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DVLA wants your views on proposals to widen the pool of medical healthcare professionals needed to fill in DVLA medical questionnaires

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By law, all drivers must meet medical standards for fitness to drive at all times, and there are additional checks for bus and lorry drivers.

All drivers are legally obliged to tell DVLA about a medical condition that could impair their ability to drive, such as diabetes, glaucoma and epilepsy. We use this information to decide what further actions to take.

We want as many people as possible to enjoy the freedom of the open road for as long as possible, but only if they are safe to do so. Currently this means we need to contact GPs and hospital doctors in certain instances, when a driver tells us about a medical condition that could affect their driving.

Dr Nick Jenkins

Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)

The impact of COVID-19 on the NHS and GP surgeries is unparalleled. We greatly appreciate the significant support of a driver’s doctor, providing vital medical reports to help us decide if it’s safe to issue a driving licence. When an application involves a medical condition, we’re often wholly dependent on receiving this additional information.

We know that the ability of NHS doctors and GPs to respond to our queries was impacted by the pandemic. And while the provision of such reports may not be clinically urgent, receiving a driving licence in a timely manner can be vitally important to an individual’s wellbeing and livelihood.

In addition to helping the ordinary motorist, making sure bus and lorry drivers stay safe and legal on the road is of particular importance for us. This will help drivers delivering essential goods and transporting passengers throughout the UK.

New proposals 

We’re very much aware of the need for GP practices and hospital teams to prioritise and manage their resources in such times. With the support of the Department for Transport and Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) we propose amending current legislation to increase the pool of healthcare professionals authorised to fill in medical questionnaires and we want your views on doing so.

Only registered medical professionals - doctors with full general medical council (GMC) registration are currently authorised to provide medical reports to DVLA.

Changing the law to allow an appropriate registered healthcare professional, other than a doctor, to fill in a medical questionnaire, will give surgeries greater flexibility and improve turnaround times. This proposal also supports DHSC’s aim to reduce bureaucracy in general practice.

We’re seeking your views

We want to involve you in decisions that affect you and welcome your views, thoughts, and insights on this proposal.

The consultation will run between 8 November and 6 December 2021 and will only take you 25 minutes to read and provide feedback. After the consultation the results will be analysed and details of the outcome of the consultation will also be published.

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  1. Comment by David Bradnum posted on

    As somebody who is presently struggling to get my licence sorted because of medical reasons i believe this to be an excellent idea. With the skill and professionalism of most practice nurses i see no reason why they coudnt carry out such duties.

    • Replies to David Bradnum>

      Comment by James BH Smith posted on

      I agree, my wife's renewal application submitted May 2021 with written medical proof of fitness to drive, not received to date November 2021.

    • Replies to David Bradnum>

      Comment by Graham Davies posted on

      Totally agree

    • Replies to David Bradnum>

      Comment by Pamela Dixon posted on

      I am also struggling to get my driving licence sorted because of medical reasons. I also believe it a good idea. Nurse practitioners see patients and deal with them as much as qualified doctors, l can't see a problem them carrying out such duties.

      • Replies to Pamela Dixon>

        Comment by John Sparrow posted on

        Should have been done years ago, the nurses and medical staff are very important and will ease the pressure on doctors.

    • Replies to David Bradnum>

      Comment by David Roper-Hall posted on

      I quite agree with you on this point it should have been done years ago for the likes of senior nurses and implementation have done as they will charge just the same as any Doctor do in my experience when I went for my class one it is not free unless it has changed

    • Replies to David Bradnum>

      Comment by Pat Rothwell posted on

      I agree that other professional people should be able to give the information you require and hopefully it will get the back log down and help to get it back to normal in the future

    • Replies to David Bradnum>

      Comment by R Rag posted on

      I am an Ophthalmologist.
      I am happy to help you.
      Can I get the details of proceedings and policies related to the setting up D4 certificate issuing settings please

    • Replies to David Bradnum>

      Comment by R Rag posted on

      I don,t think its safe to leave D4,an important document that determines the life of many on the road and inside of the vehicle ,to non doctors to deal with.
      There are a lot more in history taking than those given in the questionnaire,for example floppy eye lid syndrome is associated with sleeping disorders,to consider for the fitness of a driver.Unless the professional has an in depth and wide knowledge about medical science,it is perilous to allow everyone to fill up the forms.

