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Hello everyone.

 

I'm brand new to this site and very happy to have found it.

 

I'm 33 and suffered a minor stroke on 9th January 2017. It left me with a visual field defect on my lower left side. After reporting it to the doctor/ DVLA my driving licence was quickly revoked. I was diagnosed with a minor stroke following an MRI.

 

Investigations into the cause of the stroke found a Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) in my heart (a hole) and this was closed on 18th December 2017. I've had no other symptoms other than my vision issues and I've been able to go about my life as normal (other than not being able to drive).

 

I'm due to take a driving assessment, requested by the DVLA, next week. I was just wondering what people's experiences were of the assessment and what the pass rate is? I still feel very confident in my driving abilities even though it's been over a year since driving.

 

Thanks in advance.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome indeed Karl.

 

We would love to hear how it went for you. It would help others who have to face it and hopefully give hope in an uncertain situation. I had to undergo an assessment, probably much the same as yours, a few weeks ago and I am pleased to report that I got my licence back on 26th May 2018, about two and a half weeks after I took the assessment.

 

It usually takes about two weeks for the report to be issued by the assessing centre to the DVLA. The DVLA take at least four days to get the report onto their system and issue to the medical team. Thereafter it is just a guess as to how quickly the medical team review the report and make the final decision.

 

Don't be concerned about calling the DVLA every day after about two weeks to see how the application is progressing. They are very kind when you call and understand your frustrations in wanting to get back on the road. 

 

The assessors will have told you how you got on and if all went well on the day I am pretty certain that you will get your licence back. We are keeping our fingers crossed for you. Let us know how you get on!

 

JM

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Hello again and sorry it has taken a while for me to respond to your kind wishes and useful information.

 

Well, after waiting a year and a half I finally got to do my driving assessment. I had mixed emotions leading up to the day as driving is so important to me; I've realised just how important since my licence was revoked. I was both nervous and excited as I knew the assessment would ultimately determine whether or not I'd get my licence back.

 

I arrived at the assessment centre around 20 minutes before my appointment. All of the staff were very friendly and the receptionist even made me a cup of coffee. I was eventually called in where I met an occupational health specialist and a specialist driving assessor. They explained the reason for the assessment and what I would be doing. They already had all my medical notes from my doctors so they had a good idea how I had gotten to this point.

 

The assessment was split into two parts. The first part was a mental stress test. This is designed to determine how well you cope under pressure and how you process visual and audio information. It consisted of a set of small tasks which I had to completed as quickly and as accurately as possible.

 

These included things such as reproducing a diagram of a cube, memorizing and recalling lists of words, marking all occurrences of a particular letter in a grid of letters, etc. The difficulty of this task ia determined by your age and level of education.  It was actually quite tricky and I felt like I'd been tested after it, even though I felt I'd done well.

 

Then it was onto the actual driving portion of the assessment. They offered me a choice of cars and in the end I went for a 1 litre manual ford fiesta. I started off in the little test track they had on site. I did a few laps and they asked me to do a hill start and an emergency stop to make sure I had full control of the car. Once they were happy we went onto the proper roads.

 

They explained that it wasn't a driving test and they would not try to catch me out. I would be driving on a pre set route (about 12 miles in total) and they were not wanting me to drive like you would in a test (hands 10 and 2, not riding the clutch, etc). As long as I safely navigated the route within the speed limits they would be happy.

 

I was guided along the route; told where to turn, which exit to take at roundabouts, etc. I made a point of over emphasising my looks in the mirrors and over my shoulders. I also said out loud when people pulled out in front of me so that the assessors knew that I'd seen everything going on.

 

Half way through my drive they got me to pull over. They do this for everyone as a little break as they're aware you haven't driven for so long. At this point they give you some feedback. I was told I was driving very well by both of the assessors and to keep it it up for the second half. The second half of the drive included some independent driving where they ask you to follow the road signs to a certain location. This was absolutely fine and I made it there with no problems.

 

I was then directed back to the test centre. After I pulled up I went and sat back in the room where I did the first test while they had a quick discussion between themselves. They were only gone 30 seconds and when they came in they said straight away "Congratulations! You've had an excellent drive and we're happy to advise the DVLA to reissue your licence."

