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Driving after a seizure and DVLA still assessing fitness to drive

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I had a seizure a couple of weeks ago, first one ever, and the hospital told me to speak to the DVLA, who told me I had to complete a declaration (FEP1 form) so they could assess my fitness to drive. According to the guidelines it could be a 6 month ban.

 

However the form says "you must not drive if your doctor says you cannot drive". Neither my doctor or the consultant at the hospital will give me a decision - they say that's for the DVLA to decide.

 

So, while the form is being processed etc - am I OK to drive, since no one has said I can't?

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What would your insurance say if you have an accident between now and the DVLA making a decision? Would they cover you?

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I don't know - all I know is no one has told me I cannot drive.

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The info on there specifically states "Your doctor must have told you that you are fit to drive". My doctor has said that's not their decision, its the DVLAs.

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I had a seizure a couple of weeks ago, first one ever, and the hospital told me to speak to the DVLA, who told me I had to complete a declaration (FEP1 form) so they could assess my fitness to drive. According to the guidelines it could be a 6 month ban.

 

However the form says "you must not drive if your doctor says you cannot drive". Neither my doctor or the consultant at the hospital will give me a decision - they say that's for the DVLA to decide.

 

So, while the form is being processed etc - am I OK to drive, since no one has said I can't?

 

p.18 of DVLA's guidance, for

First unprovoked epileptic seizure / isolated seizure : Group 1 (car) "Must not drive and must notify DVLA. Driving will be prohibited for 6 months from date of the seizure".

 

If you think your doctors aren't giving you a decision, you need to ask them why they feel that guideline doesn't apply - do they think there is a different cause?.

 

Unless there is some complicating factor in play here (where they should be explaining it to you), you and they know the answer; which is you shouldn't be driving.

If you cause an accident by driving and having a further seizure:

a) you won't be insured,

b) you'll be liable to prosecution.

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Then you have a choice to make.

Show your doctor the leaflet issued by the government and tell them they are wrong.

Or

Stop driving until the DVLA make a decision.

 

Do you want to take the chance of having another seizure and possibly mow-ing someone down and kill them.

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It may not be that the doctors are 'wrong',

they may have reason to be applying a different guideline than "First unprovoked epileptic seizure / isolated seizure"

OP's best bet is to not drive for now, and seek an urgent explanation from their doctor(s)!.

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Well I would go with section 88 of the road traffic act rather tan DVLA guidance.

If the doctors are not willing to Say your fit to drive, I would take it as they don't think your fit to drive.

 

The consequences of driving and having another seizure far outweigh the slight inconvenience of not driving until a firm medical decision is made.

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p.18 of DVLA's guidance, for

First unprovoked epileptic seizure / isolated seizure : Group 1 (car) "Must not drive and must notify DVLA. Driving will be prohibited for 6 months from date of the seizure".

 

If you think your doctors aren't giving you a decision, you need to ask them why they feel that guideline doesn't apply - do they think there is a different cause?.

 

Unless there is some complicating factor in play here (where they should be explaining it to you), you and they know the answer; which is you shouldn't be driving.

If you cause an accident by driving and having a further seizure:

a) you won't be insured,

b) you'll be liable to prosecution.

 

Yes, that seems fair enough. Its just I've gone round in circles - the DVLA have said I need to ask my doctor if I can drive, and they say they can't decide that and its up to the DVLA.

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Well I would go with section 88 of the road traffic act rather tan DVLA guidance.

If the doctors are not willing to Say your fit to drive, I would take it as they don't think your fit to drive.

 

The consequences of driving and having another seizure far outweigh the slight inconvenience of not driving until a firm medical decision is made.

 

Section 88 seems to refer to people who don't currently have a licence. I do - I just need a decision made as to whether I can drive while my circumstances are investigated.

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It may not be that the doctors are 'wrong', they may have reason to be applying a different guideline than "First unprovoked epileptic seizure / isolated seizure"

OP's best bet is to not drive for now, and seek an urgent explanation from their doctor(s)!.

 

The consultant at the hospital said that although I'd had a seizure, in his opinion I did not have epilepsy.

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Section 88 seems to refer to people who don't currently have a licence. I do - I just need a decision made as to whether I can drive while my circumstances are investigated.

