On July 20, 2022, the DVLA introduced changes to the way medical questionnaires are completed. Those with a medical condition have previously faced a long wait while it is determined whether they may or may not have a driving license. Part of these delays is thought to be the fact that only general practitioners and hospital consultants registered with the GMC have been able to sign the forms, and with services already stretched, this has led to some lengthy delays and frustration for drivers who have to declare medical conditions.
In an attempt to reduce pressure on doctors, it is now acceptable that opticians and specialist nurses, among other healthcare professionals, complete the information required by the DVLA medical questionnaire. These changes form an amendment to the Road Traffic Act of 1988. Before the changes were made, the DVLA carried out extensive consultation with the public and healthcare professionals and over 82% of those who were involved supported this planned change. There seems to be little reason, except history, why this won’t improve the situation.
Driving with a Medical Condition
For many reasons, anyone who drives a car must first be able to demonstrate that they meet medical standards for fitness to drive. This includes reporting certain conditions to the DVLA, who will decide whether you are still fit to drive. As it always has, the DVLA will continue the process of requesting further information in the form of a questionnaire from a doctor or consultant registered with the General Medical Council. The change comes when these professionals receive the documents. They may choose to fill them in themselves or pass the form to one of the nominated healthcare professionals whom they feel is better placed to provide the best information to enable the DVLA to determine fitness to drive.
The DVLA has said that year on year, there has been an increase in the number of drivers seeking medical license applications. However, the Roads Minister, Baroness Charlotte Vere, noted that no matter what your requirements for a driving license, whether you are applying for the first time or renewing, the process should be fast, efficient and easy. She states that this is one of the primary reasons for making the changes, as it has become evident that one of the hold-ups is the length of time it is taking for a GP or consultant to complete the medical questionnaire.
So Who is on the List?
Rather than nominating specific job roles, the DVLA has opened up the ability to complete the forms to the following councils. Anyone who is registered with the following boards may complete the form.
Health and Care Professions Council
General Osteopathic Council
General Optical Council
General Chiropractic Council
Nursing and Midwifery Council
This is good news for most applicants for medical questionnaires; however, if you are required to complete the D4 Medical Examination Report, then this still needs to be carried out by your consultant or GP registered with the General Medical Council.