 

I was over the moon and I couldn't thank them enough. They reminded me that the decision is down to the DVLA, but they do tend to go with their recommendation 99.9% of the time. I'm convinced it's just a matter of waiting now - I've even been to look at cars!

 

I'm going to ring the DVLA this Friday and then ring them every day after that until they've made a decision. As soon as I know I'll let you know on here.

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Fan bloomin' tastic Karl! It is such a buzz to read all that. I relived my own assessment of 2nd May as I was reading your excellent summary of events. Mine was slightly different in that I had to do a 'reaction' and 'decision making' tests on a driving test bed. Hitting the brake when you see a red lights (that was difficult because, like you, I don't have a full field of vision!) and hitting either brake or accelerator when certain combinations of green or red lights flash up. Reaction times were critical and a graph was issued to the DVLA of my results. 

 

I was surprised when told that the only real test of any importance was the on-road test. I am not quite sure that this is the case but I certainly started it with some trepidation and felt super confident when I got back to base. I was told I had done well and that it was a 'nice drive'.

 

They seemed particularly impressed that I knew the meaning of a road sign (National speed limit on a single carriageway) but more so that I knew it was 60mph speed limit. I was told that most people don't answer that! Oh well. I also managed to spot a 20 mph speed restriction, which went down well. 

 

I am pretty sure that in a week or two you'll be back on the road again without restrictions. It's a life changer. I have been out pretty much every day since I got my licence back. Can't help myself!! 

 

Well done!! 

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  • 3 months later...

I have just been catching up on the forums here and found that Karl seems to have gone offline for a while. Perhaps he got his licence back and was so excited that he just hopped in his car and hasn't been seen since. He could well be on a road trip to end all road trips. If he is then all is well in his world and it is worth a cheer! Go Karl!

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  • 2 years later...

My husband has a driving assessment at the end of this month. Following a stroke his license was revoked due to cognitive impairment and visual field deficit. His appeal has finally resulted in a provisional driving license and a driving assessment.

      We would be grateful for any information on what to expect. 

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Welcome Mrs Klopp. You will see a post on 18th June 2018 above, from Karl. His explanation is pretty full so is a good start to understanding what is required on the day. I also had an assessment in 2018 and there is very little to add to what Karl has related.

 

Hopefully your husband has a provisional licence to use not just on the day of the assessment but right up until the assessment. If so, make sure he gets out with you (if you have a full clean driving licence) or someone else to get some practice in and make sure he is fully confident for his assessment. 

 

What Karl says is right; so long as your husband manages to follow road signs and keep within the speed limit (they may well take him through a 20 mph zone so he needs to keep his eyes peeled for that!). It is really all about what your husband notices, or more importantly, not notices, when he is out on the road. They asked me what a road sign meant. It was a national speed limit sign so I was lucky that I knew it was 60 mph on a single lane road (70 on a two lane road).

 

The initial tests in the test centre are cognitive tests but they are very simple and are not particularly relevant to driving. They will check the strength in his feet and his ability to look over his shoulder (for obvious reasons).

 

The second set of test will be on a driving machine set up and these will be tests to see his reaction times. When the red light comes on - press the brake etc. These reactions need to be achieved in a certain timescale. I managed to get within the time criteria so they were happy with what I achieved. When you have a visual defect, it means you cannot rely on field of vision to capture all that you should be seeing. This is the bit I found most challenging. 

 

I really wouldn't worry about it Mrs K! Your husband will be fine. Please come back and ask more question if there are any gaps. Let us know when he has had the test. They will tell him after the test if they are happy to recommend to the DVLA he gets the licence back.

 

However, it is only the DVLA who can make the final decision so he will have to push them. Ask the test centre to email the DVLA so that the information gets to them sooner. They will still take ages to confirm their decision but your husband will at least be able to ask them if they have the information yet. Keep on at them too! I called every other day and they are fine with that.

 

Happy driving times ahead!!
 

JM

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Thank you so much for your reply. My husband has had his driving assessment brought forward to this Tuesday. So we are both feeling pretty nervous !

