The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) are not making fair decisions about medical fitness-to-drive cases, a report has suggested.

In eight cases involving appeal against the revocations of driving licences on medical grounds by the DVLA, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s report found “major failings” which had resulted in people’s lives been put on hold for years. The report makes further findings of flawed decision-making and poor communication on the DVLA’s part.

The Driver’s Medical Group (DMG) of the DVLA makes between 600,000 and 750,000 licensing decisions every year. About 10% of these cases are regarded as complex and are dealt with by a panel of medical experts appointed by the DVLA.

The findings of this report came as no surprise to those lawyers who specialise in this case type, or to driver’s who have been frustrated in their attempts to clarify why the DVLA have taken away their driving licence on purposed medical grounds.

By way of example, the Ombudsman looked at the case of David, from the north-east of England, who has told by the DVLA that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he re-applied for a licence to drive  lorries. David application was refused, even though his psychiatrist and GP said he was safe to drive.  After providing more medical information, and noting that his new job depended on him holding a driving licence. The delay resulted in David losing his job worth £20,000 per year.

David appealed and complained to the ombudsman, who found in his favour. The DVLA sent a letter apologising for their actions and he received £6,000 in compensation.

The report recommends that the DVLA improves the way it deals with revocations on medical grounds. The full report can be found by clicking on the following: https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/publications/driven-despair.

  • Conditions that could affect your ability to drive safely include:
  •         Epilepsy
  •         Strokes
  •         Other neurological and mental health conditions
  •         Physical disabilities
  •         Visual impairments

Drivers who have suffered revocation can appeal to their local magistrate’s court as well as complain to the Ombudsman. Richard Wood of Hansells Solicitors is a barrister who has dealt with many of these appeals and has been able to recover a number of client’s driving licences. It is well worth appealing. Richard can also guide you in complaining to the ombudsman.

If your driving licence has been revoked on medical reasons, or you have a query relating to a motoring offence, please call our 24 hour advice line on 0808 156 11 7715 or email criminal@hansells.co.uk for a free and without obligation discussion about your case.