wouldn't want to drive and endanger my life and that of others. I just wouldn't want that on my conscience for ever more. I just don't think its right for all people with BIs to be considered unsafe and then to have to jump through massive hoops to regain their license.

CarolineLD in reply to lcd8

That is just what I did - and reading about people's reactions here makes me think that making the decision oneself is in fact empowering and avoids the anger and stress felt by being restricted by the 'powers that be'?

My partner did a Driving simulation test would this help ? . Its not just about the skill it also about processing and dealing with people when they break the rules , and coping and adjust to all the unexpected things people do like walking into your parking space as your reversing not sure my partner would keep his cool.

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