Parkinsonism and Driving


Apologies if this isn’t the right section to post this question but I am a novice in using forums! My Mum was recently diagnosed (kind of) via a 10 minute video call with ‘parkinsonism’ - she has been waiting for a consultant appt. for 10 months and has a hand tremor, slowness in movement, slowness in thought sometimes and some associated muscle weakness. The consultant never said ‘parkinson’s disease’ as such and I’m just wondering if I should be talking to her about stopping driving and contacting the DVLA? I have been doing the majority of the driving in recent months as she has got weaker but at the same time I don’t want to take away the independence. Any info would be appreciated.

Thank you :slight_smile:

Hi @Louisa_Carer

A warm welcome to the Parkinson’s UK forum.

I’m sorry to hear about your Mums recent diagnosis, I can imagine having to have your first consultation via phone wasn’t ideal.

The forum is filled with people at different stages on their Parkinson’s, so you’ve definitely come to the right place for support and a chit chat. You might be interested to know that we have a ‘newly diagnosed’ section on our website with a lot of information that will be relevant to you at this stage of your diagnosis. You can find this section here: There is also a to do list for people newly diagnosed which includes information regarding driving which may be useful

We also have a confidential helpline and Parkinson’s local advisers are here to answer any questions you have about your recent diagnosis and life with Parkinson’s. Call us on 0808 800 0303.

Best wishes,

Sue - Moderation Team

Someone with PD does not automatically have to give up driving. I don’t drive myself (never driven) but I know several PDPs who do and some of them have very bad tremors. I think the question you have to ask yourself is, whether you think your mum is unable to drive safely. If you think she is unsafe, then you need to talk to her about it. Even if she is not safe now, once stable on medication, that could change.

Thanks @SueMartin I might actually get her to call the helpline in the next week once she has read through some info.

Hi @Jane_L thanks for your reply, at the moment I feel like the short trips she does and the independence that gives her outweighs any risk, but yes that might well change. I just wasn’t sure of any legalities around her PD versus Parkinsonism diagnosis.

I did a fitness to drive assessment a few years ago to keep my licence. Two hours - one for cognition tests and one driving round Rhyl. Tougher than the driving test but I passed and had my licence back. The DVLA paid for my test but I was quoted about £30 for a private session - cost may have gone up. Could give you some peace of mind. I chose the Rhyl assessment centre as it was closer but there are a number of centres round the country.

Hi Louisa,

I agree with Jane. Have a conversation with your mum. She may well be thinking she’s struggling herself. Tell her I’ve been where she is. Given the appropriate meds I’m able to drive safely now. She will have to notify the DVLA and her insurance. She will need to send a form back to them with her license.

The DVLA will contact the doctors who treat your mum for advice and will get back to her.

I notified my gp and consultant that I’d passed their details to the DVLA and a few weeks later I got a new medical license which has to be renewed every three years. My insurers were happy with that and it didn’t cost me any more.

Is her diagnosis firm? It might be good to talk to one of the Parkinson U.K. Nurses about it. She needs further assessments I would say . Best wishes

I believe RoSPA could also be helpful in getting mums driving assessed. My wife drove for 13 years after her diagnosis, it depends on the individual. Best of luck.