Telling your licensing agency you have Parkinson's

There are many people who continue to drive after they are diagnosed with Parkinson's. Having the condition doesn’t necessarily mean that your licence will be affected, but there are some things you need to do if you would like to continue driving and stay safe on the roads.  

Telling your licensing agency you have Parkinson's

When you are diagnosed with Parkinson's, you must tell your licensing agency straight away. This is a legal requirement.

  • ​the DVLA in England, Scotland and Wales, or 
  • ​the DVA in Northern Ireland 

When you’re diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you must tell your licensing agency straight away. If you don’t let your licensing agency know about your condition, you’re committing a criminal offence.

If your GP suspects you’ve got Parkinson’s but you haven’t been diagnosed, you still have a legal duty to tell your licensing agency if you’re experiencing symptoms that may affect your driving.

In England, Scotland and Wales, you can report your condition online on the GOV.UK website.

You can also report your condition by completing the ‘Report your Medical Condition (PK1)’ form if you have a car or motorcycle licence. If you have a bus, coach and HGV licence, you’ll need to complete a PK1V form.

These forms are available from the DVLA by calling their Medical Enquiries team on 0300 790 6806.

In Northern Ireland, you can tell the DVA by phone on 0300 200 7861 or by emailing [email protected]. They will then send you a medical questionnaire for your specialist to complete.

You can also inform the DVLA and DVA in writing. Find contact details for the DVLA and DVA on our useful contacts for driving page.

Your GP or specialist has no legal duty to tell your licensing agency about your Parkinson’s. But they may contact your licensing agency if they’ve told you to stop driving and they don’t think you have.

In this case, the General Medical Council advises that a doctor must inform the licensing agency.

It’s very important to let your insurance company know if you're diagnosed with Parkinson's.

If you don't, it may make your existing policy invalid if you need to make a claim.

Once you've told your licensing agency you have Parkinson's, they may be able to make their decision from the information you’ve given them. If they need more details, they will write to your GP or specialist.

They may ask you to go for a medical examination that will usually be with your own GP or specialist. The medical examination will be arranged to take place as near as possible to your home. It’s free of charge, but you’ll have to pay your own travel costs to get to the appointment.

If you hold an HGV licence, you’ll be asked to provide details about your condition and your licensing agency will ask your GP or specialist to complete a medical report. You may also be asked to do a driving assessment. If you’re issued with a licence, it may be reviewed every year.

Waiting for a decision can sometimes be a lengthy process. You can usually continue to drive as long as your GP or specialist feels you’re well enough. You shouldn’t drive if you’re told not to by your licensing agency or by your GP or specialist.

In a small number of cases, you may be asked to complete a driving assessment.

This may be at a mobility centre (see the ‘Mobility centres’ section) or at a Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency test centre.

At the assessment, trained staff will consider how your condition affects your driving. They also examine your vision, how quickly you’re able to react to situations and your ability to operate the controls safely during a drive with an assessor.

Depending on your needs, an assessor may recommend adaptations to your vehicle that will help you to keep you driving safely.

Once the licensing agency has considered your application it can decide:

  • you can have or keep your licence without any restriction
  • you can have a shorter licence, valid for 1, 2 or 3 years. This decision is reviewed when the licence runs out.
  • your licence will only allow you to drive a vehicle with specific adaptations
  • you must stop driving and give up your licence

If you’ve been told that you must adapt your car, you can get an independent assessment of your needs through a mobility centre (see the ‘Mobility centres’ section). You must tell your insurance company about any adaptations you make to your vehicle.

If your licensing agency decides you must give up your licence, they will give you a medical reason why. They’ll also send you details of if and when you can reapply, and return any fees sent with the application form.

If your licence is refused or taken away for medical reasons and you then become well enough to drive again, you can reapply for your licence. Check with your GP, specialist or Parkinson’s nurse that you can meet the medical standards for driving before reapplying. If the licensing agency decides you can drive after their enquiries, you’ll be issued with a new licence.

If you want your licensing agency to reconsider its decision, you should contact them explaining why you feel the decision is wrong.

The licensing agency can look at its decision again, but will expect you to provide fresh medical evidence. You may need to ask your GP to refer you to a specialist who can provide this in a letter, and you may have to pay for it.

Making an appeal

If your licensing agency doesn’t change its decision, courts have the power to look at your case. They can reverse a licensing agency's decision, if appropriate.

An appeal must be made within a certain time after your licence was taken away:

  • In England and Wales, within 6 months to the magistrates court.
  • In Northern Ireland, within 3 months to Petty Sessions.
  • In Scotland, within 21 days to the Sheriff Court.

A licensing agency doctor will attend the hearing as a witness and the licensing agency will be represented by a barrister.

Normally, the court can only look at existing evidence and can’t consider any new evidence. If new medical evidence is available, it’s best to forward this to the licensing agency for consideration out of court.

If you’re considering going to court, you should think about getting legal advice. You can get free advice from the Disability Law Service or Disabled Motoring UK.

If you live in England, Wales or Scotland and your driving licence has been refused or taken away for medical reasons, you may be entitled to a free bus pass, whatever your age.

If you live in England, contact your local council to find out who issues disabled bus passes in your area. Find out more about applying for a disabled person's bus pass on the GOV.UK website.

In Northern Ireland, you can travel for free on buses and trains if you’re 60 or over. If you’re under 60, you can travel for half price if you’ve had your driving licence refused or revoked on medical grounds. See if you qualify for concession passes on the Translink website.

In Scotland, if you’re 60 or over, or disabled, you can use national and local buses for free at any time of day and may also be entitled to discounted rail travel in some areas. Find out more on the National Entitlement Card website, or contact your local authority. 

In Wales, you’ll need to apply for a Concessionary Travel Card on the Traveline Cymru website.

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What should I expect if I'm invited to a driving assessment?

Once you've told your licensing agency you have Parkinson's, you may be asked to complete a driving assessment. 

Angela Hutchinson, a mobility centre manager in Belfast, explains what happens if you're invited for an assessment. 

Last updated

Next update due 2026

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