So frustrating

After suffering a subarachnoid hemorrhage last April I was advised by the DVLA that I couldn't drive for 6 months which was understandable, I saw my consultant in November who was happy for me to reapply for my driving licence which I did but oh what a nightmare!I applied for the licence on the 15th November, DVLA sent a questionnaire to my consultant (expected), he sent it back with all info required, my work are looking for a return date but as I work in a rural area with no bus route I cannot return until I have my licence.I called the DVLA to ask for an update explaining that my boss was looking for a return date to be told that they need to contact the neurologist, deep breath - explained that the consultant and neurologist were the same person! I received a letter from the DVLA today to advise they have written to the neurologist (consultant) and could take up to 6 weeks to hear back- I spoke to my consultants PA on Tues and she couldn't believe they still hadn't got my licence sorted, I'm now so frustrated with it all and could well lose my job with the length of time they are taking. I fully understand that they need to make sure you are safe to drive but should it really take this long? Has anyone else been in this position?

Red tape eh? can't stand it!  I know when I had my stroke (blood clot) I was told I couldn't drive for a month. The consultant told me whatever I did, don't tell DVLA otherwise it will take ages to get your licence back and it wasn't necessary for my type of stroke. I did have to inform my insurance company who weren't really bothered to be honest. He said that thousands of people have strokes and as long as the consultant said it was OK then they were happy with it. It didn't increase my premiums either which was good.  

Would it help to show all the letters to your workplace so they know it's not your fault? If they are still being awkward, maybe they could help pay for you a taxi to get you to work and back till it comes through? 

Dear Katy

Exactly what you do not need at this difficult time.

I did  what the consultant said not to do....I phoned DVLA after one month and they said thanks for phoning but they dont need to know.If my GP says OK then licence is OK> Then I phoned my isurance company and they said thanks for phoning but they dont need to know. And no increase in premiums. 

This doesnt help you greatly except that you need to plough your own proverbial furrow.


Hello KatyB121,

It is enormously frustrating and I for one can empathise. It took 16 months for the DVLA to eventually take my licence off me and I not only had to quit working but my business collapsed completely. It was another three years before I found a good job that would let me work without driving. Had I not saved for a rainy day, I would have become homeless. The DVLA have since been criticised quite strongly for their appalling track record in handling complex cases:

Multiple attempts to regain my licence have all resulted in the DVLA stonewalling me, with application forms returned with hand-scrawled rejections in red ink on them.

They destroy lives and we are unfortunately such a minority that this will not change.

I should not say this but I sincerely hope that one day poor health will befall them and they fall foul of the monster they have created.

Rant over - hang in there. Life can and does go on without a driving licence!





Hi Damian,

Thanks for your reply. It's just so frustrating that they can mess with people's lives like this. I'm going to contact my consultants PA on Tue to ask if he has received the letter from the DVLA and if he has answered the questions they have , the PA was really nice when I spoke to her last week and couldn't believe that it wasn't sorted yet. Keeping my fingers crossed that this gets sorted out very soon.

Thanks for your reply. It's unfortunate that I don't work for a large organisation, I'm a housekeeper in a fishing lodge so I can understand that they need me back to sort out the lodge before the fishing season starts at the end of march but I can't believe how slow the DVLA are, as far as I was aware they had been given all the information requested but this is their medical department being super slow, hoping for some good news soon.

Hi Katy,

Unfortunately, DVLA is very inefficient in dealing with cases. You need to be pleasantly and respectfully aggressive in dealing with them. Don't believe in their 6-weeks promise. They took 6 months in my case to even inform me that I need an initial driving assessment after receiving the vision test results from Spec Savers. And a lot of very frustrating and real anger-causing things happened before I finally got my license back - more than a year after my initial communication with them. I even ended up calling Swansea every week. Be patient and keep following up. I think they are hoping if they keep delaying dealing with someone's case that someone will just lose their will to live and go away  and give up. Even the length of time you need to wait until a staff answers your phone call is very frustrating. I felt that they were playing god with my life.

After my second assessment I was even very aggressive with the Occupational Therapist. I asked them what they are going to tell DVLA. If I was a safe driver and their concern is just very minor (in that case quite laughable and I am just glad the driving instructress herself was on my side and very supportive) then don't even consider giving DVLA any reason to play me about any further. I have already spent so much money paying for my driving re-training lessons and so much of my time and energy and tears. I can clearly remember sobbing outside my GP's office because even him didn't know what DVLA wanted. It was getting very tiring.

Be patient and I wish you the best. Ruby xxx




Hi Damian, I emailed my MP and sent him the link you sent me, he replied to say that he will be in touch with the DVLA first thing tomorrow as it's unacceptable so here's hoping that will put a fire under them ?

Hi Ruby, thanks for your reply. I emailed my MP last night about this and he has replied to advise that he will be in touch with the DVLA first thing tomorrow as it's unacceptable to take this long so fingers crossed that he manages to get them to sort it out ?

Hi Colin, 

Thanks for your reply. I emailed my MP about this last night and he replied today to advise that he will be in touch with the DVLA first thing tomorrow as it's unacceptable to take this long. Here's hoping that he can get them to sort it out.


Good move Katy. I would never have thought about trying my MP. I await the next part of this saga.


I know consultants have told other people not to tell DVLA about other conditions because they are a nightmare. Fingers crossed they sort it. X

Best of luck Katy! DVLA really needs to sort themselves out. So many lives are being put on hold for a very long time unnecesarily and unfairly. Again, my best wishes. xxx


Good for you, KatyB!

I had a severe stroke on the 28th December 2018 and took my first assessment on the 3rd January 2020. They think I should wait another 6-12 months before I should take the assessment as my brain isn't functioning properly 

My son had a massive stroke in sept 2018, he had been learning to drive, he had to stop for one month after his stroke, his driving test was due jan 2019 I sent the letter from his stroke dr & they let him take his test (he passed) and is still driving now. So keep pestering dvla... good luck 

I had to notify them after my ischaemic stroke as I require adaptations to drive following loss of function to my left arm. Notified them in September 2019, consultant wrote to them with a report saying I was hit but would need an assessment for adapted car. 4 months on, dvla hadn't even looked at my paperwork & was advised it's  in a pile & will be looked at eventually, no timeframe given.  Submitted a formal complaint & strangely enough my paperwork was processed straight away. Now just waiting on my driving assessment so back in another queue for that ( but that will be better handled than the dvla I have no doubt!) also loved the threatening letter from the dvla about my assessment that if I didn't respond to say I was waiting on an appointment within 21 days of them sending the letter I would lose my licence. Who knows when I will get driving again, but I don't find the dvla at all helpful. 

DVLA are pain, had stroke in August 2019 and was told the GP could allow me to drive again, went to see the GP and was told they need more information. Consultant would not make the decision, now waiting for RDAC assessment.

RDAC don't currently have the referal from the consultant, so I am in limbo waiting on them. - Regional Driving Assessment Centre.


You can book yourself in for a RDAC assesment (costs a bit more than via consultant). They have the final say on whether you can drive. They may need a visual test result too - has to be done through spec savers though -they don't believe the NHS opthalmologist's result! Hope this helps x


Apparently my case is a priority but the DVLA cannot say how quickly it will be dealt with??? I'm now calling every second day to ask so hoping that eventually they will pull their finger out and get it sorted as they must be sick of me, also got my local MP involved he agrees it is unacceptable so his office are chasing as well, keeping my fingers crossed it gets sorted before I lose my job.