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 a time when your own doctor may advise you not to drive, in accordance with these standards.

Surrendering your driving licence

If you are advised by your doctor not to drive, you can surrender your driving licence to the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA). Surrendering your licence has advantages in the event that you return to driving in the future.

Should DVA have to make medical enquiries into your fitness to drive and you can't meet the required standards, your licence will be revoked. In this event, you will need to wait until all medical enquiries are complete and your licence issued before getting behind the wheel.

When you surrender your licence, post both parts of your driver licence, along with a covering letter detailing the nature of your condition to:

Medical Section
Driver Licensing Division
Castlerock Road
Waterside
Coleraine
BT51 3TB

If you decide to return to driving after voluntary surrender

When your doctor advises you that you are fit to drive and you decide to apply for the restoration of your driving licence, medical enquiries will need to be made.

Following voluntary surrender, the law provides cover to drive under the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order, 1981 while these enquiries are being carried out. This means that as soon as your application is received by DVA you may resume driving provided you meet the following criteria:

  • a valid application is held by 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', which all medical practitioners have access to - 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

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