Home > Case Studies > I Lost My Licence on Medical Grounds: A Case Study

I Lost My Licence on Medical Grounds: A Case Study

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 11 Apr 2018 | comments*Discuss
I Lost My Licence On Medical Grounds: A Case Study

If the DVLA has any concerns about your fitness to drive without posing a potential risk of both yourself and other road users, they reserve the right to revoke your licence on medical grounds.

This happened to Debbie, who had her driving licence taken away in June two years ago due to a tumour and was told that she would not get it back for around two years. Based on this, she is hoping to have it back next month but her dealings with the DVLA have given her some doubts as to whether this will actually be the case.

DVLA Concerns

Having suffered from a secondary tumour, the DVLA deemed Debbie to have at least a 20 per cent chance of having a fit behind the wheel, despite Debbie presenting them with information from medical experts that showed that this was not likely to be the case. This has frustrated Debbie, as she fears that it may prevent her from getting her licence back at all.

She says, “I have never at any point been on anti-convulsive medication or been warned about the possibility of fitting. This is because the tumour is located in the cerebellum – which medical experts have told me presents a zero risk of fitting”.

Desperate to get her driving licence back, Debbie has offered to have a full medical to prove her Fitness to Drive. She has also had several MRI scans to show that no further tumours have developed since having her driving licence revoked on medical grounds.

Communication Problems

Debbie has had no real contact with the DVLA regarding her case. Communication has been between DVLA and the medical experts that have worked with her throughout her illness. She says, “The DVLA will not discuss my case with me – they will only discuss it with the medical team”.

Lifestyle Changes

As a result of losing her driving licence, Debbie has had to make considerable adjustments to her everyday life to cope with the inconvenience of not being able to use her car.

She says, “Because of my lack of a driving licence, I have had to severely limit my work opportunities as I now need to be able to travel to and from work by public transport. I am an accountancy contractor and am now on a much reduced income due to the travel restrictions placed on me as a result of losing my driving licence”.

A Waiting Game

The two year period passes in a month's time, and Debbie is hopeful that this will result in her driving licence being returned to her. There is no guarantee of this though, as it will depend on the DVLA deciding that she is fit to drive without posing a threat to other road users. Having previously done everything that she can to prove her driving fitness, she is concerned that she will not get her driving licence back at all. Debbie admits that the stress of not knowing when she will get her driving licence back has led to her being prescribed anti-depressant medication.


We're pleased to report that Debbie's driving licence has now been returned to her and she is deemed as being fit and able to drive.

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JonT - Your Question:
Hi, I had a mini-craniotomy at the end of Jan this year (2018) to remove a colloid cyst. Prior to the operation I had no fits/seizures or blackouts - my only symptoms were a prolonged headache - and following my op which successfully removed the cyst I have not had any fits/seizures/blackouts either. My consultant says I am fit to drive and there is no medical reason I can't, but the DVLA have refused to revoke the 6-month ban they originally put in place when I informed them of my operation. My consultant even wrote a letter stating I was fit to drive and I passed this letter to the DVLA, but still they refused. I need to drive for work as public transport isn't viable as I work in the Peak District. What should I do?

