Current medical guidelines: DVLA guidance for professionals
National medical guidelines of fitness to drive
This guide summarises the national medical guidelines of fitness to drive and is available to doctors and health care professionals. It can be found specifically through EMIS, INPS secure GP Medical Information Systems.
Hard copies of the booklet are available on request for a fee of £4.50 (cheques made payable to DVLA Swansea) from:
Drivers Medical Group
Telephone: 01792 782336 (answer machine for medical professionals only).
The information is intended to assist doctors in advising their patients whether or not they should inform DVLA of their medical condition and what the outcome of medical enquiries is likely to be.
In the interests of road safety, those who suffer from a medical condition likely to cause a sudden disabling event at the wheel or who are unable to safely control their vehicle from any other cause, should not drive.
The role of the Drivers Medical Group
The role of the Drivers Medical Group in DVLA is to promote road safety by establishing whether drivers who have medical conditions are able to satisfy the medical standards required for safe driving. To undertake this task, DVLA employs specialist medical advisors to support the application of the medical standards.
It is advised that the applicant or licence holder must notify DVLA unless stated otherwise in the text, in some cases, a combination of multiple medical conditions, each insufficient in itself to disqualify from driving, may produce an annual risk of incapacitation unacceptable for either a Group 1 or a Group 2 licence, or render a person a likely source of danger.
When such a combination of risk factors is felt to be present, the patient should be advised not to drive. The health professional may seek clarification from the DVLA.
The medical standards
How are the medical standards set?
The Secretary of State for Transport has appointed a number of advisory panels to provide expert advice on the medical standards required for safe driving. There are separate panels covering the major medical conditions/disorders. The panels consist of experts in their medical field and meet on a regular basis and will review the standards in the light of medical research and advancements in medical science. There are higher medical standards in place for the driving of lorries and buses because of the size and weight of the vehicles involved and also the length of time drivers may spend at the wheel in the course of their occupation.
How are the medical standards applied?
Responsibility rests with the Secretary of State for Transport acting through DVLA to apply these standards and decide whether a person is fit to drive. The law governing the issue of driving licences is contained in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1999.