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For any one who drives please

Hi could every one who drives give me some advice, maybe there situation and how they have dealt with the DLA ? The reason is I have found out (altho not been told) that I should advise DLA of my diagnoses, I havnt as of yet but I will do, I have only been driving a little over a year and im so scared il be stopped from driving. I couldn’t continue my nurse training without my car and my kids would suffer also. My symptoms aren’t to bad and I manage day to day just fine however symptoms are creeping up on me minor tremors, eye pain and balance. I would consider myself a responsible person and can assure everyone I would not drive at all if I felt any symptom may effect any aspects of my driving and they don’t, I tend to experience the symptoms when standing or in heat or at the end of the day but I’m aware on paper they wouldn’t look good. The fear of being stopped driving has left me ignoring symptoms because I won’t go to the doctors for treatment because I don’t want any record of them that may be used to stop me driving, it’s been months now and I’m Constantly stressing about this :o(

Hi Tonih

Firstly, as understand it (but I may be wrong!), if you don’t tell the DVLA about your MS your insurance may be void.

Secondly, when I was learning to drive and I told the DVLA that i had been dx with MS I had to go for tests to check my reactions ect. Now, even though i was just a learner, I was told that could continue, with certain things advised that would make things easier. That was quite a long time ago, so things may have changed!

I gave up learning to drive because I was having slight problems with my legs (sometimes they didn’t do what I ask them to) I just kept thinking, supposing my legs decided to do their own thing when I wanted to do an emergency stop! I think that if I’d already passed my test I might have had more of an inclination to keep driving :slight_smile:

You’d probably do better to take the bull by the horns and get it over with, all that worrying can’t be good for you. It horrible having this hanging over you.

Hopefully someone on this forum can give you some more up to date information!

xx

Hi

Firstly, yes you need to tell the DVLA that you have MS. You’re legally required to tell them, and failure to do so could result in a fine. I know it’s very common for us to not want to tell them, for the very fears you describe. But, while I don’t doubt your personal sense of responsibility, they are required to ensure that everybody on the road is safe to drive - lives are at stake after all, not just yours but your kids as well as other people. So they obviously need to make sure.

However, I’d be very surprised if they revoked your licence. You’ll need to complete a medical questionnaire and then, after they do goodness knows what with it for several months, you’ll get a 3 year licence, which needs to be reviewed every 3 years. It’s possible they may ask you to go for an assessment, but may not (I had one done and they were great, really supportive).

It’s worth remembering that you can get adaptations done to a car to help, if it turns out there are certain things you struggle to do. I’m a wheelchair user, so I use hand controls. I drive an automatic, and use a push/pull lever which I use with one hand to accelerate/brake. I steer with the other hand using a steering ball, which attaches to the steering wheel. If you google car hand controls, you’ll see some of the things available (it’s amazing some of the stuff they can do). And just to reassure you, I have eyesight problems in one eye, and the DVLA haven’t considered that a problem.

You should also tell your insurance company, as if you don’t then it could invalidate your insurance. However, all they’ll probably need to know is that you’ve told the DVLA. They cannot increase your premium though - if they try to, they are breaking the law.

Hope that helps. And good luck with the nursing : )

Dan

(Ps, I wasn’t joking with the several months comment - don’t expect to hear from the DVLA quickly, they can take an absolute age to get back to you with a decision. 3 months is the quickest for me, 9 months is the longest.)

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Thanks you have both helped a lot. I do intend to tell them the only reason I havnt so far is because my diagnoses was made by a consultant who was so satisfied with the MRI he didn’t send me for more tests. However I’m now under a new consultant who says actualy I’m not happy to give you that diagnoses without further tests. I have an appointment in 2 weeks in which I fully expect to be “officially” diagnosed and upon seeking advise I was told it would be pointless telling the DLA anything untill I could confirm my diagnoses was official. But not im experiencing some minor symptoms that’s making me think "don’t go to the doctors because I don’t want anything else added to the list ready for me telling the DLA :o( I’m fortunate enough to have no mobility problems and my sights actualy near perfect (I just had a check) but the pain I’m getting suggests my eyes might become problematic. Thank you both for you advise and support its a huge help having some one to ask. (I hide my diagnoses from friends and colleagues ) so it’s nice to have this place. Thanks again

Hi Toni,

I am recently diagnosed (11 March) as soon as you are officially diagnosed you need to tell the DVLA. My Consultant told me I had to do it but he said I can still drive & I have some mobility issues. I told the DVLA and my insurance is now in black and white on my policy. I am awaiting the DVLA decision as they have contacted my MS Consultant. My understanding though is that they might just make me renew my Licence more frequently. Like someone else said your insurance company could say your policy is invalid if you don’t declare it.

Snowqueen

Firstly, don’t worry.

Just inform the DVLA and they will send you out a form to complete where you have to state what symptoms you have. I did this 6 years ago and have received two 3 year licences.

