Having a medical condition or disability does not necessarily mean you cannot or will not be allowed to drive. However, it is essential that you discuss whether it is safe to continue driving with the consultant responsible for treating your dystonia (or, if you don't have a consultant, your GP) before continuing to drive.
You must also tell the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) about any medical condition or disability that may affect your ability to drive.
If you hold a current driving licence and have a ‘notifiable’ medical condition or disability, you must tell the DVLA right away. You should not wait until your licence is due for renewal. You should also inform the DVLA if your medical condition or disability has become worse since your licence was issued, or if you develop a new medical condition or disability.
Most insurance companies will expect you to declare that you have a neurological condition like dystonia. FAILURE TO DO SO MAY INVALIDATE YOUR COVER SO IT IS ALWAYS BEST TO ASK THEM.
Conditions listed as ‘notifiable’ include epilepsy, strokes and other neurological conditions, mental health problems, physical disabilities and visual impairments. Dystonia is not actually listed in the A to Z of conditions but the DVLA have verbally confirmed that, as a neurological movement disorder, Dystonia is considered to be notifiable.
You inform DVLA about your condition by completing the MEDICAL FITNESS TO DRIVE form which is either available on line from www.direct.gov.uk/motoring or you can phone the Drivers Medical Enquiry Line at DVLA on 0300 790 6806. (Please note DVLA will only talk to the licence holder or you will need to ring and give permission for someone else to talk to them on your behalf prior to the call).
The medical questionnaire that you use to tell DVLA allows you to provide specific details about your medical condition or disability. The questionnaire also asks you to give consent for a DVLA medical adviser to request medical information from your doctor. DVLA aim to make a decision from the information you provide.
However, if further information is required, the medical adviser may :
DVLA aims to finish its enquiries as quickly as possible. The time taken by DVLA to deal with your medical enquiry will depend on the medical condition you have and the information that DVLA needs to gather. If a decision can be made based on the information you originally provided, DVLA aims to make a decision within three weeks.
If DVLA need more information about your medical condition, they aim to make a decision within 90 working days.
Once the medical adviser is satisfied that all the relevant medical information is available, a decision will be made about your driving licence. They will use the medical standards of fitness to drive to help with the decision.
The decisions that can be taken are :-
If your driving licence is revoked or refused by the medical adviser at DVLA you will be :-
Surrendering your driving licence removes the need for the DVLA to make formal medical enquiries into your fitness to drive. If medical enquiries are made and these confirm that you cannot meet the required medical standards of fitness to drive, your licence will have to be revoked.
If in the future you wish to resume driving, you will have cover to drive under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act, 1988 as soon as your application is received at DVLA, providing you meet the following criteria :-
You will need to :-
DRIVERS MEDICAL ENQUIRY LINE 0300 790 6806
FAX 0845 850 0095
DRIVERS MEDICAL GROUP
If you have any questions which aren’t covered above please call our helpline on 0845 458 6322.
The content of this information sheet is provided only as information and is in no way intended to replace the advice of a qualified medical practitioner or professional Government adviser. The Dystonia Society strongly advises anyone viewing this material to seek advice on all matters relating to their treatment and/or circumstances. Furthermore rapid changes in medicine and changes to Government legislation may cause information contained in the information sheet to become outdated.