DVLA 3 year licence - I am I the only who is gutted?

Hi everyone and Happy New Year

I have just received a letter today advising me that licence is to be sent back and will be replaced with 3 year one. I feel totally gutted but general consensus from friends is that I should be thankfulI can still drive. I am thankful that I can still drive, but to me, it will be a wrenth go give up my lovely clean licence that I’ve had since 1993 .

Am I just over reacting or am I still in the ‘learning to accept what life is throwing at me stage’.

Just some comments from those int he know would be appreciated - thank you

Hi Amanda It’s a bummer isn’t it? I passed 1996 and for the last 15yrs I get my license every three years! You are not alone and I’m sure there are many more MS’rs like us. Try not to take it to heart at least they didn’t completley revoke it like they did mine once in that 15 yr period. Sue xx

yeah i got a s*itty letter too gettin mine soon. Does it look any different than a normal liscense?

i dont want people to be able to distinguish,


I am just coming to the end of my 3 year licence, I am not sure if I need to contact DVLA myself or whether they will have to go through the process of contacting my neurologist again. I was initially worried, but I suppose they have to make sure other people on the road are safe! About 3 years before I was diagnosed, I had optic neuritis, I was told I was ok to drive when I asked, but I was pulling up to petrol pumps that far away the line wasn’t long enough! I was very careful wherever I drove, and didn’t go far or on the motorway, but looking back, I wasn’t safe to be on the road! Luckily I didn’t cause an accident!

Wendy xx


No, it is just the same

Wendy x

Yes its crazy, be carefull as DVLA dont send a reminder before expiry date and I was driving on an expired licence for about 4 months before realising. I would make contact with DVLA well in advance as it took a couple of weeks to come back. I wont be doing that again



Thanks Kim, I will contact them this week x

It is a pain, but it will still be clean & your not alone…I was insensed about the fact that I lost my 7.5 tonn entitlement & that if i wanted it back I would have to have a costly medical.

Hi Amanda & Raymond

You’ll still have a clean licence, it’ll look no different to any other licence other than having an expiry date in 3 years time rather than 10. I also need to use hand controls & an automatic to drive, so it has the codes on it that mean that, but no-one’s ever going to know what they mean.

I was already diagnosed when I learnt to drive so I’m used to the 3 year thing, and having to send off my application every time for it to be renewed. The DVLA have written to me when it’s been nearing expiry, but I’ve always re-applied well before the expiry date just becase they can take months to process an application. Don’t worry though if the expiry date passes & they’ve still not sent you a new licence, as you’re still legally entitled to drive if your application is with the DVLA.

Happy driving!


After 30 years of driving,more than half professionally I have surrendered my licence,and that means I can re-apply for another three year medical licence if ever I feel the need. I’ve driven everything from my crazy three wheel kit car, to a Tank Transporter to Fire Engines.Due to the pain and lack of co-ordination in both feet and left hand I last drove about 18 months ago, and the car is well gone.

Two years ago,realising the driving was finishing I bought a Class III mobility scooter and have done over 3,000 road miles I use every bit of driving experience every time I venture forth and feel more at ease on the road, in the rain, in the rush hour than shopping in Tescburys. Old women, yappy dogs and kids on scooters…Let’s not go there.

On the road is the only time I ever focus properly and I get some distraction from my hsitty chronic pain.I’m telling you this because there are ways of getting around,maintaining some measure of sanity(very questionable),saving money and I actually get pleasure from treating it as my job.I’ll be going out every day whilst I still can,and when I can’t use it safely it’ll be a big powerchair .The one I NEED is £7,000,road legal and does 8mph

Wot I say is,“If you think you might not be able to drive one day,find the gear you might have to use, get it well before you really need it,and get good on it”.The only places I can’t go are motorways.'Spose I’m like a mark I Darlek…Can’t do stairs or hover,and don’t hoover much either.


I was dx in april, still waiting for dvla to say if i can drive or not. got a reply before xmas to say they are still making the choice.

