DVLA medical licence renewal. How long is too long

What is the longest anyone has waited for a decision on whether their medical driving licence can be renewed or not? I appreciate there can be circumstances that cause delays, but it would be good to know why this time it is taking the DVLA so long to make a decision. I applied for a new licence in early mid November ‘22, online as it was suggested it was quicker that way. I am still waiting for a decision 6 months on. Is this par for the course now, or longer than usual? If there is a problem, I haven’t been told.
Before I know it, it will be time to apply for my next 3 year licence, that is, if I am fit to drive by then. EM
Meanwhile I am told I am fit to drive while I wait….

I did not wait as long as you have, but having waited 2 - 3 months I rang up DVLA, using the number on the letter. I had to ring twice, but eventually received my licence.

Thanks for your response, popsurge. I may try ringing again. I tried once or twice before,but had to wait ages for a connection, then was on hold for an eternity until cut off. Maybe I was unlucky.Anyway, I followed the recorded advice to try online. Spent ages hunting until I found a spot to leave a message, which I did. I don’t know if it was received or not as I haven’t had a response. Looks like I’ll have to continue waiting. ( or I could perhaps try ringing again as you suggested, popsurge. Thanks.

Hi @ElleMac, I waited 18 months for my renewal, it is because most of them are working from home, they are chuffing useless. Don’t bother wasting your time ringing them, they’ve got your renewal application, just keep on driving until you hear otherwise. Be good, chin up & make the most of the sunshine we’re having.


Thanks CC/Les. 18 months?! Unbelievable.( though of course I do believe you).Guess I’d better forget thinking about it and leave them to it….carry on driving. EM.

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i sent mine off the 3 year renewal in January i think. Got licence back in mid April.

worth checking your neurologist is replying as they need that to proceed

Hi Jay. Thanks for info. I have already checked with neuro’s secretary and she said he had replied… I don’t really know what more I can do? It’s really annoying that you can’t find out what’s happening, why it’s taking so long… oh well, worse things happen I guess. Thanks again.

Hi ElleMac,

I have a similar problem my current 3 yr DL which expired at the beginning of April. This was because my specialist 6mth review was delayed a few weeks till the end of March at which meeting he signed off my ability to drive. I got the ok to drive but had to renew the photo which I did straight away! It’s now 11 weeks later and I haven’t heard anything! I have tried to phone them x3/4 but have always been cut off! It’s really frustrating, impractical and causing me further anxiety! I hope you get yours soon! KR N🙄

Hi sealy69
I sympathise with you. It would be bad enough if you were forewarned that it could be many months before you get a decision on your licence; but when you are given the impression it will be much quicker on line, and you cannot get to speak to anyone for info, then frustration and anxiety build up.
Do hope you hear something soon. EM

Thanks ElleMac, I’m hoping it is waiting for me at home as we are away at the moment! I take it they sent yours back eventually? Kind regards Neil😀

Hi Sealy69.
They now want me to have a medical. At least I know something is happening!
Enjoy your trip away. EM

Just a cautionary tale regarding my last experience with the DVLA.

Based on this experience, I would caution anyone against applying too early for a Medical Driving Licence renewal- 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 probably had a bit more to attend to with Covid, than in a normal year ), resulting in your existing licence expiry date passing by, and with no valid licence yet issued, you can of course resort to driving 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 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 would be breaking the law, which would invalidate my Insurance cover !


Mike 700.

Hi Mike, thanks for this valuable insight!

I checked and my licence expired at the beginning of April, but having had confirmation that my GP has recommended that my licence can be renewed, does this cover me on section 88 ( while my new DL is being produced using the new photo?)

Hope eve has been resolved and you are enjoying driving!

Kind regards


Hi Mike.
Thanks for pointing out that care needs to be taken when deciding what the expiry date should be when using section 88 of RTA. I for one hadn’t thought about that. EM

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I am now awaiting a medical with GP. before decision is made on licence…Does anyone know what this entails? Thanks.

‘ good luck ‘

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Finally received.EM

Good news!!

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Hi Sealy69.
Hopefully your licence was there too when you returned home. EM

Dear Elle

I almost died in a car accident in May 2022. Few months after I began to apply for removal of my driving licence suspension. My driving licence is suspended. Since I asked DVLA to remove suspension, I went to a hospital for around 4 eye tests, then received one form from DVLA that asked me to give it to a local surgery or a hospital to get it filled out, so I did it and sent it back to DVLA, hoping I will get my licence back soon, then few months later received another 3 forms that again 2 of them had to be sent to a hospital or given to a local surgery and 1 form to be filled out by myself. I again did and sent it back to DVLA expecting it will be over. WRONG! I have got another letter asking me to go to another eye test but to Specsavers not a hospital. I went to that eye test and they sent it to DVLA. I thought this has to be it and kept waiting… Few weeks ago received an email from a hospital that they received another form from DVLA that had to be filled out…

Since I began applying for suspension removal IT HAS BEEN 1 YEAR AND A HALF and I still have not received driving licence nor suspension removed.

I feel like I will need to contact hospital today if the form had been sent already to DVLA and if it was, I will do my best to start contacting DVLA to ask WHAT IS GOING ON?

A year and a half and it prohibits me from finding a work as I live in a small town that got trains running every 2 hours and buses going once an hour, to places that again are not big cities but smaller cities where to find a work placement is not too easy.

I know this respond is quite late since you have posted your question.

Kind Regards