Driving with PD

My husband has just been diagnosed with PD and is petrified he will lose his licence when he tells DVL A. Can anyone reassure him on this please. Thanks.

Hi @mckenzie So long as your husband’s consultant agrees he is ok to drive there shouldn’t be any problem. He will be given a 3 year medical review licence which can be renewed after 3 years provided his consultant is still ok with it. I am into my 5th year since diagnosis and have continued driving with no issues. Hope this helps!


My HWP is still driving albeit he has a medical driving licence now which is renewed every 3 years. He told the DVLA and our car insurance as soon as he was diagnosed. The DVLA reviewed his licence and he was given a 3 year licence and the insurance were happy to carry on with our insurance, at no extra cost as long as the DVLA/ consultants were happy for him to carry on driving…he has just had his licence renewed for another 3 years…:+1:

Hi ,

It will depend on your Parkinson’s Doctor’s reply to the DVLA questionnaire!

I was diagnosed in 2009, and have been issued with, so called, Medical Licences since then - some for 3 years, some for 1 year, no explanation as to why the change, the current licence is for 3 years to April 2024!

I think that it is important that the family is involved in advising the driver as to when it might be time to give up driving?

I would agree with mike…700, having a medical licence doesn’t mean you’re ok to drive for three years. You still have the responsibility which all drivers have, of only getting behind the wheel if you know you are fit to drive. It’s more than whether or not you can physically drive but mentally are you still alert enough to cope with the demands of driving and it may be family and friends who need to bring it to the attention of the driver. And saying you only do short local distances doesn’t necessarily make you fit to drive.
I would add that although I understand why it is so important to many with Parkinson’s, that they keep their licence, should you have to give it up it is possible to get around on public transport you just need to be a bit more organised and leave yourself a bit more time. (although I do recognise some areas are better served than others) It may not be quite so convenient, but it beats the risk of driving when you are not well enough to do so and causing an accident.

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My husband has Parkinsons and Diabetes Type 1, now has a 1 year driving licence, but we sold the car and he uses his OAP bus pass. He gets very shakey, anxious and irritable (!) when stressed, so I’m glad he stopped driving, as even if he drove safely and well, he’d probably get the blame and be really panicked and ill if someone ran into him. I have rubbish 3D vision and haven’t driven for decades as I don’t feel safe at speed, though it is allowed! We are both keeping our driving licences for ID. I have a bus season ticket and an over 60 Railcard. We do use taxis for some trips to hospital appointments. There are options but my husband hated giving up the car. He found it better to give up than be told to stop

My driving license was due for renewal Since 2010 I have been given one every 3 years, This time however when my PD should have signed for me to get my license it was left at bottom of the pile so no knowing that my PD doctors secretary had not sent my license on to DVLA I thought it was them taking their time, Then my PD doctor went on holiday for 2 weeks then her secretary went on holiday, The DVLA kept saying It was ok to drive if I got a letter from my GP to say I was capeable but thinking about it I don’t know if my insurance would have coverd me. So I waited and waited, it took just over 6months for me to get licence back, by this time I had lost my confidence to drive, I think that I could drive if needed but I would never for give my self if a child ran in front of me and I knocked them down. So i have resinged to the fact that I won’t drive again.

Hello Mary1947
What an unfortunate chain of events that led to your losing confidence in driving and your decision to give it up. I never enjoyed driving particularly, but it was a necessity in my job, so when I left work it wasn’t a big hardship to give up my licence although I missed the convenience. Like you however, although my consultant considered I was still fit enough to drive at that time, I was no longer confident that my Parkinson symptoms could be relied upon and I would never have forgiven myself had I been the cause of an accident.
You may not need to but if you do need to rely largely on public transport it is not the end of the world, you have to be a bit more organised and get very familiar with bus and train times and tend to know the contact numbers for local taxi firms and so on but the extent to which it is practical depends on the services in your area - and some parts of the country have nowhere near the level of service that larger cities and towns have. Having to rely heavily on taxis can be a substantial expense. The impact on one’s life therefore, can be very difficult if the decision is made either by the individual or the DVLA to no longer drive and why it is important to have reliable and efficient public transport options in all parts of the country. I still have a reasonable means of getting around where I am -strikes apart - but even so it is not as good as when I first moved here 20 odd years ago. It can be worrying because in the present climate nothing seems to be off limits in the need to save money.