      • Replies to R Rag>

        Comment by Louise Meek posted on

        I agree. I have had my licence unfairly suspended because the DVLA wrote to my GP who knows nothing about my circumstances and not to my specialist who does know and sees me regularly. I now have to go through a solicitor and court and my consultant has to write in my defence. In certain cases even GPs do not know what they're talking about ie general practitioner. It has devastated my life all because I couldn't get through on the phone to tell them of the error. I am totally dependent on my car as my daughter has special needs and I have no family or friends able to help so it means paying 200 a week on taxis.

    • Replies to David Bradnum>

      Comment by Kevin Goom posted on

      Sounds good , I’m waiting for my license after 6 months ago had it revoked my a cardiologist after a fall walking my dogs,
      Cait actually talk to a member of staff at DVLA as phone lines are constantly engaged, I’ve sent them all reports from the hospital of which are normal/ unremarkable.
      I drive for a living,can’t work ,NO INCOME AND GETTING INTO DEBT


  2. Comment by Aidan Hughes posted on

    Anything to speed up the process

    • Replies to Aidan Hughes>

      Comment by Susan Bailey posted on

      Getting more health people involved does not help.

      if anyone but your GP or actual consultant writes to the DVLA, they could tell lies for various reasons and prejudices.

      The DVLA Health department, should read the replies from your GP who knows about your health, not someone who might have
      their own reasons for wanting you to lose your licence.

  3. Comment by Dr R Raha posted on

    I am a GP willing to help the DVLA. Please let me know how to contact you to help.

    • Replies to Dr R Raha>

      Comment by Sheila Charles posted on

      GP's and also patients' uOpticians.

    • Replies to Dr R Raha>

      Comment by R Rag posted on

      Yes,I am also struggling to get contact details for doctors to contact the DVLA.
      Do you have an idea about policies and procedures for setting up this.
      Do we need any licence from the DVLA for this,like the one we get from the CQC for our firms?

  4. Comment by Derek posted on

    Should be able to use any suitably trained health care worker to take the strain off the system and leave doctors to treat people

  5. Comment by Mark Viggers posted on

    I totally agree the should be expanded, the NHS Emergency Service is under severe pressure, especially ambulance waiting times is severe at the moment.
    A & E Departments are suffering substantially too.
    It’s pretty obvious that the NHS are under severe pressure and seriously need more staff “NOW”.

  6. Comment by Andrew White posted on

    Please go ahead with the change if it really will speed things up. The cost saving is secondary.

  7. Comment by LesJ57 posted on

    I don't see why certain people cannot authorise the renewing of a licence. An Optician for instance for a sight related problem. This must be the way forward. I am still waiting on my licence to be renewed for 8 months.

  8. Comment by Stephen malcolm Williams posted on

    I think it's a good idea as I've been waiting since April for a medical and really need my licence back for work and personal reasons I understand that it's been hard in the dvla but it's been very hard on myself having to rely on busses and taxis to get everywhere even more annoying as my car is parked outside my house

  9. Comment by Gary Mysgrove posted on

    As a Nurse Practitioner I would be interested in carrying out these assessments. Great idea to reduce waiting times for licence renewals etc

  10. Comment by R Dunnett posted on

    If a medical professional other than a doctor were to undertake this task, what liability - if any - would they incur by undertaking this additional role?Would they in any way be implicated, in the event of the person they had assessed being involved in a RTA?

  11. Comment by Sandra D posted on

    A great idea to reduce waiting times. However how much more are you expecting Nurses to take on? How much time will this take? Will nurses be paid additional for doing this ( Like Dr's do?)
    What about changing the amount of time you renew licences from eg 3 years to 5 years?

  12. Comment by Brenda Gutberlet posted on

    It is vital that optometrists are allowed to repory directly to DVLA medical section when a driver fails to reach the visual standard to be able to drive.
    Because of this obvious omission a 28year old member of my family was mown down on a crossing by a
    driver who had more than 40 defects in his one eye. His optometrist was not legally enabled to report him so my niece died. YES change the Law to include optometrists as health care professionals to report unsafe drivers.

  13. Comment by Caroline Duncombe posted on

    I think option 3 is excellent. Nurse Practitioners and other Healthcare professionals providing this information, should speed up DVLA procedures and release doctors to provide other important Healthcare work.

