Driving licence renewal issues

I was diagnosed in 2016 with early onset Parkinson’s at age 46. I notified DVLA and was put on a 3 year driving licence with no issues. Same again 3 years later, no problems. In June 2023 renewal time came round again but this time DVLA are insisting I am assessed by my GP. No problem or so I thought, but the surgery refused to organise this assessment and referred back to DVLA apparently the surgery want more money from DVLA to cover the cost, I offered to pay the difference but no “sorry sir we cannot allow that” I have tried phoning DVLA several
times but just get “there is no one available to take you call”, I wrote to them asking for some kind of response but two weeks have gone by with no answer. I left messages on their Facebook page but again no response. I am currently driving under section 88 but have my doubts about whether my insurance is covering me and fear they will just cancel the policy or apply a ridiculous price hike if I ring them and ask.
I live in a remote rural location with no public transport lincs whatsoever, a taxi to the nearest decent town being £25 each way so I am utterly reliant on my car to get to supermarkets and medical appointments. I feel DVLA have just left me hanging here and not knowing one way or another is causing me terrible depression and anxiety. I can’t commit to selling the house and moving to a town, I can’t commit to changing the car or booking next year’s holidays (my wife still works full time). I have no friends, neighbours or family (funny how they vanish when you get a diagnosis) to ask in the event of my licence expiring or not being renewed .I’ll just be stuck here staring at 4 walls in complete isolation.

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Good morning Garry270 … Sorry to hear you are having problems. You don’t say whether you are still working or are a full time stay at home husband. You also don’t say if you are managing your Parkinson’s symptoms. Are they getting worse?

Obviously you can change your GP if you are unhappy with them or see a
GP privately. A BUPA one for example.

Do you have a Neurologist? Could he/she not do the medical appraisal you require.

I have Atypical Parkinson’s & am applying for a Blue Badge. When I phone the DVLA the message always say they are busy & I go onto their option where I say I don’t have online access & they always phone me back.

Hope this helps. Do let us know how you get on.

Best wishes
Steve2

Hello again Garry270 … One of my Parkinson’s issues is walking. Although I can drive to the Supermarket I can not physically walk around the store. So I get Asda to deliver my groceries once a week. I think it costs me about £2 a week for this service, providing the order value is over £40. Cheaper than driving & I hate shopping.

You can also get your prescriptions delivered to your home.

Do you have a Parkinson’s nurse you could discuss your problems with?

Best wishes
Steve2

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I was a welder fabricator but don’t work any more, I havn’t worked for anyone since 2009 when I had a workplace accident and subsequent claim (I am living on savings and money from this claim). From 2010 to 2022 I was a self employed “Ebay reseller” which meant some very long days and 4am starts, I just got to the point where I didn’t have the energy to do it any more plus using a computer has got more and more difficult as I am right handed and its my right side that’s affected.
I can still walk Ok most of the time but not as quickly. My symptoms are getting worse but only slowly, I get the tremors in my right arm and leg and just lately pain in my knees, ankles, hips and lower back which can make climbing stairs or hills challenging. My biggest issues are mental ones since covid, depression, anxiety and I have now come to the conclusion after much “lockdown research” that I have had some kind of undiagnosed ASD since childhood (I didn’t talk as a kid and never felt I fitted in anywhere), this was at the passed off as “Oh he’s ignorant and perhaps a bit simple” by teachers, parents and GP"… I contacted the NHS 6 weeks ago regarding depression but am still waiting, not suicidal, not likely to become a “government statistic” so the impression I get is they aren’t really that bothered.
I have a neurologist but found out today that “due to a huge backlog” I have gone from 6 monthly to 12 monthly reviews so “might” get to see her in January. I was seeing a nurse every six months but according to DVLA when they tried to contact her “I am no longer her patient”.
We did try online grocery shopping while the lockdowns were in force but didn’t continue with it as we usually shop in the budget German supermarkets who don’t deliver (even more so since the big four hiked their prices to crazy levels on some items). We aren’t rich people, the wife still works full time but is only on minimum wage in a kids nursery. What savings we have we were hanging onto for the inevitable house move so private healthcare isn’t really an option we could take. I am 53 so only a couple more years and I’ll be old enough to move onto one of those over 55’s sheltered/gated complexes, I didn’t really want to move now into a “regular” house only to go through all the stress and expense again in a couple of years but don’t want to be housebound for 2 years either. There is minimal public transport here and the bus stop is a good mile walk away which I could probably do but don’t feel safe walking up a 60 mph country lane with no footpaths.
The annoying thing is there isn’t anything wrong with my driving ability, I used to race cars in my younger days but on the road I have never in 35 years had a parking ticket, speeding fine or been involved in any form of RTC.

