Dvla / driving tests & assessments


As soon as you are diagnosed as having Parkinson's you are legally obliged to inform both the DVLA and your car's insurers. Keep copies of all relevant forms and letters, and notes of any telephone conversations.

Until and unless the DVLA informs you otherwise your current licence will remain in force, even if it had an expiry date which has now passed, or you've sent it to Swansea (keep a copy). Most insurers don't mind (if the DVLA is happy for you to be on the roads, so are they), but some may wish to add a note into your policy or charge a supplement. Keep full records.

From now on all licences issued to you will have expiry dates printed on them. When those dates arrive the DVLA will assess you again. Typically licences are extended for 1, 2 or 3 years at a time.

The DVLA team at Swansea comprises not only administrators but also medically qualified assessors who will understand Parkinson's and other conditions and how they can affect your driving. They will contact anyone they deem necessary before making their decision, e.g. consultants, GPs, police, and this whole process can take months. Bear this in mind if you are planning to drive abroad on holiday and need to have your licence with you. It may be possible to get a duplicate if the DVLA is given sufficient notice.

They may also require you to undertake a medical. This will be arranged for you in your own area, but with an independent consultant.

Their last request may be for you to undertake a full specialised driving test and assessment, carefully designed specifically for disabled drivers, at one of their regional test centres such as Leeds. These last about 3 hours.

The assessment starts with medical questions, then questions about your opinion of your own driving and any concerns. Then there are some computer-based tests designed to measure your observation skills and reaction times. Then finally, once they're happy to go out on the road with you driving (in their car), there's a pretty comprehensive outdoor driving test.

Look out for "cunning tricks" to make sure you're on-the-ball, such as telling you to take the next turning on the left, knowing that the next turning on the left is actually a one-way "no entry" street. They need to be happy that you can take such anomalies in your stride, and realise in good time that you need to take the turning after that.

It's extremely friendly and unrushed, though, with tea and biscuits supplied! They know they're dealing with disabled people, and are very accommodating. They are on your side.

Good luck!
Hi Ray Its no good me putting on my lippy and fluttering my eyelashes then. Like I did in my first test. Thanks for the info Angel4ux
LOL! It'll work on me!