Medical enquiries for driving licences

When you have told the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) of a medical condition or disability, the medical advisers will decide if you satisfy the medical standards of fitness to drive. A licence will then be issued, refused, or revoked.

What happens next

The medical questionnaire that you use to tell DVA allows you to provide specific details about your medical condition or disability. The questionnaire also allows you to give your consent for the DVA medical adviser to request medical information from your doctor(s), if this is needed.

If at all possible a decision will be made on the information you provide. However, if further information is needed, the medical adviser may:

  • contact your own doctor and/or consultant
  • arrange for you to be examined by a locally appointed medical officer, local consultant or specialist
  • ask you to undergo a driving assessment, eyesight or driving test

Further information on driving licences and driving assessments can be obtained from the links below:

How long will medical enquiries take

The DVA aim to complete their enquiries as quickly as possible. The time they take to deal with your particular case will depend on the medical condition you have and the information they need to gather.

If the DVA can make a decision based on the information you originally provided, they aim to make this decision within three to four weeks.

However, if they need more information about your medical condition, either from you, your doctor, or from other sources, or if you are applying for a lorry or bus licence, a decision may take longer.

The decision that can be made about your driving licence

Once the medical adviser is satisfied that all the relevant medical information is available, a decision will be taken about your driving licence in line with the medical standards of fitness to drive. The decisions that can be taken are:

  • you may be able to retain your licence or be issued with a new driving licence
  • you may be issued with a driving licence for a period of one, two or three years if the medical adviser decides that a review of your medical fitness is required in the future
  • you may be issued a driving licence which indicates that special controls need to be fitted to the vehicles you drive to allow you to overcome the effects of a physical disability
  • your licence may be revoked or your application refused; DVA will only do this when their enquiries confirm that as a result of your medical condition you are unable to meet the required medical standards of fitness to drive

If your driving licence is revoked or refused you have the right to appeal the decision.

How to appeal

You have the right to appeal to a court in the petty sessions district in which you live but you must give notice of your intention to do so to the Department.

An appeal must be lodged with the proper Clerk of Petty Sessions within three months of the date of the issue of refusal/ revocation letter being issued to you and a copy of the Notice of Appeal sent to the following address at least 14 days before the date of hearing:

Departmental Solicitors Office
Centre House
79 Chichester Street
Belfast
BT1 4JE

Before taking this course of action, DVA suggest that you talk to your doctor.

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