It is annoying at first, I will agree with that. I has to send my nice old fashioned paper licence back and get one of these new fangled paper ones.
But in reality it makes little difference. Ok, you lose the odd group, but that shouldn’t affect too many people. And it is free, you are spared the £10 fee.
3 years seems to be the maximum, so it suggests that they don’t consider driving to be an issue for you at all.

And yes, it is a regular licence.

Be grateful it is only a 3 year licence you are grumbling about… Here in Australia I have to do a full medical every 12 months including a separate one with an eye specialist and if my GP queries anything in it I have to pay $360 for an OT assessment to keep my licence.

And I have had to do the OT assessment twice now simply because my old GP had no bloody idea about what constituted a safe ability to drive. I passed the OT test with flying colours both times but there is no way of avoiding the wopping fee if your GP is a dill and won’t sign you off even when you are manifestly capable of driving. GRRRRRR!!!

Thankfully my current GP is far more aware of MS and what it entails and has been quite happy to sign me off. But it is still 2 medical appointments each year to maintain a licence…

But TBH I would jump through what ever hoops were thrown at me to keep my licence. Living in an Australian country town, I’d be screwed without a car.


Hi, it was one of the things that got to me when I was diagnosed… Not being able to give blood was another…

I have mine reviewed every year as I want to keep my 7.5 tonne licence which is irritating but they pay for everything. They are usually late contacting you to arrange the renewal - ie they say 3 months prior to expiry, but it is normally around 1 month prior.

I also never send them my licence before they have completed their review as it can take months.

Take care


It was a pain having to fill in the form…literally! I find writing really difficult…but…on the plus side got to change my dang awful photo at same time! Lol Mish x

Just to share…one of the hardest things I had to do was write to the DVLA and Drs and beg them to carry out a driving assessment on my husband before renewing his licence as I was so concerned about his ability to drive safetly. He was really quite annoyed about it and firmly convinced that he was perfectly safe. After carrying out spatial awareness tests ,the assessor took him out in a dual controlled car but cut the test short after a few minutes out on the road due to the risk to other people.

To this day my husband is still firmly convinced that he can drive perfectly well and forgets that he no longer holds a licence. I have to ensure that he cannot access the car keys or he would attempt to drive, it makes me feel really awful for having taken away his independence but imagine how I would have felt if he had killed someone and I hadnt said anything.

you did the right thing,a lot of people think they are still safe to drive,when they are not,i realised last year that it wasnt safe for me to continue driving, i really needed to be able to continue, the reason i learnt to drive was because i could barely walk anymore,and it was my independance,but i knew my spatial awareness was just not there anymore,and the only sensible thing to do was quit driving,it really upset me to do it,but sometimes we just have to do these things,hard as they are.

Just a word of warning re driving. Years ago, with a spell of optic neuritis, I visited the eye clinic at the local hospital. At my last appointment, the doctor suggested I register as partially-sighted, as only had “useful” sight in one eye. He told me there would be many advantages to doing this, but it was optional in my case. I agreed, signed the form, and was promptly told “You realise you won’t be allowed to drive now”. I was devastated as I can’t walk more than a few yards, and live quite a way from shops etc. with no-one to drive me anywhere. I realise this was a sneaky way of getting suspect drivers off the road -notice he told me this AFTER I’d signed the form - but do beware of registering as partially-sighted if you depend on your car. (I’m still waiting for the "advantages!).

Crikey Belinda!!! Given that ON is usually a short term problem that improves he was bit trigger happy. Has your eye sight improved now? Can you appeal this decision? Especially as you didn’t give fully informed consent to the signing of the form I’d question whether that was even legal.

I’d be seeking advice from a lawyer with medico-legal knowledge on this. It just sounds terribly wrong


Hi B, No - sight never improved, and I guess this eye specialist knew it wouldn’t. Probably a sensible suggestion as have virtually no 3D vision in that eye and the ON affected the other eye after a year or two, though, luckily, that one did improve, but not enough to drive safely. The only time I don’t regret the decision is when it’s snowing. Everyone else is saying how awful the roads are, but I don’t care cos I’m not going out on them!