 

He has been given a provisional licence  so it’s been good to see him on the road. He has very good awareness helps that he has driven for over 30 years. Today we are going to practice with him wearing a mask so if anyone has tips to stop  fogging up when you wear glasses and mask we would be grateful.

 

It’s taken 2 years to get to this point. He was devastated when he lost his license but reading about other people’s experiences in forums like this gave us hope. Thank you again for your words of encouragement.

 

 

 

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Hi and wishing your husband success at his driving assessment on Tuesday.

 

On the mask question...there are so many different masks...but I opt for the common blue mask and so long as I press the top 'wire' firm to my nose and just inside the bottom of my spectacles...this works for me.

 

Subs 

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Great news Mrs K! Wish him all the very best from us and report back when he has taken the test. I haven't any experience of someone here NOT passing so am fully expecting him to sail through. Make sure you ask them to email their report to the DVLA. It might take a few days for them to do the report but just be patient. Don't let him drive again until after he has received the go-ahead from DVLA as his temporary licence falls away after he has done the assessment.

 

All the very best to him.

 

JM

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My husband was very nervous on the day. The staff were lovely and very supportive. During his cognitive assessment he made a couple of errors but they did stress that it would be his driving that would count more.

 

He managed to wear his mask the whole time. He thinks that his driving was fine. I didn’t hear their feedback for his driving as I was in my car in the car park. They did though say to me that it would be a couple of weeks before we hear from DVLA. And that I should chase them for a decision which I took to be positive.

 

The hardest part of the day for my husband was handing back the provisional licence. He has enjoyed being back on the road so it will be frustrating being a passenger again. Hopefully we will hear from the DVLA soon and I will let you know the outcome. Thanks for your good wishes.

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That's interesting to hear as it would be perfectly usual for the assessors to let him know their recommendations before he leaves the test centre. Did he ask? I don't want to be negative but it would be best for you to know that it may take a lot longer than two weeks for your husband to hear from DVLA. 

 

I hear that they have longer wait times at the moment due to covid restrictions on the numbers of people allowed, at any given time, in call centres. I hope he does hear within that timescale but if he hasn't heard after two weeks then please please call them, every day if necessary, to chase them up. The call centre staff at DVLA are really understanding in these situations so please don't worry about calling often.

 

All the best and come back to tell us how he got on.

 

JM

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Yes will start ringing DVLA next week. It was difficult due to Covid restrictions as I sat in my car in car park waiting for my husband. After his drive the assessors spoke to my husband in test car. So I don’t know what was said to him.

 

When they all got out of the car they said to us both that the decision usually takes a couple of weeks and to push DVLA if we had not heard anything. I didn’t want to be pushy and ask about my husband’s driving as I took it as a positive they they didn’t want to talk to me. 

 

We were grateful that the assessment took place as Covid rates rising. It’s been a fight to get to this stage so although it’s hard waiting we can be patient for a bit longer. Thanks Johnnie M, will keep you updated.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So my husband has passed his driving assessment. He has a full licence. He is so happy. It’s been so hard for him but we always focused on there being hope. So proud of him.

 

For anyone thinking of appealing under exceptional circumstances good luck and it is possible to get your licence back.

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Great news....thanks for sharing. 

You both must be so happy that your husband has passed his driving assessment. 

So glad you both never gave up and many thanks to Johnnie M who guided you all the way. 

 

Subs

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Great news Mrs Klopp ! Thank you for letting us know. Happy driving to your husband :) 

 

Johnnie M, many thanks for all your help and advice, you have helped many :thumbsup: 

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Wow! I have just seen the great news from Mrs K. Excellent. Of course, when you've been through the process yourself the worry and doubt is all too evident but this is really great news. I hope he has a blast out there on the roads Mrs K. Wish him all the (safe) best from us.

 

Being without my wheels would be like having my arms cut off! I often say to my (very understanding) wife..."just off for a drive darling". She would say, "OK. Where are you driving to?" I'd respond "No idea yet, it's just about the driving." I do usually find a fun road or two though! 

 

All the best to you both.

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