DVLA – Driving Licences
During COVID many drivers’ licences have expired and the DVLA gave extensions so that they could continue to drive and work. For many drivers though, this extension is coming to an end. Drivers are now being told by the DVLA to ask their GP if they are “fit to drive” so that they can continue to drive under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA1988). The DVLA has produced a leaflet which explains RTA 1988
We would like to advise our patients of the following:-
It is not within the GPs scope of practice to advise patients whether or not they are fit to drive. The role of the GP is to provide factual information to the DVLA so that their expert medical advisers can decide upon fitness.
There is a risk if an opinion is given that someone is fit, and then an accident occurs, or if an opinion is given that someone is not fit, which can also adversely affect the long term relationship with that patient. For these reasons, if there is any doubt about whether a person is fit to drive, the request will be declined and explained to the DVLA that only factual information about a person’s health can be provided, NOT an opinion.
For these reasons, if there may be any doubts about whether a person is fit to drive, GPs have been advised to decline to provide this assurance. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but hope you realise that we are following our professional guidance and acting in line with our professional advisory bodies.