Tell the DVLA?

A FAQ here is:
Do I need to tell the DVLA about my Diagnosis?
And, of course, the answer for MS is a resounding YES (and welcome to the club of 3-year licence holders).

Had my six-monthly check with my MS Nurse yesterday. The discussion suddenly had her checking how my eyes tracked.
She concludes that I have mild Nystagmus and should have an eyetest with an optometrist (co-incidentally I am just due to have one). She said no more, but this morning I hit Dr Google for more information (it was not in my part of vision science).

Oh Dear, it is also reportable: but the search led me to a new (to me) page on the YouGov web-site:

now you can see just how many conditions are reportable

I shall say noting to my optometrist.
If he does not pick it up, then it is not official.
If he does, then the question comes “Is it too bad to let me drive?”

Driving is one of the few places where my MS has not (so far) intruded. I have had a licence for over sixty years. It is part of my identity. I have driven more miles, in more countries, in more different vehicles, than most people. Yes, I know I shal have to give up some time - but not, please, just yet.


If you suffer any condition on the list of reportable conditions then you must report it. It doesn’t matter whether the condition affects your ability to drive. If you are involved in an accident and your condition comes to light, you will be held liable for the accident and your insurance will be invalid because you have not complied with the law.

OK, you’ll be on a three year licence. But the law is the law and insurers don’t like it when their customers don’t comply with it.


a note will probably be made in your notes by your nurse, so there will be a record of when the condition was suspected even if you don’t bring it up at the optometrist, which you should report any change in your eyes too. you should be on a 3 year licence anyway with MS, so telling the DVLA will not change that unless your vision is effected as it can sometimes be with this condition. and if your vision is effected you shouldn’t be driving.

its daft not letting the DVLA or a health care provider on the basis of keeping your independence/love of driving, when someone could end up hurt and you could be driving illegally.

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A few points for C_D and faula:

My MS Nurse has no qualification in Opthalmology - she stressed this - which is why she wanted me to see an optometrist soon.

Her observation was made when I had my glasses off - and I have to wear them all day, every day, including for driving.

My original post was for the benefit of others - the URL sets out all the conditions that MAY have to be reported, and those that MUST be reported. An unqualified opinion is just that - an opinion.

I have been on a 3-year licence since before I had my MS diagnosis. When this was reported to the DVLA, they took my 3-year licence away, and replaced it with a new 3-year licence. Go figure the logic …


I guess I was lucky. I reported my MS to the DVLA when I had a bad relapse in 2004-5. They referred me to a GP (not my own) for assessment. At the time I didn’t care whether I kept my licence and answered his questions accordingly. The GP obviously wanted me to keep my licence and kept on at me till I gave him the answers he wanted. The DVLA allowed me to keep my licence without a three year limit - totally unexpected!

You must report it!

I have a friend who has spent many years in a wheelchair having been paralysed by a driver who should have had their licence revoked but hadn’t.

They don’t take way your licence for no reason. If you’re usually ok they just put you on a 3 year review.

If you ignore this and end up hurting someone through your own selfishness that would be way worse.

Hopefully you’d retain your licence but if not then it’s probably the right thing.

Good luck


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Hi Doc,

After have driven more miles, in more countries, in more different vehicles, than most people, I would have thought you would have had enough by now.

If your optometrist doesn’t not pick up a condition your nurse did, do you really want a person like that looking after your eye health?

Go and collect your bus pass and give the public a fighting chance.



It does seem like a few people have totally missed the point.

My MS Nurse is not qualified to diagnose Nystagmus. All she can do is what she has done - advise me to see an optometrist.
I can detect Nystagmus, but I am not qualified to diagnose it, or to say how bad it is.

The same thing would apply to bi-polar disorder (otherwise Manic Depression) which is another condition that has to be reported to the DVLA. I can observe it, I can identify it but I CANNOT diagnose it, because I am not a Clinical Psychologist.

The same thing again would apply to a physical neurological examination. Yes, I know how to do that as far as identifying spinal chord problems; BUT, I CANNOT diagnose (or even say roughly at which vertebrae the trouble is). That puts me on a par (in this instance) with the GP who at the onset of what started a transverse myelitis “I don’t know what the trouble is, but I do know that you need to see a neurologist - fast”.

If you want to consider the inconsistencies in the rules, consider this:
Diplopia (double vision) is reportable.
You only have to report a condition that only affects both eyes.
Most Diplopia is the result of a problem with one eye.
Most Diplopia can be handled by a patch over one eye = monocular vision.
It is legal to drive with monocular vision provided you meet the vision requirements for driving

And, do please note that very slow reaction times are not (officially) a reason to stop driving.


I would say nothing to the optometrist about what the nurse says re Nystagmus. (As she is not an opthalmologist she can’t diagnose it and I doubt she would make a note of it on your records because she’s not qualified to do that.)

Get checked by the optometrist and if nothing amiss is noted than you have the all clear.

The DVLA will ask what specialist treatments and consultants you are seeing. Once I had to do one of those mad spot the dot tests for my peripheral vision. The optometrist did it twice and chose the better one. It was no problem. The three year thing is a pain though.

Best wishes, Steve.

Yes, the 3-year licence is a pain - but see post #4 above where they replaced my 3-year licence with a 3-year licence.

For me, the humour is that while I can no longer drive anything over 1.5 tons, the DVLA have left me with my licence to drive a Main Battle Tank!
Now I could not get into the drivers compartment on one of our Challenger IIs, and could not drive it if I could (I could never operate the clutch) I could still handle a US Abrams (auto transmisssion). Anyone got one spare lying around?


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