Driving Licences

Department for Transport written question – answered on 19th July 2021.

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Photo of Jessica Morden Jessica Morden Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Shadow Vice Chamberlain of HM Household (Whip)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to help reduce the time taken for the drivers' medical action team to assess whether medical evidence is required when processing (a) new and (b) renewal applications for driving licences.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The average processing time to make a medical licensing decision in the last three financial years is shown in the table below.

Financial Year

Average processing time (working days)







To improve the length of time taken to process medical licensing applications, the DVLA has recruited additional staff. This includes increasing the number of in-house doctors it employs and temporary administrative staff. Nurse caseworkers are being utilised to deal with specific conditions. The DVLA is also working with the relevant bodies to explore ways of reducing the time taken to receive the information needed to make licensing decisions.

The DVLA has also recently trialed a simplified renewal process for some medical conditions. This has significantly reduced the turnaround times for some drivers.

Where possible the DVLA will refer specific medical conditions to its in-house doctors in the first instance, to make a licensing decision using the information held.

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