    • Replies to Caroline Duncombe>

      Comment by Mr Peter Garratt posted on

      I am not against the idea, however I would like to think that it would be a section of the dvlc pro ficient on this and not just anyone,who would not be able to make there own valuation, and you are being informed beforehand that action was going to go ahead.

  14. Comment by Richard Nankervis posted on

    In principle this seems like an excellent idea, however it will still put pressure on the resources of general practices.

  15. Comment by Richard Cleverdon posted on

    I fully agree that this is the way to go, we have many marvellous Nurses that are more than capable of completing this medical questionnaire. I am however worried that to get this passed will take years rather than months. Please tell me I’m wrong.

  16. Comment by Deborah posted on

    Option 3 nurse practitioners should be okay

  17. Comment by John saunders posted on

    Add opticians to list for eye sight.

  18. Comment by Raymond.white posted on

    A brilliant idea.saves a great deal of fuffing around..especially with the long delays waiting to get an appointment with ones own gp..often we are told
    Call back in 3 weeks..doh !!

  19. Comment by Anthony Howes posted on

    The assessments must be completed by a Dr who knows also what actual driving entails
    Speed of completion of assessment is not priority

    • Replies to Anthony Howes>

      Comment by Steven Kennedy posted on

      Couldn't agree less.
      GP's are under enormous pressure, and admin such as completing questionnaires for DVLA, DWP, etc takes up valuable time that could be put to far better use doing what they spent seven years learning and training for - diagnosing and treating patients.
      I believe that any suitably qualified HCP, who has received the relevant training, should be able to assess and report on a patient's fitness to drive.
      I personally don't have any medical conditions that affect my ability to drive but if I did I'd want assessed and back on the road (or know that I can't be) asap. I'm sure your opinion would change if you were unable to drive for several months while you waited for an assessment.

  20. Comment by Lord Gregory posted on

    For years I have always said that each driver should have their blood group on their licence. In the event of an accident, paramedics can see the drivers blood group and inform the hospital.

  21. Comment by Pam Slater posted on

    As a retired nurse I fully agree that many Healthcare professionals would be quite capable of doing these assessments. The sooner the better.

  22. Comment by Bharat Patel posted on

    I am a GP and welcome this move to my adept colleagues easing the task. Opticians are also valuable in this as will be occupational therapists, physiotherapists and district nurses as they have more one to one insight on our patients.

  23. Comment by Susan posted on

    Yes anything to speed up the process. Been waiting since May for my licence. My cheque was cashed immediately though!!! They bank the money first.

  24. Comment by Mr ROBERT Staines posted on

    A very good, idea provided the cost is kept, at an affordable amount, or even capped

  25. Comment by Graham Davies posted on

    I agree no pro

  26. Comment by Ian Smithers posted on

    I consider the proposal to be a logical move, if there is a grey area with the occasional individual the request could be moved on to a specialist

  27. Comment by Ian Good posted on

    Good idea I'll wait and see as long as it's done with experienced staff

  28. Comment by SR Almey posted on

    Being a victim of delays in obtaining medical confirmation of my ability to drive I would wholeheartedly support any improvement in the process.

  29. Comment by Kim Rayfield posted on

    Good idea as the dvla revolved my license in sep .as I made a mistake and tick wrong box rung them they sent other form sent it back but still haven't heard a thing from them hopefully will hear soon

  30. Comment by Joe Dutoy posted on

    It makes sense. But,
    Who and how will we regulate the quality of the assessment for HGV drivers in pursuit and maintenance of their vocational entitlement?
    And who and how will an HGV driver complain to if he/she disagrees with the outcome of a medical assessment that leads to the revocation or withdrawal of their vocational entitlement?
    It strikes me that the idea would need additional management at government cost contrary to the possible cost saving.
    And whilst spreading the work load makes sense, the quality of the task will most like fall. Thereby defeating the overall purpose of the assessment.

  31. Comment by Rosalind Leslie posted on

    Anything that speeds up the process would be appreciated. My husband (who is diabetic and an HGV driver) waited 5 months for his licence to be approved due to industrial action taken by DVLA and awaiting doctor's appointments, assessments and reports.

  32. Comment by Charles Edward Marsden posted on

    I gave licence voluntarily due to a minor stroke about 18 months ago, why is it taking so long, anything that will speed things up would be good as I need my licence to get back into work.

  33. Comment by Jamie Ryan posted on

    Anything to speed up the process, I'm waiting a licence renewal but need a medical and up to now it's taken 5 months!!!