Our Response:
If you want to appeal you should make a written application to your local magistrates court. You need to do this within 6 months of your licence revocation. You will be able to supply the evidence provided by your consultant to support your argument that you are fit to drive. Seeking help froma motoring lawyer is advised, if you want to appeal.
YourDrivingLicence - 11-Apr-18 @ 3:20 PM
Hi, I had a mini-craniotomy at the end of Jan this year (2018) to remove a colloid cyst. Prior to the operation I had no fits/seizures or blackouts - my only symptoms were a prolonged headache - and following my op which successfully removed the cyst I have not had any fits/seizures/blackouts either. My consultant says I am fit to drive and there is no medical reason I can't, but the DVLA have refused to revoke the 6-month ban they originally put in place when I informed them of my operation. My consultant even wrote a letter stating I was fit to drive and I passed this letter to the DVLA, but still they refused. I need to drive for work as public transport isn't viable as I work in the Peak District. What should I do?
JonT - 11-Apr-18 @ 3:11 PM
I have had POD for 15+ years and the DVLA re investigating. Letters to my GP & consultant. I fear the worst. What can I do should they revoke my licence. Advice please.
chrisedge - 25-Nov-17 @ 11:38 AM
I have had PD for 15+ years & the DVLA are investigate my case. Writing to my GP&consultant. I fear the worst. What can I do should this happen
chrisedge - 25-Nov-17 @ 11:34 AM
I have had PD foe some 15plus years an the DVLA are reviewing my case but I fear the worst. What can I do should they revoke my licence. I do not feel that I am a danger on the r.oad
chrisedge - 25-Nov-17 @ 11:31 AM
I've been sent a g1 form by dvla due to a brachial plexus injury to my left arm.. I have good hand strength to ride my motorcycle and pull the clutch etc.. I called dvla and they said I could continue to drive as normal and to fill in the form and send it back.. I never informed dvla on my injury as it causes me no problem in riding my motorcycle but ive since found out I should have told them. At no time has my doctor or surgeon told me not to ride my bikes.. Many thanks Roy
Roy - 6-May-17 @ 9:36 AM
my livence has been reyoked by dvla due to a sight peripheral loss (tey say) but I can assure them that my peripheral vision is adiquate for driving and I can read a number plate at 50 meters never mind 20 meters, so whats going on?.
jim - 17-Oct-15 @ 3:56 PM
My driving licence has been revoked by DVLA due to slight peripheral loss (they say) but I can assure them that my peripheral vision is very adiquate for driving and I can read a number plate at 50 meters never mind 20 meters, so whats going on?
jim - 17-Oct-15 @ 3:47 PM
i suffered a heart attack in june 2013 then a tumour was found on my lung this was removed,i have been denied my license for 2 years i have never suffered from any complications it was straight forward i have supplied all doctors/consultants reports i feel this is unfair i need to work and defer my pension i want to work i am in no way contrained can i appeal and is it worth it
gasman1950 - 11-Dec-14 @ 6:05 PM
@Steph. You can reapply 8 weeks before your disqualifcation is due to end so make sure you have all the evidence from your GP and consultant to hand in readiness for that. You can appeal a decision to revoke your licence on medical grounds but it is lengthy and often costly and as you are nearing the 6 month period it probably wouldn't be worth while.
YourDrivingLicence - 29-Aug-14 @ 11:14 AM
I have passed out a few times from age 16-21 I have never had to declare it to DVLA as apparently a simple faint does not have to be decclared it has always been put down to not eating, drinking enough being to hot or being unwell at the time it has always happened from standing upright as well. on the 29/04/14 I had a faint I was fouond head first on the floor and when I came round my partner thought I was having a fit went to the doctors explained I had fallen on my head no investigation done was just told to inform dvla which I did I was told if it was an isolated seizure that I would be able to drive in six months if medical reports came back clear. I have seen a neurologist whom thinks that it is highly unlikely that its any sort of seizure and more a result of banging my head and giving myself slight concussion as a result in which case I would need to inform dvla and not drive four four weeks I have now not driven for four months and it is really effecting me with work and money etc also my partner is going to need to drive it as well now for a few months but my tax is out at the end of the month can I still tax and insure it? and what are my chances in getting my licence back anytime soon? I feel like I am going in circles considering I have not actually been diagnosed with a medical condition and take no medication.
Steph - 16-Aug-14 @ 9:58 AM
I have been diagnosedwith mild sleep apnea and had to inform the dvla. They sent me a medical questionare whichi thought was rubbish. It doesn't ask enough about your illness. Anyway within a week of sending the form back to them i had a letter revoking my driving license. I have worked as a driver for almost 10 years and it has never affected me before but within a week how can they possibly have made enquiries to my gp or into my driving record or the insurance company. Its discrimination and i am not standing for it. I am going to the magistrates court for an appeal on the grounds of discrimination and the fact how could the dvla have made sufficient enquiries into my situation and come to that decision in less than a week. The letter from the dvla says to inform them if i intend to appeal, well im not. Why give them the heads up and hide what they obviously haven't had enough time to do. I mean they have ruined my life. Its not enough to find out you have a illness, they have taken my licence and that meant i have lost my job and now im on benefits. A 10 year driving career down the pan and now i cant find another job because when they ask why i finished my last job and i tell them they automatically think, if its that bad he cant drive then we dont want him falling asleep in here. I dont bloody fall asleep, i never have, i may have sleep apneabut it really does not affect me. I have proved myself over the last 10 years with no accidents and i am responsible enough to decide if i am to tired to drive. Sorry about the rant but they really have ruined my life and made me feel worthless.
