DVLA???: DVLA .. I informed them about skull and... - Headway


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Teazymaid profile image

DVLA .. I informed them about skull and neck fracture plus the bleed on the brain ... they haven’t replied to me in four months and was told by them that is is up to my GP when I can drive again ... she said it’s a minimum of 6 months before I can drive ... should I hear back from DVLA ???

21 Replies


I had this, correctly informing DVLA. It took them two months to respond and like a typical public sector organisation to say they were very busy and had a backlog. If they were in the private sector they would have gone to the wall!

So a bizarre telephone conversation took place, whereby they said keep driving until we tell you that you cant. My doc agreed it was stupid as he said “if you wait for DVLA, you will forget how to drive!”

He sent an official letter of support along with one from my neuro, plus my wife demanded that DVLA put in writing what they had said in case anyone asked.

So to cut a long story short, five and a half months later, Swansea eventually got around to sending the ‘six months’ revokation letter, which stupidly was incorrect and at odds with their own website, stating six months from date of letter. (I had therefore driven, quite legally, around 3500 miles in that time!)

No! Its six months from date of last medical operation.

Fools. Just who do they employ and what level of intelligence do they posseess? Do they not have training to inform their staff of their own policies they are supposed to operate and implement.

So a phone call from my wife yielded a compromise....send in your licence and a new application as they admitted to having the letters from my GP and neuro on file, “and we will reissue you with a new licence”

Ten days later, I resumed driving as my new licence arrived.

Thats the kind of incomptence you pay your taxes for though.

And my neuro said avoid anxiety. Clearly DVLA policies on well being and mental health are paid lip service to tick a box only.

Ginola67 profile image
Ginola67 in reply to Shreds

I loved reading your post as it put my mind at rest with the trouble I have had with contacting dvla. I had a bleed on the brain operation april 1 and was getting stressed out trying to contact them until a nurse told me about headways and the support network. The reason why I joined is to speak to other people who have had the same operation as me and know what I have gone through and will be going through. What makes it even harder is that Iive on my own but do have very supportive family and friends.


charlie5540 profile image
charlie5540 in reply to Shreds

Yeah being a govt depth delay will always be part of the deal its up to you to chase them.

The medical services in the DVLA has always been slow to react and respond. Now with Covid they are not even taking calls for day to day enquiries let alone the specialist queries.Add onto this the industrial action that is in place, it is going to be a long time before you get a response.

Your GP is the main decision maker in whether you are fit to drive or not. After that, like many of us you may need to take a retest at one of the specialist centres across the country.

The timeline is affected a lot if your licence is officially suspended or the GP has just told you not to drive. You must also tell your insurance company as some are quite risk adverse in terms of medical conditions

Your GP decides, however you need to wait for the official letter from the DVLA. I think your insurance is invalid without their official approval. This means if you are involved in an accident and it's not your fault you still get the blame. Ask your GP for more advice asap to clarify.

Hello! I suffered a brain injury in January and haven’t heard anything at all from the DVLA yet but I was advised not to drive for 6 months by the doctors. Have you sent the DVLA an off road driving report? I got mine from my rehabilitation team after some cognitive testing and as long as I send a copy to the DVLA 3 weeks prior to my 6 month date I can drive from this date whether they have got back to me or not. It’s up to the doctors, not the DVLA so I wouldn’t worry about hearing back from them.

Truthfully I’m not ready to drive as I had other injuries that need sorting but just would be nice to know what the DVLA actually have to Input to a difficult situation 🥴

sospan profile image
sospan in reply to Teazymaid

One of the issues in the advice given so far is that there are quite a few myths being exposed.

Firstly, irrespective of what the GP states there is a legal requirement for patients with certain symptoms to notify the DVLA of their condition. This includes quite obvious issues like epilepsy, brain injury, diabetes and more innocuous things like Atrial fibrillation and Dyslexia.

The DVLA are administrators of your driving licence, they apply the "rules" and guidance for certain medical conditions and ask the GP for input whether his "opinion" you are fit to drive. It is an opinion that at the time your were assessed you would be fit to drive.

The regional assessment centres whom undertake on and off road testing make a recommendation on your driving ability to the DVLA.

In the event that you are involved in any form driving incident and the Police are involved. Their opinion at that time on the person in charge of the vehicle and their fitness to drive is final. No matter what the doctor says, a regional driving centre if the Police at the time find you are not fit to drive, that is it. And of course, if the incident results in a to court session you not be able to rely on what the GP said as they will not want to tarnish their professional reputation saying you are fit to drive and then you get involved in a court case.

Driving with a notifiable condition that a DVLA is unaware of is an offence equivalent to drink driving. Even if you have sent forms to the DVLA stating your condition unless they are on the DVLA system with a flag to indicate your licence is active, you are in jeopardy of driving without a licence.

