Dvla says i cant drive

Had a mini strke in October and apart from some visual field loss in my right eye everything else is ok .dvla says i cant drive which is devastating. I have booked another field test ? Has anyone else had this problem?


Hi @sandraplaskow and welcome. All is not lost, you are still in the early stages of recovery. There is always time for things to improve, I got my license back a year after my stroke.
I’m sure there will others along soon better advice in this regard. How has your stroke affected in other ways?

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Hello and welcome @sandraplaskow

The eye test people are obligated by law to report eye sight results which is probably where the DVLA instruction came from .

There are guidelines about what levels of disability are required before your licence is revoked and returned.

Spec savers website gives reasonably good guidance written in layman’s terms

There is also an appeals process and a medical advice email (which I couldn’t find but I know it’s there) maybe the right route is to use the chat function on this link

The DVLA guide for medical professionals is at

And the eyesight specific web page is

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@sandraplaskow hi & welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear of your mini stroke.

As i had visual issues after my stroke I wasn’t able to drive for 3 months or until i was cleared by DVLA. I had to attend a eye sight test at Specsavers which included a field test. I had to wait a while but I was cleared to drive.

I believe you are obliged to inform DVLA if you have any remaining issues one month after a stroke & it is always better to tell them than them revoke your licence.

It is devastating when this happens however there is plenty of time for your eye sight to improve.

Good luck with your field test.

Best wishes


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i want to get my licence back i can even get a mobility car - but i have realised i will have to wait ,i got pacemaker fitted at christmas so it was a toss up to what condition caused me to crash my work van ,the stroke or irregular heartbeat,
when i drive again i will have to go automatic as my left side is weak ,and i wouldnt fancy doing all those gear changes , i think i would be a liability on the road ,i would be ok on a good day, but on a bad day when i didnt want to drive ,i wouldnt get the choice i would get nagged into driving then and as usual i would comply for an easy life , so i think best to wait and use my free bus pass


Thanks for your post I heard from dvla yesterday and am devastated,I had the letter and am appealing to them ,having another field test on 1st February and seeing hospital ophthalmology on 30th January,which field test machine should I go for? I had a mini stroke with no other symptoms and have been confidently driving,apparently my right eye is 30 when it should be 50 ,left eye is clear.is there hope?

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Hi @sandraplaskow
There is always hope :slight_smile:

It will make no difference…

Because the standard that must be demonstrated is enshrined in law and the process of full reporting results is to

You might be advised to slow down a little. You need to search to confirm - I think that if you’re appeal is unsuccessful then that is the end of the route forwards There is no option to appeal an appeal.

There is possibility that your eyesight will improve. It tends not to be a neuroplasticity improvement - therefore the bulk of the improvement that you gain will come in the first 4 to 6 months. October to the end of January would put you at the beginning of that window. There is still hope a year later but I think realistically it’s diminishing as time goes on.

If your disabilities were things like hand and leg weakness then there is no limit to the recovery time scales through neuroplasticity - and the same maybe true of optic challenges but I haven’t read anything to suggest it and I read plenty The other way round


Ps The normal caveat of not medically trained, own opinion, ramblings of a grumpy old man in a tumble down and leaky shed etc apply

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Thank you Simon ,I know its early days and I know and hope there will be improvement in 4 to six months and I am prepared to wait .Should I see a private optometrist? Or try to find local neuro rehab centre? So many questions!!

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I can only say what happened in my case. I had to have a field test done at Specsavers and although I had one done by ophthalmology too they would only take the specsavers one as that’s who the DVLA use. Each case may be different & the DVLA are the best to advise you.

As Simon mentions the eye sight standards are a legal requirement & we have to meet them. It is absolutely devastating when they tell you you can’t drive. I hate driving & was still very upset. 1 minute you can drive the very next minute you can’t. It was about independence for me.

There is always hope & many people return to driving after a period of time. Have you been given eye exercises to do? If not look some up & ask the ophthalmology team for some.

I wish you luck with your appeal.

Yes i had specsavers do the eye test and i have looked up eye exercises ,can they help? I live in hope! I am proactive and will get a second opinion from an independent
optometrist , Thanks for your support ,there will be more questions I fear!

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The question isn’t one anybody can answer for you you might ask yourself “Why would you?”
" What are you going to achieve by it?"

Are you looking for somebody to tell you it will all be alright? Are you looking for somebody to tell you that it isn’t possible to predict? Neither of these would seem good use of time, emotional reserves, or money.

