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DVLA/Driving advice needed .


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I attended am appointment with my specialist yesterday . It went about aswell as i dared hope :-D

After discussing many issues surrounding my SAH the conversation turned to driving . My specialist asked me a number of questions relating to Blackouts or fits of which ive had none and then proceeded to check my peripheral vision which was absolutley fine .


At this point he advised me that in his opinion i was absolutely fine to drive and at some point the DVLA would be in touch with him and this is the message he'd give to them . Rather than trust to the DVLA to get around to contacting my specialist in a timely manner ( :shocked: ) i enquired whether there was anything i could do to speed up this process . His advice was to contact them and see if i could speak to their medical team in order to try and speed things up .


When i got home i contacted the DVLA straight away and spoke to the department who deal with medical issues . I enquired what the situation was now id received the all clear to drive from the specialist . After a short ammount of time i was advised that my case was in a queue awaiting examination by their specialists but i was ok to " carry on " driving ! I informed the person i was speaking to that i hadnt touched the car since the onset of my SAH but he still insisted i was ok to drive !!!!!


Surely this cant be right ?

Since i completed the DVLA's medical form to inform them of my SAH ive had absolutely no contact with , or correpsondence from , the DVLA .

I'd love the advice given by the DVLA chap over the phone yesterday to be correct but it just doesnt seem to be the correct advice ive recieved .

I will , of course , be ringing the DVLA again today , but has any one got any thoughts or advice regarding this ?

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Nic the exact same thing happened to me, I was told I could carry on driving until they decided otherwise. I was stunned that they said this & as I'd already sent my licence to them voluntarily I decided not to drive until I was given the all clear. You should be aware that you have to let your insurance Co know that you've had an sah, although they don't keep the info on file you are obliged to tell them.


Because of this confusion & no clear cut decision from the DVLA for 4 months I just didn't drive.

Once I got the all clear I rang both mine & hubbys insurance co's & told them & all they said was if the DVLA were happy then they were too!!


Before I got back in the car on my own I had 2 driving lessons with a friend who is an instructor so I had a professional view of my skills. As I only have one eye for driving (my right lens is fogged to prevent double vision) I was worried about missing something.


Its really up to you, if they have said you can continue to drive then you can.Personally I would have preferred that in writing but for my own peace of mind I waited for the all clear before driving again.

Good luck & keep ringing them (I rang every week) to check on progress xxx

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Hi Nic,

All DVLA are worried about is insurance. If your Consultant has said that you are ok, then get out there.

I also contacted my insurance and they said that it didn't make any difference to my insurance because DVLA have said it's ok.

Just take it easy, you tend not to realise that driving does take it out of you.

Good luck

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Thanks for the replies .

I was right to feel elated at what the DVLA told me then :-D Im still going to ring them to get the news repeated :lol:

Thanks for the heads up ref: driving and fatigue Gary , its something i hadnt really given too much thought to to be honest .

Bagpuss , when you say you let your insurers know about the situation , when was that ? Was it once you'd been given the all clear by the DVLA and your specialist or when you surrendered your license ?

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Nic I let my ins co's know when I had the all clear & they said as long as the DVLA were happy they were happy too. The problem for me was that until that decision was made I couldn't hand on heart say the DVLA were happy, they were still looking at my case so hubby certainly wasn't happy f.or me to drive & although I hated him for saying it I didn't disagree with him.


Also in my case my registrar passed the buck to the DVLA & eye clinic & it was only when I got the eye clinic speaking to the registrar & my GP they all agreed I was ok to drive. The DVLA didn't write to the neuro as far as I'm aware, it was my GP's decision & hers alone that made the DVLA agree to my return to driving

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Well , so much for contacting the DVLA to clarify the situation . Ive now been told its NOT ok to drive !!!!!! Left hand ..... right hand :confused::confused::confused:


Basically i was told today that untill the medical team receive a direct response from my specialist its a no to driving . In all honesty , thats exactly the response i was anticipating in the first instance i just found it really odd to be told two different things from two different people in one department .


Just to muddy the waters still further , i was also informed that even if my neuro-consultant thought i was fine to drive following examination the DVLA's Medical team may still refuse ?????


Oh well , i guess ill have to wait . The chap today did inform me that they wrote to my consultant yesterday so hopefully it wont be too long a wait .

