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DVLA - Short Period Licence

Gemma B-B

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Hello all,


As many of you are aware I have been waiting to hear back from the DVLA about my driving licence following my haemorrhage. Due to the fact I had an EVD and a shunt fitted I was banned from driving for 6 months. During this time I sent off my medical information to the DVLA. Following my haemorrhage I developed a rare side effect - which is to get spinal archnoiditis and arachnoid cysts from the hydrocephalus and the blood in my CS fluid. This has meant I have lost feeling from my mid-torso downwards, which has affected my mobility in my legs.


In the process of getting my licence back I was sent for a medical and disability driving assessment. The result of these was that they thought I could drive again but it would have to be a hand controlled car due to the issues with my lower limbs as they did not think I could consistently and safely drive a normal car. There is also the chance that I will get worse and would therefore have to drive a hand controlled car anyway.  


All of this information was passed onto the DVLA and today I got their response. As expected they want to change my licence to reflect that I now need to drive a hand controlled car, which is fine. The other thing they have said is that they are only willing to issue my a 3 year short term licence due to the nature of my conditions. This means that in 3 years time I will have to be medically assessed again and then reapply for my licence.


I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this post-SAH and what their experience was of it? Has anyone had this and then later on been able to get a long-term licence reinstated or have they remained on 3 year licences? From what I understand it is possible to go back to a 'normal' long-term licence if you remain stable.   


Thank you!




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Sorry Gemma, not had this experience.  It may be that in 3 years time they review your ability to drive again and if they're happy, or you regain the ability to drive a foot controlled car, that they re-issue you with your permanent licence.  Is there anyone at the DVLA you can ask so that you can be clear about they future of your licence?

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Hi Sami,


I have rung the DVLA to ask this and they have said that in 3 years time they will see how I am doing and then make another decision then - they can't give my any indication of what that might be as it will depend on how I am at the time. They might re-issue a longer term licence if I seem to be stable and have been for a while or they might issue another 3 year one if it seems that I might still change in that time.


I obviously knew that they would want to change my licence to say I can only drive a hand controlled vehicle, but I did not expect to only be issued a short-term licence. I know this is because my condition could still get worse in the next 3 years so I suppose it is a fair enough decision and I probably should have expected it.



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Gemma, it's good that you are getting your license back , I'm pleased for you with that as I know how hard it's been to be without it.


The restriction is something I was aware of only based on a family member who has a disability that can also change so they re- assess every two year I think for her.


As Sami says in that time they may have got to the bottom of things and improvements have come for you but in the meantime I think you may also qualify for help with a car or adaptations under the motorbility scheme , worth checking that out.


take care 

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Yes Sami, that is very true. My consultant has told me not to expect any improvement, however you never know. I also have variation on a day to day basis based upon my fatigue levels so over time some improvement might be possible. That would be nice :-) I have been told that if I remain stable for 4 years then I ought to remain stable for life, so at the moment this is what I am hoping for.


I am glad I have finally got my licence back Daffodil :-) I have already sold my old car and am now in the process of trying to get a hand controlled car sorted. I have actually applied for a PIP and have my assessment on Thursday.  In order to get motorbility I would have to score enough points on this assessment and I do not think I will manage to do so as on the new scoring system you have to be able to move only as few meters and at the moment I am managing more than this with my walking sticks, AFOs and lots of rest.


I had citizen's advices help in completing the form and they were of the same opinion. We shall see though.  If we have to self-fund it will take a little while to get it sorted due to costs etc. Still it is progress and for that I am grateful!


Gemma x

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