How to surrender your driving licence and return to driving at a later date
The medical standards of fitness to drive are available to all medical practitioners. There may be an occasion when your own doctor may have advised you not to drive, in accordance with these standards.
Surrendering your driving licence
If you have been informed by your doctor not to drive you can surrender your driving licence to the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA). Surrendering your licence removes the need for the DVA to make formal medical enquiries into your fitness to drive. If medical enquiries are made and these confirm that you can't meet the required medical standards of fitness to drive, your licence will have to be revoked.
If you choose to surrender your licence you can post your documents, along with a covering letter detailing your full name, date of birth and driver number. Explain what the nature of your condition is and send this to the following address:
Driver Licensing Division
Coleraine County Hall
If you decide to return to driving after voluntary surrender
If in the future, following surrender, you apply for the restoration of your driving licence, medical enquiries will need to be made. However, while these enquiries are being carried out, the law provides cover to drive under the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order, 1981. This means that as soon as your application is received at DVA (following voluntary surrender) you may resume driving provided you meet the following criteria:
- a valid application is held at the DVA
- you have not or would not be refused or revoked a licence for medical reasons and you are able to meet the medical standards of fitness to drive; these standards are set down in 'at a glance guide to the current standards of fitness to drive'. All medical practitioners have access to this publication, therefore if you are in any doubt about your ability to meet these standards, you should check with you doctor before you resume driving
- you must have held a Northern Ireland or Great Britain licence issued since 1 January 1976 or another exchangeable licence
- you keep to any special conditions which may apply to you and to your licence
- you are not disqualified from driving