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Blimey Nic you've been messed about a bit haven't you! I surrendered my licence when I got out of hospital in Sept 2006, Doc + Specialist said I was fine to drive three months later and I got my licence back in December 2006. Keep on at your Doc/Specialist to make sure that they have written to the DVLA - there is no reason why the DVLA shouldn't be happy with the report that Doc/Specialist will send to them.

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  • 5 months later...

Im resurrecting this thread as im having DVLA license challenges. I can see its not unusual to have challenges but am looking for some ideas on how i can move forward. I feel so ready to drive now and getting fed up.


I initially got told 6 months off driving post SAH and then my consultant informed me i had reset the clock in July when they placed the shunt and that was another 6 months wait. So it's been 11 months not driving. Hard for anyone but a real pain with younger kids. I have to beg lifts everywhere.:roll:

I put my application in in November ,even got it faxed to the hospital direct to the team and now I'm still waiting.


I called DVLA again yesterday. Stalemate. They say they are chasing my consultant but have to follow a protocol, so they give it six weeks each time they make contact. And they keep on trying so I "just have to wait".


My consultants secretary says he has had it and she'll chase him again to check it's been done ( me thinks she doesn't ) and the DVLA wont write to my GP instead who is very happy to respond.

What can I do folks? Answers on a postcard please.

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Daff, I would try sending a reminder letter via snail mail, addressed to your Consultant and stress how difficult life is for you, without being able to drive etc and the stress that it's causing you with two young children. Hopefully this will get past the Consultant's Secretary, as I would think that she would have to physically show him the letter, rather than just passing on telephone messages.

Failing that, contact your GP and ask if they could contact your Consultant on your behalf?

Wishing you luck! xx

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Daff I would suggest contacting PALS as it was suggested to me by the neuro nurse. All you need is a letter stating there is no medical reason why you can't drive again! My llicence was never revoked as I didn't have a bleed but I was worried about driving without DVLA approval so I did wait for 4 nearly 5 months & PALS was the final course of action.


Good luck to you & I hope you get it sorted soon, I was lucky & got mine back just as Nathan started schoolo full time, hubby had had to leave at lunchtime to pick us up as I could walk down but not walk back (we live on a steep hill & I did it once & it nearly killed me)


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I would go with the advice from Karen and Bagpuss. I was originally advised I would not be able to drive for 6 months which was re-set for a further 6 months when I started to come off anti-seizure drugs last August.


I submitted all my papers to the DVLA in June 2012. My Consultant responded to the DVLA beginning November 2012 and the decision was finally made end Jan 2013. It seems even after your Consultant has responded your case will go into a queue within the DVLA for review by the medical team.

I would push hard with either your Consultant's secretary, or direct with the Consultant (whichever one you have the best relationship with).


Alternatively could you approach the neuro nurses for assistance to move it forward?

Hope it is sorted out soon for you.


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I've just been through this exactly. The DVLA Driver Medical Group wrote to my Consultant three times and each time he failed to respond despite telling me at my follow up consultation that he was happy, from a medical point of view, for me to start driving again. I'm afraid Consultants don't put any particular importance on completing these reports and they get put on a pile to do 'sometime'.


After getting no joy with his secretary, I contacted the Hospital's PALS Dept and made the failure to respond to the DVLA an informal complaint. My Consultant's report was faxed and posted to the DVLA 3 days later!!


The DVLA will confirm receipt of the report with you and then pass it to their medical advisers. From that point, they undertake to respond to you within 8 weeks.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Hmmmm where do I start ? DVLA dumb vacant lazy a***'s Excuse my French ! Well after my SAH in jan 2012 I'm still waiting to get my licence back. Due to the afore mentioned I've lost my job I was a hgv driver before my aneurysm burst, they didn't take my licence until march of last year and I was told I'd lose my car licence for 6 months'


So at the end of sept/ beginning of oct  I rang asking bout my licence to which I got told oh the info you was given was incorrect it will be at least another 6 wks before a decision will be made after 5 weeks I got another letter sayin it was gonna be another 8 week an please don't get in touch we will inform you


So 3 weeks ago I got a letter sayin I've got to go to my doctors an have a medical DVLA will pay for it so 2 weeks ago a medical was done an sent to Swansea Think it was sent my pigeon they still not sorted it just a big thanks to DVLA your a star ill be signin on next week I've now joined the millions unemployed :(


So my advice is be a pain call them every day an dont do what they advised me thanks to them I've got to retrain for another job my brain hurts as it is never mind starting a new job that's if anyone will employ me cos my attension span picking new things up


Oh I forgot to say this is just my car licence I'm tryin to get back god knows what I'm gonna have to do to get my hgv licence maybe walk a tight rope whilr blind folded

lol good luck peeps

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I wish i'd seen this thread months ago.SAH was August 2012.Surrendered license to dvla straight away.Was told had to wait 6months to drive.


