Hi everyone, I was diagnosed with Parkinsons August 2009 & was subsequently advised by my neurologists assistant to inform DVLA. I duly completed the relevant paperwork & sent it off to DVLA. At the time of completing the paperwork I would say I was catagorised as in the early stages of Parkinsons & had chosen not to start medication. My symptoms were essentially tremor in right hand/arm & general tiredness. I had however discussed with my neurologists assistant that I felt my memory wasn't as reliable as in the past for which a subsequent blood test & brain scan were done & reported normal. Approx 3 months after informing DVLA I received there response. To my suprise I was informed to return my licence & it would be replaced with a short term licence for 12 months. This would then be reviewed every 12 months subject to a medical for which I would be liable for all associated fees. At the time I just accepted what I felt was out of my hands & chose not to appeal, that was now 6 months ago & have probably now lost the right to appeal. My questions;
1. Have other newly diagnosed people also been subject to simillar Driving Licence restrictions as it seems pretty harsh to me ?
2. What does the medical involve & how much is it likely to cost me ?
Thanks in anticipation of your feedback, John (alias - marcantony)
As soon as you're diagnosed PD you're legally obliged to inform the DVLA. Not to do so is an offence, and may render your licence void.
I went on for 9 years with various 1-year and 3-year licences. As each ran out I re-applied, and the DVLA re-assessed me. They used advice from my GP, my consultant and their own medical specialist. Twice they sent me for independent medicals in my own area (costing about £50 a time, I think), and once they sent me for a full half-day driving test at a specialist centre about 50 miles away (no charge but you had to pay your own expenses).
Once you've applied for your licence to be extended your old one remains valid, EVEN IF you pass the expiry date printed on the licence itself. Keep copies of everything, though, as proof. (Or in case the DVLA lose your file!)
I don't think any of this is harsh. The DVLA itself MUST put the safety of the general public first, over a bit of inconvenience to us old wobblies!
I eventually surrendered my licence myself anyway (last year) when I realised I was becoming a risk to other road users.
John's licence is for 3 years and he has had it renewed once. There has been no talk of him having a medical.I am horrified by the state in which some people drive.A lady in the swimming pool told me cheerfully that her husband had macular degeneration(losing central vision) Then cheerfully told me he had driven her to the swimming pool. I applaud anything that ensures that people are fully i aware of their surroundings and fully in control of the car when they drive.After all our lives depend on it.
I am surprised that you have received only a 1 year licence with just very early stage PD. I am 70 and at 70 would have had to go on to a three year one anyway but there was no problem in getting it, It is absolutely normal to be issued with a restricted licence for a chronic deteriorating condition but my impression was that the three year one was more usual unless your condition is particularly unstable which you did not seem to be saying. Perhaps you could query this with the neuro. I agree with what Ray and English Country dancer have said but they could have been a bit more sympathetic. I haven't got a partner and would be completely cut off if I could not drive in my rural area. I have seen advice elsewhere on this forum to the effect that its a good idea to have yourself tested and submit the results (if good!!) in support of your appeal. I would recommend The iIstitute of Advanced Motorists. I took myself off to them when I felt my driving had deteriorated due to rushing around for years like a boy racer on last minute calls as a supply teacher. Also I don't understand about the cost of the medicals. Hopefully its just one of those computer letters they can't be bothered to tailor to the person. Have others on this site have to pay for medicals? If does anyone know what is the likely cost?
my thanks to those who have shared their experiences about my concerns. My concerns were & still are over the short length (12 months) of my short term driving licence before revue/reassesment & not the principle of assesment. I certainly regret not having appealed. At the time of notifying DVLA of being newly diagnosed with PD I wasn't even considered ill enough for medication although I now take Rasagiline which is taken mainly in the hope of protecting remaining dopamine producing cells rather than treating the symptoms of PD. It was actually close to 4 months before the DVLA actually responded with a decision about my licence. During this wait I had my car insurance up for renewal & obviously intended to inform them of being newly diagnosed with PD. However, not knowing the outcome of my Driving Licence review by DVLA wasn't going to help with what I expected to be a re-quotation of the policy costs. Subsequently I twice emailed DVLA explaining that my car insurance was due for renewal soon & it would help if I new the outcome. Their replys were standard & unhelpful although they eventually provided me with the out almost 4 months after my initial notification. My general health is very good, I've always kept physically fit jogging, swimming, babminton & have been a member of my local gym for the past 2.5 years goin 2 or 3 times per week. So I say with the greatest respect that I am do not consider myself to be in the 'old & wobbly' stage of my PD. I am really struggling to see how the DVLA have arrived at the need to reassess my driving licence 12 monthly, I certainly feel no impairment in my ability to drive. I'm an experienced driver having driven for 40 years with only 1 accident which wasn't my fault although I have to confess to a speeding fixed penalty 4 years ago (36 mph in a 30 mph zone). I do wonder weather my 2 emails respectfully asking them if they had made a decision caught someone on a day they may have got out of bed on the wrong side ? otherwise I really confused by the lack of consistancy in their assessments. Appologise for my lenghty response & thanks again to all who took the time to respond .... stay healthy, John (alias marcantony)
I suspect that it was mentioning your memory not being so good that may be the cause of being given a short length of time for your licence before it was renewed.No doubt a note was but on your file.
I too live in a very rural area so am aware of how difficult it can be to socialise,work or even shop when one does not have a car or/and driving licence. I was not being unsympathetic, but only too aware that a car can be a lethal weapon.
My newly diagnosed condition made no difference to my insurance which surprised me at first so I suppose they go along with the DVLC who by the way routinely take four months to deal with PWD's although they claim otherwise. They usually blaim the neuro or the GP for the delay. As I understand it,it is not a restricted licence in any sense that should automatically affect insurance just a limit in its duration as a precaution so that your driving is reviewed every so often just as at 70 it is restricted to three years for much the same reason.
I have Parkinsons and have experience of being sent to a mobility centre for a driving assessment. This was whilst managing a scheme on behalf of the County Council for the older driver or people with a medical condition. The scheme requires me giving 'presentations' to various groups including Parkinsons and I have helped some stay on the road with a little guidance and advice which involves contact with the DVLA. They can be more helpful than we consider them to be but equally they can be unpredictable as I have experienced.
I would be pleased to discuss your situation and offer my opinion and advice which grows with my client base. Like my scheme its free the only objective being to keep people on the road for as long as it is safe to do so.
I am new to this site....can I provide phone number to create a better line of communication?