It’s not too difficult to complete. Only a short form so please do not stress over it. I am sure you will get the same, three year licences.

Shazzie xx

i was driving to work one day and couldn’t get the car to move when the lights changed to green.

the driver behind me got out of his car and told me that i was pressing the brakes.

that scared the life out of me because i obviously could not feel the pedals.

it could have been much worse and i could possibly have caused an accident.

this was just after my diagnosis.

i phoned DVLA and voluntarily relinquished my license on the understanding that i could ask for its return at a later date.

i used buses and taxis for a couple of years and eventually got a motability car.

automatic is stated on my licence so i will always have to have an automatic.

​my licence was returned to me with no problems.

don’t worry about it. inform DVLA as soon as you are diagnosed.

carole x

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When I was first diagnosed I didn’t know about having to declare to DVLA. The fine at the time was £1000 :frowning: I had my license returned for 3 year intervals. There was one point when I lost it for 6 months and the had a yearly license after that but I’m back to the 3 year license again :slight_smile:

As above - you must inform the DVLA of a diagnosis of MS.
Your insurance small print will say that you should inform them of any material event or change, so if you don’t tell them they are entitled to make your insurance null and void. But if you tell them they cannot discriminate against you.

I used the same letter for both (PM me if you want a copy of the words), only one says “DVLA informed” and the other says “insurance company informed”.

You will get a medical condition form to fill in - and they will then write to the neurologist you name, and ask about your fitness.
This will be the start of a bureaucratic process that will end with a 3-year licence. You go through the same process every three years (but only tell the insurance company once, unless you change company). Provided your eyesight is OK (and you tell them if it is), all that may happen is that they may restrict you to automatic transmission, or the use of hand controls.

All this did not worry me much since I have driven automatics from choice for 15 years, and I was already on a 3-year licence on account of my age.

Now - they will ask you to return your old licence. Do not do this. They will say that one of their letters can be used in lieu of a licence. I do not think this will be much use if you take the kids to Orlando for a fix of Disney, and want to hire a car. Your old licence will remain valid until replaced with a new one (and an English copper will simply contact the DVLA computer) so hold on to the old one.

And for a laugh:
I am restricted to cars (no vans or minibuses) without the “automatic” restriction - even though I tell them every time that one leg does not function. but I can ride a moped or light scooter (this could be fun - I have not been on two wheels since 1962) if I could only get on one, and I still have the “track-laying vehicle” licence that I got driving a Main Battle Tank (but I could never get into one to do it).

Geoff

l found the DVLA very understanding - don’t be afraid to contact them. But as you still haven’t had a definite diagnosis l should wait until your next neuro appointment. From what l can remember it was just a form - asking some fairly basic questions and wanting your permission to contact your GP for further details if needed. l was then given a 3yr licence and that went on the many years. l drive an automatic as it is my left leg that is effected. Once, DVLA have been informed - then make sure you tell your car insurers. On their forms - or online - they usually have a part asking about your health and you just need to tick the box that says DVLA lnformed.

So its not too much hassle - and will stop you worrying. The 3yr licence will be a bit different - as they usually stop you from driving any bigger vehicle and also towing. So do read the small stuff!

l think the criteria for being fit to drive is of course eyesight/ quick reactions - that is being able to turn your head from side to side quickly - and of course foot control. lf you don’t already drive an automatic - do think about getting one next time you change your car. They are so much easier to drive and take a lot of stress out of driving.

Keep Calm and Keep Driving.

Thank you, I’m Going to see my neuro next week and then I’m going to give the Dvla a ring, I was just so nervous about mentioning anything to the doctors or neuro that may look bad on paper and then im left worrying that I could permenatly damage my health because I’m leaving things. I was getting Realy stressed about it. I’m quite a cautious driver and don’t think I would take any risks If I felt I may be risk, I don’t even drive for 24hours if I take new over the counter pain killers untill I asses the effects on myself. Iv just had my vision checked because I do feel like I problem but I’m told I have perfect 20/20 vision and the effects are more with the muscles then my vision, ( moving my eyes feels “strange”) anyways I’m good mobility wise - still running and what not I suffer abit pain but not so that I have to stop or I am unable to do things . I actually feel Realy confident I could pass any tests I was asked to do. My thoughts were that when written on paper, problems with eyes or anything else look worse then they may actualy be. Thanks for all your responses I feel so much better :o)

Hi. I told the dvla when I was diagnosed in February, they told me if my doctor authorised it I could continue whilst they investigate. My car insurance now shows that I have ms but my premium did not change. I assume it is like drink driving, they trust you will be honest about your safety.

I dont have an MS diagnosis but had to inform them of my glaucoma which also can affect visual field. The fact is there is a large area of visual field of my right eye in which I do not see (scotoma). but the overlapping area for the other eye is fine, so overall with both eyes open, there is no gap and they were happy to give me a five year renewable licence. I think they will licence even one-eyed drivers, as long as that eye has complete vision.