December2012 saw consultant at hospital said no reason not to drive was up to dvla.

February 2013 coming up to 6months i telephoned dvla to confirm they had heard back from consultant and could i drive.yes they had heard back.Then had an eyetest.thats fine.

I was told that if my doctor or consultant said i was ok to drive then i could even though dvla hadnt said yes yet.


So while all this has been ongoing (and still is ) i could have driven since december as that was when i saw him. Confused!!


Anyway dvla sent a covering letter to me just incase i have to produce my licence,which they still have.

So im back on the road again.

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Rules are different for HGV etc. licences but for a normal car licence, you do not have to surrender when you have a SAH. The requirement only is that you inform the DVLA. This you do on their form B1. If you study the form and the information on the connected web site, nowhere does it say you shouldn't drive.


However, Form B1 includes a declaration for you to sign that says you will follow all medical advice.

Inevitably, that advice is not to drive. However, once your Consultant says their is no medical reason for you not to commence driving then the DVLA will confirm that that is what you can do. In my case, they did this over the phone when I told them that my Consultant had confirmed that he had no objection. Nothing in writing from the DVLA at that point but I did confirm the conversation to them in writing so a record existed.


My Consultant took nearly three months and three reminders from the DVLA before sending the written medical report and then only after I had raised the delay as an informal complaint with the Hospital PALS people. Once the report is received by the DVLA (they will write to you and confirm they have received it) it is passed to their medical people for consideration and they undertake to write to you within 8 weeks. In my case, that 8 week period expires at the end of March.


Bottom line is don't surrender your licence and once your Consultant says you're fit to drive, ring the DVLA and tell them.


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  • 2 weeks later...


Had my SAH Feb 9th 2013 and a coil put in my noggin a week later. Out of hospital on the 23rd Feb and form B1 sent to the DVLA immediately.


A week later I chased the DVLA. They had received my B1 but, apparently, it "would be better for me" if they resent me a blank B1 for me to submit and also for me to surrender my licence as "it might help". When asked how it might help, they would only answer that "it might" & "you'll be off the road for 6, 12, 18 or 24 months". All rather vague and unhelpful. I chose to ignore the DVLA's advice.


So currently, I'm waiting for the DVLA to hear from my consultant and for them to inform me of their decision.


Bit of a moany first post - sorry about that - but I am a little frustrated about DVLA procedure.

BTW this site has been as great source of information and a huge reassurance that things 'get better'.....not necessarily at the rate we'd like sometimes but....what can you do!? So thank you for all your posts and all other info on this site.:-D

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had my SAH in Dec 2012. When I was coming out of hospital they told me it was a requirement that I notify the DVLA of my condition. I did so straight away. They wrote back and said they had written to my consultant and this would take 6 weeks. After 6 weeks they wrote back and said they had the information and it would now take them up to 8 weeks to assess it.


I have assumed that during this time I am not allowed to drive, but when I read carefully the DVLA website they don't actually say this, just that you must notify them and can be fined for not doing so or prosecuted if involved in an accident. Nowhere so far as I can see does it say you cant drive while they are making an assessment, only that you must notify them. Neither of the letters I have had from DVLA says anything on the issue.


Reading this thread there are those that agree with this analysis and those that don't.

I have called my Insurance company and they said there was no need for me to notify them and they were fine for me to drive unless the doctor or DVLA had told me not to.

No one has told me not to, its just an assumption on my part, one I now feel is wrong. I don't feel 100% confident though, will make a few phone calls tomorrow.


PS Just checked the SAH booklet given to me at the hospital. It says "You will not be able to drive until you have received DVLA approval and you doctor has confirmed you are recovered" so that's where I got the idea from initially, but that is hardly a legal document is it? I wonder who has an authoritative idea on this.

