Telling the DVLA, DVA or your licensing agency
If you have a driving licence or you are applying for one, you are required, by law, to tell the DVLA or DVA about your Parkinson's.
Not everyone with Parkinson's will experience problems with driving or be unable to drive, but it is important you tell the authorities so they can ensure your safety.
Contacting the DVLA or DVA
For the relevant details in the UK contact:
- the Drivers' Medical Group at the DVLA - if you're in England, Scotland or Wales or
- the Drivers Medical Section at the DVA - if you're in Northern Ireland
You'll need to give your driver number or full name, your address, your date of birth, and as much detail as possible about how Parkinson's affects you.
Anyone applying for a new driving licence has to complete a section on the application form indicating any health problems they have.
Once you've told the DVLA or DVA
Once you have notified the DVLA or DVA of your condition, you will be asked to complete the PK1 'Medical fitness to drive' form in England, Scotland and Wales.
In Northern Ireland you need to complete a DL1 form.
The DVLA or DVA may be able to make its decision just from the information provided.
However, if they need more information, the DVLA or DVA will write to your GP or specialist for further details.
They may ask you to go for a medical examination that will be carried out by a doctor specially chosen by the DVLA or DVA.
What the DVLA or DVA will decide
Once the DVLA or DVA has assessed your ability to drive, it will decide one of the following:
- to give you a licence without any restriction
- to give you a short licence for 1, 2 or 3 years (the decision is reviewed once the licence runs out)
- to refuse or withdraw your licence
- to restrict your licence to particular vehicles with adaptations
If your licence is refused or taken away
If your driving licence has been refused or taken away for medical reasons, then you may be entitled to a free bus pass (in England, Scotland or Wales), whatever your age.
Contact your local council to find out who issues disabled bus passes in your area. For more details:
- Apply for a disabled person's bus pass in England
- Concessionary travel in Wales
- Concessionary travel in Scotland
You are eligible for half-fare bus travel in Northern Ireland if you've had your driving licence refused or revoked on medical grounds.
This is also the case if you receive the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance.
If you have your licence refused or taken away on medical grounds and then become well enough to drive again, you can reapply for your licence.
If the DVLA or the DVA is happy after their medical enquiries, you can be issued with a new licence.
Challenging the decision
If you want the DVLA or DVA to reconsider its decision because you feel that they have misinterpreted or misunderstood the information provided, you should contact them explaining why you feel the decision is wrong.
The DVLA or DVA will generally reconsider its decision, but will expect the request to be supported by fresh medical evidence.
You may need to ask your GP or specialist to provide this, and you may have to pay for any letter that is written.
If the DVLA or DVA does not change its decision, you can appeal to the Magistrates' Court in England and Wales, the Sheriff Court in Scotland or to Petty Sessions in Northern Ireland.
Dealing with delays
Some people with Parkinson's have experienced delays in waiting for decisions about their licence from the DVLA.
This may happen even if the DVLA have been sent medical evidence stating that the person can drive safely.
If you live in England, Scotland or Wales we can help you raise a case with the DVLA regarding a delayed decision if:
- you have been waiting for 6 months or more for a decision and have tried to follow up your case
- you have been waiting for 3 months or more for a decision, have tried to follow up and you need to drive for your job.
If you meet these criteria, call our free confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303 to raise a case.
Driving in Jersey and Guernsey
In Guernsey you have to tell Driver and Vehicle Licensing if you have any disability or illness that may affect your driving.
You need to fill in a medical report form that has to be signed by your GP or specialist. If you have an existing medical condition, you must renew your licence every five years.
In Guernsey you need to exchange your UK licence (if you have one) for a Guernsey version within a year of living there. If you don’t do this, you will be required to retake your driving test, including the theory test.
In Jersey you must tell your local parish if you have a condition that may affect your driving. You must also tell them if your condition gets worse.
You can renew your jersey driving license online. Or, you can collect a form from your local parish hall to apply for a new license or renew your existing one.