ian24730 - 13-Aug-14 @ 7:52 AM
Hi there, I'm looking for a bit of advice, I passed my test in 2012 and suffered my first seizure in 2013 and surrendered my license to the DVLA immediately and have not driven since, however I did not send my driver's license back to the DVLA as I use it as a form of ID, seeing as my license is not current can I use it for travelling to Ireland instead of a passport as it is still a correct form of ID but I'm just not allowed to drive anymore ? Thanks, Stacey
Stacey-Leigh - 7-Aug-14 @ 3:44 PM
@Kez. Yes it does seem unfair but the DVLA medical advisors generally advise measures on the basis of what they deem is appropriate for the safety of other road users. Even if you only experience a 'fit' on rare occasions...it could be on one of those occasions that you cause or are involved in a serious accident.
YourDrivingLicence - 22-Jul-14 @ 11:25 AM
I started suffering from fits or "episodes" in my sleep in around 2002. These occurred once every 3 years or so.I Informed DVLA who initiated a round of tests with a neurologist. These all showed I didn't have epilepsy so I retained both my car and HGV licence on a 3 year renewable basis. In 2011 I had another episode (the first for 4 years) so I rang in sick, because I didn't feel well enough to drive, and explained what had happened. As far as I was concerned that was that-DVLA, my company and my GP were all aware of these events. The new company doctor thought otherwise. He told me to inform DVLA which started the whole procedure again. I had all the same tests, and my GP and Sleep Apnea specialist both wrote to DVLA stating these episodes were caused by hypoxia/sleep apnea. DVLA checked all the evidence and revoked my HGV licence for 10 years. My income went down by 60% overnight. As they couldn't state I was epileptic they said it was because I suffer from "spontaneous sleep-related seizures". I have to be fit free for 10 years. I haven't been diagnosed with anything or prescribed anything. While all this was going on I passed my HGV medical which is mandatory at age 45. I have now been told my car licence is not on a 3 year renewable basis but expires when I'm 70. My HGV is still revoked though. I apologise for the long rant but DVLA have taken me from full-time, well paid employment to minimum wage, zero-hours contracts because of something that happens in my sleep once every 3 years or so. Like other people have said on here-it doesn't help to be honest.
Kez - 21-Jul-14 @ 4:08 PM
@scotlass60. On your licence revokation letter there will have been some information about how to appeal the decision. This is sometimes lengthy but if your GP or specialist is willing to back you then worth giving it a go. Best of luck.
YourDrivingLicence - 2-Jul-14 @ 12:27 PM
Hello I've been driving now for 43 years. When I was 45 I was diagnosed with Parkinsons. I've just turned 60 and a few weeks ago I had my license revoked. Prior to that I had it renewed every 3 years. My Neurologist completed a rather "tick the box" form from the DVLA Medical Department, and on that the decision was made. I'm totally devastated and my life and independence has been taken away in one full swoop. I have been driving an Automatic car now for several years, and not once have been involved in any accidents, or have got behind the wheel if I thought I would be a danger to myself or the public. Whilst I appreciate the Medical Team have a job to do, they have no idea the impact this is having on my life. I would get into and Driving Instructors car tomorrow if I could to prove my ability of being in control of a car. Mrs M Barrow
Scotslass60 - 30-Jun-14 @ 10:50 PM
I have had my licence revoked due to PTSD from when i was in the Army.However my Doctor initially said i could drive he has now changed his mind after a year and out of the Blue my licence is now revoked.My condition has improved since he initially said i can drive is this an isolated incident or is it common for war veterans to be treat this way?it has cost me a job and my livelyhood.Cheers Doc.
jimmy - 30-Nov-13 @ 10:42 AM
can my licence be revoked through depression
terry - 7-Oct-13 @ 3:35 PM
I passed my driving test in 1978.I could not have been happier.I was driving my dads car to work one Saturday morning and the car stalled.I woke up in hospital.The doctor told me that I had suffered a seizure.He also said he would be notifying DVLA and I should stop driving.I was devastated.All I ever wanted to do was drive.That was that for 10 years.I would like to point out that in the 10 years.I used to ride a bicycle.I never had no problems at all.My fits seemed to be triggered when I had a hangover.The few other fits I had,were when walking.During the 10 years.The fits disappeared,but I was having mycholic jerks.I felt that these happened when I had too much on my mind.The medication I was taking,kept everything under control.And still does.In the early 1990s.I was advised to go for my licence.I did and after about 6 months and a visit to a specialist at Marsham st London.I got my licence back.But only a 3 year one.I had to reaply every 3 years.I finally got my full licence back in 1997.The licence I received,did not have'grandfathers rights' on it.I did not find this out until last year.Up until this time,I had been driving a mechanical sweeper.I loved the job.Now I cant do it.I feel as though I have been robbed.I know that if I had read my licence properly.Then I would not be in this situation.When I first got my licence back.I just got on with using it.I can't see why I cannot have the rights restored.If I did not think I could do the job,then I would not do it.Now I cant do it.I feel empty.There is also the chance I could loose my job.