  34. Comment by Joanna Northover posted on

    With appropriate training, assessment of competencies with on-going review/training, nurses and other professionals have proven to be more than capable to undertake 'extended duties', such as in this scenario, an initial paper-based health assessment regarding fitness for driving. As an Occupational Health Nurse, fitness for 'xyz' is undertaken by a nurse, with procedures in place when specific criteria warrants for example, gathering further information on the presenting medical condition and individual's current/continuing health or onward referral to a doctor, for assessment.
    This 'process' could easily be applied to DVLA driving fitness assessments, freeing-up considerable time for doctors. Health-care professionals (including nurses) clearly would need to have had training and experience in how medical conditions can impact on fitness to drive.

  35. Comment by Nigel Ralph posted on

    Great Idea! 👍 anything to help the back log I have been waiting 6months so far...

  36. Comment by Michael John Bennett posted on

    Yes I think it's an excellent opportunity to help clear the back log of people who are waiting for their licence to be sorted.

  37. Comment by J Hansen posted on

    As a GP and occupational health doctor specialising in Group 2 drivers health, it is important that there is oversight and review of information by doctors. Some cases are quite complex and require experience and understanding before documents are sent off; sometimes significant confusion/delay/distress can result if information is incomplete.

    Other examples include conditions where a diagnosis has not been formally made, although there is significant evidence suggesting an impact on driving.

  38. Comment by David Gutberlet posted on

    At last a common sense initiative to improve safety on our roads. As a family that lost a beloved member due in part to the laxity of thorough eyesight testing, we would like to see optometrists included in the pool of healthcare professionals that can submit reports to the DVLA.

  39. Comment by Jonathan Baker posted on

    I think Nurse Specialists are qualified to carry out reports to the DVLA. After all the nurse specialist do see the patient on a regular basis. On the whole GP's are too busy carrying out diagnosis duties for patients. I am a Type 1 diabetic in good control and monitored twice a year and have never had problems in controlling my diabetes for over 23 years.

  40. Comment by Mandy Pickering posted on

    As a Nurse Practitioner, I think there is no question that nurses and other qualified Health Practitioners could provide driver assessments in a more timely manner and of the same quality as a Medical Doctor. Their interview skills training allows for a good engagement and analysis of the impact of medical conditions upon functioning both general and specific to driving.i.e. Mental Health Nurses, aPhysiotherapists and Occupational Therapists

    • Replies to Mandy Pickering>

      Comment by Sheila Bowra posted on

      Great idea Nurse Practitioner, already probably in a surgery ,with access to full records and the training to assess.

  41. Comment by Luigi Ciapparelli posted on

    I would strongly advise against certification by any professional other than a medically qualified and GMC registered practitioner. There are many categories of "driven vehicles" from motor cars, to freight, to public transport vehicles, including air, sea and rail. The persons operating these vehicles all have responsibilities and can in the worst circumstances cause loss of life and injuries. The DVLA has a duty to absolutely minimise transport accidents/disasters. You need experienced medical assessors to determine fitness to operate any type of vehicle. I fail to see how a pharmacist, nurse etc would be qualified to assess the suitability of a airline pilot, train operator, HGV driver, school bus driver etc. With no disrespect would you be prepared to fly in a commercial aircraft with the pilots being assessed by a pharmacist ? The same applies to a teenager or pensioner driving a private motor vehicle.
    (I would probably have more confidence in an airline pilot that's been given the all clear by cabin crew.)
    Overall medical assessment of a person's ability to operate any form of transport requires a proper overall clinical assessment of all the bodies operating systems, which can only be properly assessed by a qualified, GMC registered medical practitioner.

  42. Comment by D4Drivers posted on

    Just for clarity, in particular for those who require a D4 medical, we've had confirmation from the DVLA that the D4 medical reports that are routinely required by group 2 drivers on application and renewal are not within scope of this change. The D4 examination will still need to be undertaken by a doctor.
    The consultation in question is to allow for more healthcare professionals to complete follow up questionnaires raised by the DVLA, in response to medical exams completed by a doctor.