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Hello
Sorry to hear the stress and anxiety this problem is causing you. I would give the Parkinson’s UK helpline a call they may have information on how to tackle this problem to move forward. I too would have thought that your neurologist might be better placed to do the assessment or pay to see a Bupa GP. I’d also consider writing to your MP for help. Good luck I hope you get resolution soon. best Wishes Jane

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Hi @Garry270,

I’m glad to see that you’ve already received support from some of our lovely members, they’ve offered some good advice.

Just to pick up from what @Plus1 has suggested, please do give our helpline a call for more support and information on potentially changing your GP and renewing your drivers licence. The number you need to contact is 0800 800 0303 and we have a lot of helpful information via the Parkinson’s UK website regarding driving related issues. Please visit our website here: Driving and Parkinson's

Best wishes,
Reah

Hi Garry270
This advice might be a bit late! Prior to retirement I was a reasonably senior civil servant and I can assure you that nothing unblocks a bureaucracy like a letter from an MP.
So my advice is simple - write a letter to your MP about these issues. Keep it calm and factual. Set out the problems you have had with DVLA and their current and future impacts if they are not resolved. Ask for his or her help in resolving this.
MPs are always keen to deal with issues like this - the cynic in me says it’s to burnish their image but I’m sure many of them are genuinely public spirited.
Best of luck!
Westie

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Hi Gary270
I’m sorry to hear of your troubles with the DVLA. They do seem to make everything as hard to deal with as it is possible. During Covid it was even worse. They had many thousands of applications outstanding and no way of finding an individual application.
It might be worth joining a Facebook group such as ‘UK Medical driving licence holders discussion group’.
I found them a useful source of information when my son’s licence return got severely delayed due to Covid. They still come up with usful info and suggestions whom to call.
Best wishes for the future
Thorny

Based on my own experience, I have been extremely and ,I believe , justifiably critical in the past about the DVLA and the Medical Licensing Dept. In particular and I cautioned anyone about applying too early for a Medical Driving Licence renewal, as ‘frankly it is much better to be patient and apply nearer the expiry date of your existing licence!

Should there be a delay in processing the licence application for any reason ( which happened to me , with delays and missing or incomplete forms to/from both my Consultant and GP, “but to be fair, they all probably had a bit more to attend to with Covid in full swing than in a normal year ), resulting in your existing licence expiry date passing by, and with no valid licence yet issued, you will probably be forced to drive under Section 88 of the RTA , as long as your Doctor agrees, but, and this is very very important -

“be aware, ‘the section 88 cover is valid from the date your application is received, not the date of your original licence renewal” hence me saying earlier, ‘ don’t apply early, & it is better to be patient!

In my case, having applied in January 2020 for an April 2020 licence expiry,-thinking that this would take a bit of pressure off’ the DVLA , , I wrongly thought that because my licence was still valid, until the April, that the section 88 1 year cover , would commence on the day my licence expired but no, this is why we all need to be aware - it commenced from the date that the application was received ie 28 January 2020, and it then duly expired on the 27th.January 2021.

So, because of Covid ( and it could be for any other reason in the future of course) , there was a shortage of staff and consequential delays, and I still did not have my licence, but neither did I have protection under section 88 RTA, as my application was then about 13 months back!

The result was, that I could not drive - not until I was in receipt of my new Driving Licence, Not even in an emergency as I no longer had a valid licence

Phew,

This time however, I received an early notification in the post,inviting me to apply online, which I did and which was acknowledged within 3 days,then a phone call from a polite and friendly young chap, followed by my new 3 year DL arriving , with several previous restrictions removed- praise where praise is due - superb service!

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Contact DVLA again, record all attempts. Discuss the GP assessment fee issue with your GP or consider changing surgeries. Verify your insurance coverage under Section 88. Explore legal advice and support networks for assistance. Consider alternative transportation and mental health support.

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Dealing with driving license renewal can be such a hassle, right? It sounds like you’re already taking some proactive steps, which is awesome. Remember to keep track of all your communication with DVLA, it can really make a difference.