Healthcare professionals, doctors and opticians already play an important role in the driver licensing process. They advise their patients of the implications of their condition on driving and the effect of any treatment or medication and they advise when a patient should notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). The DVLA will often correspond with a patient’s doctor, consultant or optician as part of its medical investigations to determine fitness to drive. To support medical professionals, the DVLA publishes advice entitled “Assessing fitness to drive: a guide for medical professionals”.
There are no plans to compel healthcare professionals to notify the DVLA directly about a patient’s medical condition. However, healthcare professionals can and do notify the DVLA where they are concerned about a patient’s driving fitness. General Medical Council guidance states that while they must make every reasonable effort to persuade patients to inform the DVLA, doctors can notify the DVLA of a patient’s medical condition, in confidence, if the patient does not do so. Similar guidance is available to opticians.
To assist the medical profession, the DVLA has a specific form that can be used for this purpose and provides a dedicated telephone line which allows doctors to discuss concerns directly with one of the DVLA’s doctors. The DVLA treats notifications received from doctors and opticians as a high priority.