Our meeting with the DVLA and the changes announced

Thursday 5 January 2017

In response to overwhelming concerns from our community The Brain Tumour Charity met with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea to discuss issues around driving and brain tumours.

We know that 3 in 4 people affected by a brain tumour lose their driving licence at some point or voluntarily relinquish it. This can leave a person socially isolated, unable to work or dependant on others for support.

Our community told us that the DVLA are typically slow to respond to enquiries, that the rules and regulations around driving from the point of diagnosis are confusing, and that the process by which the DVLA makes decisions about an individual's ability to drive is not transparent.

During our visit the DVLA acknowledged these concerns and revealed a number of developments that they hope will address them:

  • The recruitment of additional casework staff, medical advisers and nurses to respond to notifications from newly diagnosed drivers and applications for renewal of a licence from individuals living with a medical condition, as well as deal with complex case work that requires a more thorough investigation into an individual's condition
  • The development of online medical licensing services. Drivers with diabetes, epilepsy or single vision conditions can now notify the DVLA of their condition online. By April 2017 drivers will be able to notify the DVLA of over 150 single conditions. There is an upcoming proposal to deliver a digital service for brain tumours
  • Customer-facing communications have been rewritten and letters to healthcare professionals are under revision to ensure that they are clear. The purpose is to improve the quality and tone of letters and speed up the return of information to help the DVLA make a licensing decision

We will continue to monitor feedback from our community as these changes take effect. We produce up-to-date and accurate resources and in consultation with the DVLA have updated our Driving and Brain Tumours resource to provide greater clarity.

We will continue to stand up for the rights of brain tumour patients and pressure the DVLA to follow through with these promises.

Clinicians told us of a number of issues related to the DVLA's processes. We will engage with both healthcare professionals and the DVLA to better support people affected by a brain tumour and improve the process through which driving matters are dealt with.

You can read more about Driving and Brain Tumours and we will provide more updates as and when they happen.

If you would like to learn more about our work with the DVLA email us at support@thebraintumourcharity.org