Failing to notify your insurance company of any medical condition will result in your policy being cancelled retrospectively as you will find that they will say that you fraudulent took out the policy.

Note that on medicine instruction notes, where it says "do not operate machinery" this includes motor vehicles and bicycles. Indeed many of the common medication provided to assist head injury survivors puts you at risk let alone mentioning fatigue or cognitive issues.

The risk of driving post head injury are vey much stacked against us.

twice profile image
twice in reply to sospan

Everything you say is 100% correct, I had a Tbi 4 years ago and have had my driving licence revoked because of cognitive impairment and the medication I have to take for the rest of my life

sospan profile image
sospan in reply to twice

Spent some time at the side of the road assessing drivers abilities :-)

I’m in the process with the DVLA. As sospan says - they are the legal entity not the GP and most head injuries will be notifiable events. They are pretty busy, but I personally have found they have kept me informed (by letter) of ongoing progress, having submitted my form to declare. Until my license is ok’d by them, it’s a waiting game,. Frustrating, but unavoidable. My consultant did mention that they are looking at eyesight, drugs, continuing treatment, etc and have a medical team assessing these things. If you haven’t had repeat medical input, eye issues, black outs, epilepsy, then it is probably just a mater of time. If you need car adjustments to be able to drive safely, that’s also one for them to assess in terms of suitability and safety. I am incredibly frustrated at my lack of independence and being declared fit to drive will be amazing, but I also am accepting of the process and demands on it! Getting irritated is not going to speed it up unfortunately. It may seem a bit ‘inhumane’ or ‘unnecessary’ but is in the long run geared at safety - both ours and other road users! It is a bit galling to have to go through this process, especially considering those driving who shouldn’t be (ie the mother-in-law), but don’t have to jump through these hoops to prove capacity!

One of the saddest things I have to do far too often is to notify the Police of an elderly driver whom is unfit to drive.

The most recent one was when an elderly driver had to his partner to guide him to drive into a disabled parking bay from two car lengths away. His eyesight was that poor he could not see the yellow markings. One of those timely occasions where there was a Policeman nearby and called him over to watch the parking. We stood there watching him for ages maneuvering into the space before the copper said he had seen enough.

Sad to take away their independence but one day there could be a serious injury because of his limited sight.

Teazymaid profile image
Teazymaid in reply to sospan

I couldn’t agree with you more .. I couldn’t drive because of head but was also injured in other ways from my accident so would like to have heard back from DVLA as it’s now four months and nothing except one lady said ask your GP it’s not our decision .... advise from GP is at least 6 months from the injury bleed/ fractures but am totally confused at nothing back from DVLA ...

The DVLA have a complaints unit details on their website. I was getting the run around from DVLA after reporting my SAH so got my MP involved which produced a response from them. In total took me about 8 months to get sorted.

Teazymaid profile image
Teazymaid in reply to Hedwig57

Nightmare !!! And did DVLA just say yes you can drive ??

Hedwig57 profile image
Hedwig57 in reply to Teazymaid

They sent me to my GP plus i asked my Neurologist surgeon for a letter.

Thank you for all replies 😁

I have been waiting to hear back from the DVLA for months and months! They are impossible to get hold of and have been told by a 'professor of opthamology' that they are a 'law onto themselves' when it comes to making the decision on your driving license!!I had a SAH and a cranial shunt fitted in Oct 2019 and thankfully recovered quite well except for a partial loss of peripheral vision in my right eye. This led to an automatic revoke of my license for at least 6 months. I am still trying to get my license back 18 months on so good luck to you and keep on trying!

I had an epileptic seizure July 2019. I was told in February 2020 that I needed to be seizure free for 1 year but could apply 2 months earlier. I applied to get my licence back in January 2021 and so far I have heard nothing, not an acknowledgment or anything. I have lost count of the number of times I have rung to be told they are too busy and to try some other time and then they disconnect. I have emailed to be told they can't deal with it apart from on the phone for security reasons. This is all for my one and only seizure which according to their website shouldn't warrant any of this. I live in a small village with no bus service or shop or GP surgery, nothing in fact apart from a church and a good pub. It is driving me barmy or at least more barmy 😂

Teazymaid profile image
Teazymaid in reply to maureen103

That is so bad !!! I have spoken to them several times but they say it’s in the medical department !!! Just keep ringing until they answer it’s taken over an hour just to get connected but it does so though eventually ...

Just spoken to lady DVLA 15 calls then I got a 30 minute wait but all sorted .... with the bleed I had it is up to my GP to access me and they will eventually reply to me but say that my GP knows me a lot better than them ..

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