monty - 5-Sep-13 @ 4:27 PM
about 2 years ago i was in the hospital and i saw a doctor not even my doctor and she diagnosed me with schitiphenia and wrote a letter to the superindendant stating i was unfit to drive shortly after that i received a letter about my licence being cancelled a few months later i got a medical report form in the mail for my doctor to fill out my doctor filled out and wrote a letter saying i was taking my meds and everythings under controll.then i got another letter saying i needed to take the road test again . ive failed 3 times now and have got another letter saying the next time is my final attempt . my doctor wrote them a letter asking if i could have more trys .this has absolutly defistated me ive never been in a accident in 14 years and now because of one doctor im going through all this im seriously considering getting a lawyer .im not sure of that though it would be too costly .,,,,,,,,,,,any advice would be greatly appreciated .
fergie - 10-Dec-12 @ 4:28 AM
Hi, my father's PSV medical is due to expire this month and he can't get the required medical done until a months time. Is there a timescale in which he has to have this medical done before he is disqualified from driving a PSV vehicle ? Also , if he is disqualified for this reason , will he have to resit a PSV test / examination . Many thanks Andy.
Andy - 8-Aug-12 @ 7:51 PM
I have had my licence revoked for medical reasons but I would like to insure my car so that other drivers can assist me in emergency and sometimes in my everyday needs. Is this possible?
High Seat - 1-Dec-11 @ 7:29 PM
I am currently optimistic about getting my license back after not driving for 10 years. This is a very brief history of why my license was revoked. I was diagnosed with epilepsy about 10 years ago and had pretty much accepted I would not drive again. My girlfriend asked me to revisit the doctors about it and I did. It appears that I have been mis-diagnosed and my condition is quite manageable.The doctor see's no reason why I should not drive and the blackout's I have suffered from have very specific triggers (hot showers being the main one) and it is not possible for have a trigger in the car (unless I hook up a shower!!).The DVLA's guidance is that I may not even need to inform them of this condition (this information is from their website). My concern is that the DVLA will drag out the process and disregard the medical advise. Im hoping that someone reading this may have been through the process already and can share their experiences.For your information the condition that I appear to have is called Reflex Syncope.Looking forward to hearing anyone else's expereinces of this.
Ziggy - 17-Nov-11 @ 2:50 PM
A friend of mine had depression and is suffering from threatening letters fromher daughter in law isolating her and threatening her with stopping her driving- she has already mangagedget her driving licence taken away... sadly she is very malicious and my friend is elderly and relies on her car for basic needs . the daughter in law and son live nearby but although have managed to get her licence taken away never offer to take her shopping she is relying on friends..... the letters are abusive and unfortunately she feels isolated.How can she get her driving licence back and prove she is a safe driver- she has never had a conviction or points is well known in the community
becky - 23-Jul-11 @ 3:45 PM
6th July 2011 Great news about Debbie, sorry to hear of your condition, i myself have had the same roth of the hand of the DVLA, i had my licence revoked back in 2003 as i suffer from type 1 diabetes and lost my right eye due to retinopthy (diabetic eye disease), i had laser treatment to my left eye yes saved my sight but the doctors never told me that there is a risk of DVLA revoking your licence once laser treatment is completed, i registered as blind but i can see very well with one eye, i drove with one eye for 5 years without no issues, i am able to read a number plate at the legal 20.5 metres but they state that my visual field is defected, this is rubbish, i hav been fighting the DVLA since i lost my licence, i have become financially ruined, had to give up my successful business, i was the only driver in my family, the public transport in our area is non existent, so i am trapped no independance, i have stated that i am willing to have a driving assesment but no joy the DVLA dont listen, as i am diabetic and registered they state that they see this as prohibited to have a licence but i am willing to cease my blind registration but i will lose my disability benefit and other consestions.I do not agree with the DVLA, there are thousands of diabetic getting there licences revoked its not fair and i will fight on until i get my licence back and others.Even though i am fighting a losing battle.I need help regarding this issue but i am like stated financially ruined and unable to afford legal representative.my visaul field test is a score of 71% which i have seen other peoples tests as a pass.I am also looking for a doctor who will support me in my quest.I have lived with one sight since 2003 and adapted extremely well.Even if i had a Is there anyone out there who can give me some real help and support.I understand the law and the safety of myself and other road users.DVLA don,t care that they are discriminating the rights of disabled people but because they are goverment body they are allowed to do this, its not right and it should be stopped full stop.The blind challange has really inspired me, this is on youtube where a person drove a car around daytona race track totally blind and avoiding obstacles cones and ballads and boxes with the aid of computers plus american goverments help there citizens ie disabled drivers keep there locences so should ours.Time will come when cars will drive themselves, i wont be alive but what law will the DVLA bring in then to stop the disabled person drive.Sorry for going on but i feel very angry and strongly about this.Many thanks for your time and hope to hear from anyone.
jenko - 6-Jul-11 @ 11:34 PM
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