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  • Tina

  1. Seven months from my last post I am still in DVLA limbo. The DVLA had the results of my Goldman test for nearly 4 months before anyone looked at it. Then they could not make their minds up and continued to ask for more information. However in the meantime in March I had had an encouraging review at the local hospital ophthalmology department which I shared with the DVLA. They then asked for more information from my ophthalmologist who did a full set of tests in July and he ultimately recommended that I be approved under the exceptional case criteria as my visual defect is a close fail. This has now been accepted by the DVLA and they have notified me of such. This was a month ago but I am now still awaiting details of how and when I should carry out the necessary driving assessment - so there is some movement tantalizingly but still no clarity in terms of timescales. However I did send in a formal complaint to the DVLA and this seemed to have some effect and some acknowledgement of their mistakes and missteps, and at least I had a clearer dialogue as to what was happening which I could not get from the call-centre staff. I compare and contrast this with the situation in France. We are hoping to go off to France soon and I applied online to the French authorities for a car emissions certificate. This was processed and completed within 24 hours!! This process has now lasted 18 months already but possibly an end may be in sight!! Fingers crossed!
  2. Late November the DVLA formally advised me that I needed to carry our a Goldman test at an approved optician, but no date for this could be arranged yet because of Covid pressures!!. Early December 2020, after appealing to the DVLA on compassionate grounds they relented and gave me the details to arrange a test. I was given a date in mid February at a Hospital (only one test a week because of Covid). i accepted this but said I would take any cancellation - and subsequently was given a date early January. For the the Goldman perimetry test, you sit in front of a large white dish with the head in a fixed position. The optician sits behind the dish and manipulates a bright light which can appear anywhere in the dish and also comes in from the perimeter to the centre. You have to indicate whenever you see a light. By doing this the optician is able to plot and record the extent and limitations of your field of vision. If you are nervous and give a false reaction you can advise the optician and he will ignore the false reading. So this test is much more relaxed than the automated Esterman test we have all experienced. Apparently there are only a few old Goldman machines in operation now but they are seen as the gold-standard test. The optician then went through the results with me, but said that he was unable to advise whether I satisfied the DVLA conditions or not, as they never tell him the outcome of any of the tests he submits to them!! To my untrained eye I look to be be borderline OK. A clear 40 degrees in the centre and no defect on the horizontal centre line. Just some loss of vision in the lower right quadrant. A month has passed since the test results were sent to the DVLA, but when I got through last week no one had looked at them yet!!! The ordeal continues.
  3. My frustrations with the DVLA continue... I submitted a new (private) field test in mid-September to the DVLA which looked a lot better than the earlier ones. 2 weeks later I received a reply "thank you for your correspondence .... However our records show that your driving licence is not valid (???). Please fill in the enclosed forms ..." There was no acknowledgement or comment about the newly supplied test, so presumably this was just a template reply. Not clear. I phoned up asking if this meant that the new test results had been satisfactory and was told "yes" and therefore I could reapply for my licence. I immediately sent off the medical questionnaire form they had provided, with hope in my heart. It seems that my driving licence had run out during the period of the revocation. Two weeks later I received another letter "thank you for the medical questionnaire .... However our records show that your driving licence is not valid. Please fill in the enclosed forms ..." Deja vu! They provided me with the licence application form (which had not been contained in the previous letter) which I duly returned. A month passed with no response and so I phoned up today to be told now that they now want me to do a hospital Goldman test!!! Of course under the current circumstances nobody can say how long that will take, so I am back in limbo after a long drawn-out series of conflicting and unclear messages from the DVLA which started in February. I can't tell you how frustrated I am. Is the Goldman test just another brand of visual field test - does anyone have any experience please? Sorry to unburden!
  4. I had a minor stroke in November 2019 which resulted in a small visual defect in the lower right hand quadrant of my right eye. there were no other consequences fortunately. I didn't drive for the mandatory 6 weeks and was signed off by the stroke consultant who had put me on to anticoagulants, at the same time. I reported the situation to the DVLA who sent me for a visual field test at Specsavers at the end of January. I was a little nervous doing the test, but when I asked the technician at the end how I had done, all she would say "as we expected". I took this (wrongly) to be reassuring. I was then very shocked afterwards to receive the letter from the DVLA advising me that I had failed to meet the required standards and my licence was revoked. No detail was given of exactly how i had failed the test. I immediately arranged a visual field test with my own optician which showed some vision loss in the lower right hand quadrant as expected, but full vision elsewhere, as well as in the centre of my field of vision. I then wrote in mid February to the DVLA enclosing my field test copy and asking what precisely was the reason for my failure. On 10th March I received their reply which stated they had reviewed the new evidence i had provided (!) and I was now free to apply for my licence. I replied by return of post enclosing a full licence application. Then lockdown happened, the DVLA went into hibernation and were effectively cut-off to the world with their incoming phonelines barred. My attempts to find out what was happening were fruitless. On July 1st (14 weeks later) the DVLA replied saying that they had made a mistake, I wasn't free to reapply for my licence, contrary to what they advised, and they returned my cancelled licence application!!!. They did state this time that I had failed the test because of too many false positive errors (>20%) and had the grace to enclose a copy of the original Specsavers test. I immediately replied with the copy of a second private field test with a low number of false positives. A further 7 weeks later the DVLA replied saying this test failed, but again without giving any detail of the reason. I have now had another field test done at my optician, now they are open again, and fortunately this now shows that my visual defect has improved over time. i have just submitted this new test to the DVLA with (foolish) new hope in my heart. Of course the pandemic has slowed all bureaucratic processes down, but the DVLA seem to have used the opportunity to become even less helpful. Furthermore their failure/reluctance to clarify the details of the reasons for failing my test each time have slowed me down and frustrated me in equal measure. Never mind the fact that they made a mistake and added 4 months delay to the already unsatisfactory process. In 6 weeks time it will be the anniversary of my stroke. My condition is stable and has improved over time. I have good vision in both eyes and no physical impairment. So it seems to me that the "exceptional case application" route might prove more successful than the unsuccessful dialogue I am engaged in. I phoned up the DVLA to discuss this option and enquire whether I can submit an application now in advance of the anniversary, in light of the current delay situation. The advisor told me that I had to wait until November and in any case I should submit the new evidence now. I would welcome any comments or advice that people have please!
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