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Surrender of Driving licence

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My stepfather has recently experienced some medical problems, he is 73.

One of the medications he is now on is Tegretol (carbamazepine) for suspected epilepsy like symptoms. The Dr's have recommended he stop driving for the time being although they haven't said for how long or what any long term prognosis is.

My stepdad is quite devastated by this but we have convinced him it is for the best and he will comply. It seems though that he is the one that needs to report it to DVLA and on this there are two options.

The reason for this post is to canvass for past experiences or any advice or knowledge anybody can impart.

The two options are that he can either voluntarily surrender his licence or he can fill out a medical questionnaire for the DVLA to get the information from his Dr's for them to make a decision.

The DVLA website gives some pro's to voluntarily surrendering but this is likely to be a for a period of at least 12 months. The Dr route has no information on what the pro's or cons are.

Does anybody have any info/experience of what the pro's and cons are of each of these options.

My stepdad has two hobbies in life,playing Jazz (since he was a young boy and he has two Bands of his own) and driving our 1967 Mk2 Jaguar especially to shows etc. To be told all of a sudden he has to stop both of these (the Jazz relies on him being able to drive) has devastated him and really rocked his world.

Any advice or help you can give would be greatly appreciated.



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Hi Cheetah,

We voluntarily surrendered my granddads driving licence after he had some medical problems last year. I don't know the difference between the voluntarily surrendering or medical assessment but I do believe that the suspension until there is a full 12 month period of no seizures (during the day, I think night time seizures are OK). (My granddad also has epilepsy)

We have not applied for his licence back so I don't know how you go about doing that.

Hope that helps a little.

Again you have probably found this out but...

Epilepsy driving standards for driving small vehicles

You can apply or reapply for a category A, B, B+E, F, G, H, K, L or P licence as long as:

  • you have been free from seizures completely for one year*, or
  • you have experienced asleep seizures only, for a period of at least three years; and
  • as far as your are able, you follow your doctor's advice about your treatment and check-ups for epilepsy; and
  • the driving agency is satisfied that as a driver you are not likely to be a source of danger to the public.

* The one year's seizure free period applies from the date of your most recent seizure.

In England, Wales and Scotland, two months before the date you are due to get your licence back – but no sooner – you can write to the driving agency. You should state that you wish to reapply for your licence. In Northern Ireland you will need to submit a DL1 form (Application for a Driving Licence) to DVA. You can only do this two weeks before the date you are due to get your licence back. You should give the date when you should be allowed to start driving again. Include your old driving licence number if you have it.

The driving agency will send you a form to complete, asking about your last seizure. They will ask your consent for a medical enquiry. They will also ask for the name of a doctor who can provide a medical report.

When you can start driving again depends on whether you sent back your last licence voluntarily, or whether it was formally withdrawn (revoked) by the driving agency.

There is no cost for reapplying for your licence, if you surrendered it because of your epilepsy.

Edited by dan1991123
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It is a very difficult situation, as you describe.

I had to inform the DVLA about a driver the other week, she had a condition where she struggled controlling her movements. She was convinced she was safe to drive but I disagreed. By reporting her I left the matter to professional medical opinion.

With your situation, I would go with medical opinion. You say in your post that the Dr recommends he does not drive, and that if you go for the DVLA option they will contact your GP. His conclusion is surely to be that your stop dad does not drive.

I think the answer depends on the severity and frequency of the episodes. If he is able to feel an episode coming on, and pull over to prevent a crash, then it is not too bad. If they are sudden and without warning, then what are the consequences of him having one whilst driving? A crash, civil liability, and maybe prosecution? There is a significant risk not only to himself but others.

In light of what you say, pending your info on whether he can feel an episode coming on, I would suggest that he surrenders his licence voluntarily. If the medication sorts the problem, or his condition improves, he can get it back.

He can still go jazz and shows, but someone will have to drive him. I'm sure other family members would love to be able to drive a Jag......

I don't envy your position though.

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Thanks Dan, that is useful info. I had searched the interwebs but came up with so many bits of info it was getting clouded, yours is a helpful post.

Thanks Sledge Hammer. I am of the opinion that he should voluntarily surrender it but want all the info and options I can get.

This is one of the problems with the 'episodes', he doesn't know when he is about to have one, has no idea when it is happening and the second it ends has absolutely no knowledge it ever occurred.

He has been diagnosed with a heart condition as well and is likely to need an Angioplasty in the not too distant future, the decreased blood supply is what has caused the epilepsy like symptoms but the heart condition is not yet bad enough to need the angioplasty (rock and a hard place springs to mind).

I am going to talk him into the voluntary route me thinks.

Edited by Cheetah
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Couldn't he just not drive of his own accord a opposed to surrendering his driving licence and if he was to ever come off the medication or the doctor said he was fit to drive he would save the rigmarole of getting his licence back?

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This is one of the ways in which it becomes confusing Quebec.

His Dr says they have reported to DVLA that they recommended him to not drive but it is up to him to surrender his licence.

Not sure if the Dr's have or are even able to report him in this manner but we don't want to take that risk, say he doesn't drive and then in 10 months feels he's fine to drive and his Dr says he can drive again so he does, he then gets stopped for something routine only to find that DVLA revoked his licence and he's now driving without a licence.

Why is nothing straight forward in life?

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