I don’t know your symptoms but it’s plausible that there might be exercises to promote plasticity?
My first step would be Google Scholar and YouTube. first to identify what the vocabulary is that describes my situation then what the therapies that can be applied to it are and then what YouTube creators have videos on those topics.

After that I might be feeling I knew enough and in the experience enough that I could talk to somebody was going to charge me real money to have some confidence that they were going to convince me that they could give me real value in realistic time scales



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I have been doing eye exercises for my issues but they are different to your issues. It’s definitely worth asking to see if there is anything you can do to improve your visual field.

Have a look at this topic. It mentions some sites that others have used.

Vision problems after stroke

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I have been where you are now and my advice is to wait a few months to see if there is any improvement.
I my case,several years after surrendering my licence and with a visual field defect that meant that my eyesight did not meet DVLA requirements,I was offered the opportunity to apply for a temporary licence to be tested at a disabled driving centre.
I had to submit a dossier of evidence to support that I was fit to drive.
In my case I submitted a letter from my doctor and a letter from a consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital.
I wa sthen issued with a temporary provisional licence vald until the date of my assessment which meant that I could take lessons on the road in a dual control car with a specialist disabled driving instructor.
On my assessment I first had to read a number plate at the required distance ,then use a machine to judge my reaction times,be assessed for any physical impairment by a nurse and then I drove around an off-road course for 15 mins.
Only then was I allowed to go out on the road for an hour of mixed roads and speed limits.
Feedback from the assessor was that I would have passed adriving test but they were looking for a higher standard.
I had perhaps been too cautious in staying below the speed limits rather than driving up to the limit.
They also said that there was no evidence of my visual field defect
A report was then sent to DVLA medical group who make the decision on driving.
Ultimately their decision in my case was not to give me my licence back.
This process took about a year.
Trust that you find the above helpful.
There is always a chance of improvement and even if there is none ,there may be a route back to driving.
I wish you good luck.


Thank you Tony,i know its early days i have seen my GP today to ask loads of questions .I am having another field test in March and will see if there is any change.I will be proactive in trying to get my licence back asap and thank you for setting out your journey ,sandra


I was told I had to send my licence back as I suffers two seizures in hospital it’s been over A year now and I
Applied last oct for my licence but still not heard anything from anyone as yet. I’m desperate to get my independence back


That’s must be so frustrating for you, that’s such a long time to be waiting. I too am desperate to return to driving for me it’s been nearly four years of relying on my husband, very frustrating after being an independent person all my life. I have a driving lesson booked soon on a teen driving track. It will be interesting to see how I feel after not driving due to visual field loss. I hope you get your license sorted soon, all the luck and best wishes x


Hi wow you sound too young bless your heart sorry to hear yes very frustrating! 4 years oh no that’s awful and I’m moaning about 15mths! But like you I was a very independent soul worked hard in a job I
Loved only to be struck down with a AVM which caused me to
Have a stroke and very nearly took my life.! Hood you improve also x


Ah Thank you, think I made it sound like I’m a teen! Sadly not :grin:the teen track is the only place I can practice without getting a DVLA exceptional circumstances licence, as they said I only get one chance so I thought i would do some practicing,they have duel control cars and the course is set up like a road roundabout traffic :vertical_traffic_light: etc… hopefully it will help me good a good idea of how I will cope driving again or if I can. If I can do the school run and have some independence back that would be an amazing chance to me and my families life. I hope it happens for you too. I’m sorry that has happened to you, life can be tough but we are still here, moving forward every day, in whatever way we can it all counts Best wishes x


I had another field test at the hospital on tuesday which was improved from the last one at the hospital,but the specsavers field test for the dvla was different? I am hoping for exceptional circumstances to try to get my licence back,do you have to wait a year and do you only get one chance? The eye doctor at the hospital gave me the impression that my stroke was not when i experienced visual aura but some time earlier than that? I am confused now as to when i had my mini stroke.?

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It’s all so confusing isn’t, maybe have a chat to your GP to get some ome answers, that’s great news you’ve had improvement. Sorry not sure how long it takes with DVLA. as I haven’t started process yet, others maybe able to help with that. Going through exceptional circumstances route I have been told by the OTs at the assessment centre I would only get one chance, please let me know if you hear differently,someone might have a different experience to this hopefully, it seems unfair if you can show improvement or further adaption best wishes x

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