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Hi there. Hmm. DVLA is a bit of a grey area, no pun intended.

I think the facts are that SAH is considered a notifiable condition and is certainly included in their medical questionnaire so until they give you clearance to drive after you notify them then your licence is not valid but I thnk legally you are still allowed to drive ut they like doctors to make that decision. Have they written to you?


Here's where I took my guidance from

"It is the duty of the licence holder or licence applicant to notify DVLA of any medical condition, which may affect safe driving.


The DVLA is legally responsible for deciding if a person is medically unfit to drive. They need to know when driving licence holders have a condition, which may, now or in the future, affect their safety as a driver.'



It does also go onto say 'The Secretary of State, in practice DVLA, is unable to make a licensing decision until all the available relevant medical information has been considered. It may therefore be a relatively lengthy process to obtain all necessary reports and, during this period, the licence holder normally retains legal entitlement to drive under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act.'


My understanding from talking to the DVLA a lot is that if you had a seizure, a EVD , a shunt placed or clipping then it is 6 months clear from any of these episodes ( plus the lag to get them to get clearance from your consultant which takes AGES!:shock:) if you have just coiling then it is handled on a case by case basis but you need the DVLA to confirm that your licence is still valid. But it is a minefield of confusion and no clear answer...what one medical person says another disagrees with....best of luck.

I'm still waiting with all fingers crossed

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Dafodil, thanks for that - the document you posted is very useful in clarifying the situation. Its seems clear that I can drive at least until the DVLA tells me otherwise. I am seeing my consultant next week, so will check he has no objection first.


The document does raise one concern in my mind which I was already aware of. It says that if you have had no aneurism then you go into the no restriction category provided you have full angiography confirmation of this, otherwide you are restricted for 6 months. In my case the first sngiogram was clear but the second one was only 50%complete before the catheter got twisted. They tried again the next day and failed altogether. So whereas ideally I would have two clear checks I only have 1.5! I am not sure if the DVLA will therefore put me in the 6 month category when they eventually make a decision. In the meantime, it seems I am legally clear to drive.


PS I phoned the DVLA this morning and they said - Your case is being assessed, we sent the papers to our advisor on 5th March, and he is currently dealing with papers sent on 28th November. However there is no reason why you shouldn't drive in the meantime, provided either your GP or your consultant has given his agreement. I have made an appointment to see my GP next week. I could have sorted this weeks ago if I hadn't accepted the words in the NHS SAH booklet that says you can't srive until the DVLA and your doctor have agreed.

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First off, many thanks to Daff & Shricthism for the info and for making me get off my **** and ask some questions of my own!


Saw my GP this morning and after looking up the driving limitations after a SAH, he deemed me fit to drive!


My elation was tempered by the knowledge that i would have to deal with the DVLA... but a very helpful chap at DVLA confirmed to me that although they were still processing my case, if the Doc has given me the all clear (and my licence was valid) I can indeed drive again!



A very happy chappy indeed.

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Jimmy, glad to hear of your outcome, you seem to have a much more accessible GP than mine, I have to wait a week for an appointment. I think it is quite wrong people are being mislead into thinking they can't drive till the DVLA says they can. In my case the difficulties of the journey to work without the car, which added 2 hrs to the day, made the return to work seem much more difficult than it need to be. I just have my fingers crossed for next weeks appointment now!


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Thanks Chris, felt the same regarding the journey to work also. The Doc interpreted the restrictions for SAH as "no driving until in fit state of recovery" and deemed me fit! The DVLA chap was helpful and accepted my account without any issues, so fingers crossed your Doc/DVLA will do the same.


(I've only recently moved to this GP Surgery and fair play to them they have a good system - phone up by 8.30 am and they'll give you same day appt....now my previous GP's.....well that's another story...awful, truly awful receptionist).

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Nice one Jimmy.Really pleased for you and the docs making some sensible decisions in the mire of confusion that surrounds this.

The DVLA confirmed today they have had response from my consultant ,( I had to wait post shunt another 6 months) finally, that only took another 3 months...but there is a backlog at DVLA to review it. Shock horror:shock: quel surprise!

So I get to wait some more now...Hopefully next week I might hear and know if I can get back out on the roads again.

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