  43. Comment by Ronald Ward posted on

    I think it's a good idea and will bring the transport industry forward and up to date it also helps over stretched doctors. At present you ring for a medical and the government has set up these centres to give medical to hgv drivers which is great at the time and in contact with the DVLA so any help can be taken has a positive step forward also you have company doctors and clinical nurses who could take these medicals but they should have a direct line with Vosa and reach a certain level or qualified to meet the criteria

  44. Comment by Raymond Edmondson posted on


  45. Comment by Amy Harris posted on

    Anything that helps speed up the process would be good. But a complete overall of the system would be better, as honest people are being punished by long waits for their licences, whilst thousands of people drive who aren't safe because they don't take eye tests, and don't report illnesses all these things should be compulsory and linked into system information shared and automatically linked if you drive

  46. Comment by Vince Heath posted on

    Anything to get my licence back quicker I am up for
    So far my annual licence ran out 4th of June 2021 as of today nothing
    Today I was removed from my driving roll as a hgv class 1 driver by my employer as they now want a fitness to drive letter from my GP

  47. Comment by Stuart Mason posted on

    These proposals are sound and make good common sense. There are too many elderly drivers who are dangerous and should not be driving because of some mental or physical impairment, but because they are only required to "self certificate" without any involvement from their GP they are allowed to continue to drive.
    The involvement of GPs should begin when any driver reaches the age of 50 years as mental and physical impairment affecting "elderly" people may not always be concentrated on people over 70. My only concern is the extra work that will be placed on GPs to implement these proposals bearing in mind that the NHS is only just starting to recover from Covid-19.

  48. Comment by Richard Brown posted on

    YES DO IT! You revoked my licence a year ago after a GP who doesn't know me sent an inacurate report. Dispite other health workers backing me up with the actual truth, their letters aren't accepted? So dispite 40 yrs without a positive test for Anything, you have bizarrely classed me as disabled?

  49. Comment by Valerie Perman posted on

    Wholeheartedly agree. My physiotherapist will be the one who fills in my fitness to drive form anyway and the consultant will just sign it. It's months since I sent in my form and my physiotherapist has already told me that I am fit to drive so it's very frustrating to have to wait probably for many more months before I hear anything back from the DVLA. It would speed up the whole process if anyone with a medical condition could fill in a form online and the relevant health professional could also fill in a form online. It's an absolute scandal that the DVLA has such control over people's lives and the government is doing absolutely nothing about it.

  50. Comment by Keith Walker posted on

    Very good idea all round. I often wondered if the Medical Group even existed. Have now been waiting 5 months and no acknowledgment of even receiving a renewal form. No mention of receiving a medical review on my medical record from the DVLA. The The whole process needs URGENT upgrade so that I and other drivers can get their lives back to normal. Looks like another Xmas without a Christmas Tree.

  51. Comment by John Knight posted on

    There needs to be a wider cohort of medical professionals to comment on a driver's ability to drive. For example, Opthalmists and Neurologists are in a position to comment on the common secondary effect of strokes. I have homonymous hemianopia with macula sparing that has reduced my horizontal field of vision below the 120 degrees requirement for Group 1 drivers.

    Additionally, the DVLA should reconsider that up to 2019, Group 1 drivers with less than 120 degrees horizontal vision whose licences were revoked, were denied pre-assessment driving training as the legislation did not require pre-assessment tuition to be with an ADI. An independent assessor stated in this regard; "This meant that a lot of people who would have been allowed tuition, often based on the advice of a driving assessment centre, were denied it." I ask that subject to current medical support, PDALs are issued to the those affected drivers to allow three months driver training prior to a new assessment. The "Vision Panel" have stated that driver training is required by law.

  52. Comment by Stephen Dawes posted on

    I share the same view and my wait is now 8 months. The mental anguish caused by the continuing delays and lack of response from the medical assessment department is becoming untolerable,

  53. Comment by Richard Cosstick posted on

    Anything to speed them up, I have been waiting 5 Months and they have not done anything for me. I have passed all the required tests for them, paid as required and have so far not got my Licence back. Come on DVLA so many of us are waiting to get our lives back.

  54. Comment by Toby Fenton posted on

    The DVLA Medical Section are not fit for purpose. After waiting 20 months for them to issue the necessary paperwork to their nominated GP (they would not accept my agency's test results nor an offer to pay privately) I finally got an appointment with their GP for urine test on 18 October. Rang today to find out status and they now tell me that their laboratories have not been working for FIVE MONTHS!!! So they paid for a test that they knew they wouldn't be able to process. Samples not viable after 24 hours. Complete joke