 

Have you clicked the link and downloaded the leaflet??????

 

You need to find out if the dvla have suspended your licence whilst they look at you application. They sometimes do this carte blanche.

Your doctor can overturn this.

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So, I may not have been far off with

It may not be that the doctors are 'wrong', they may have reason to be applying a different guideline than "First unprovoked epileptic seizure / isolated seizure"

OP's best bet is to not drive for now, and seek an urgent explanation from their doctor(s)!.

 

Since,

 

The consultant at the hospital said that although I'd had a seizure, in his opinion I did not have epilepsy.

 

which begs the follow-up question:

"OK, what do you think caused the seizure, and what is its impact on my fitness to drive....."

 

Section 88 seems to refer to people who don't currently have a licence. I do - I just need a decision made as to whether I can drive while my circumstances are investigated.

 

Precisely (regarding S.88)

 

Well I would go with section 88 of the road traffic act rather tan DVLA guidance.

If the doctors are not willing to Say your fit to drive, I would take it as they don't think your fit to drive.

 

The consequences of driving and having another seizure far outweigh the slight inconvenience of not driving until a firm medical decision is made.

 

S. 88 isn't applicable here.

 

S.88 applies either:

a) when someone has previously voluntarily surrendered their licence because they think they don't meet the guidelines, and then re-applies once they believe they meet them again. They can then drive pending their application being reviewed. This encourages voluntary surrender (it doesn't apply if DVLA revoke / rescind the licence rather than it being voluntarily surrendered), or

b) A licence expires, and an application for a new licence has been made prior to the expiry (and the applicant believes they meet the standards). The applicant can then drive (but only in the UK, the situation regarding S.88 permission is unclear for other jurisdictions) while their application is being processed.

 

If DVLA are 'making medical enquiries' and a licence expires while they are still assessing the application they send the applicant a (not terribly helpful!) S.88 letter!

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Or the dvla suspend the licence whilst investigating.

 

This happens to my father.

He had a blackout, not driving.

He informed dvla

They suspendedlicence while investigated, but failed to notify my dad, letter missing in post.

Its only when he checked online on my advice he found out.

 

Doctor then said its a one off and ok to drive.

Dad informed dvla

Suspension lifted while they continued to investigate.

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Or the dvla suspend the licence whilst investigating.

.......

 

Doctor then said its a one off and ok to drive.

Dad informed dvla

Suspension lifted while they continued to investigate.

 

This isn't the OP's situation though. Op has specifically noted that they haven't been told they are OK to drive ......

 

Not being told "you mustn't drive" isn't the same as being told "you can drive" !.

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Have you clicked the link and downloaded the leaflet??????

 

You need to find out if the dvla have suspended your licence whilst they look at you application. They sometimes do this carte blanche.

Your doctor can overturn this.

 

They've sent me a letter saying "thanks for informing us of your change in health, you can either surrender your licence or if you don't wish to, fill in this medical form and we will make an assessment". And then "if you don't do this within 14 days we may revoke your licence". So I don't think they'll have suspended it yet.

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My father wasn't told either.

 

He also wasn't told his licence was revolked whilst under investigation.

 

It was only after finding out he went to doctor.

Hence my first couple of replies.

But we are rather splitting hairs here.

 

If it was me....

I wouldn't drive until dvla Said I'm good to drive

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This isn't the OP's situation though. Op has specifically noted that they haven't been told they are OK to drive ......

 

Not being told "you mustn't drive" isn't the same as being told "you can drive" !.

 

Kind of is, I think. I think the neurologist would have said that if it was so important.

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Wow - surely if your licence is revoked they have a responsibility to tell you??

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Yes I know, they say they sent a letter but it didn't arrive!.

Dvla failings or royal mail.

You can check your licence status online.

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Just checked online and its fine. Good job as I need to drive home tonight.

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Kind of is, I think. I think the neurologist would have said that if it was so important.

 

You can bet that if you drive, get caught (or have an accident as a result of a seizure), you can bet that their approach will be "no, I definitely didn't tell them they could drive"!

 

They've sent me a letter saying "thanks for informing us of your change in health, you can either surrender your licence or if you don't wish to, fill in this medical form and we will make an assessment". And then "if you don't do this within 14 days we may revoke your licence". So I don't think they'll have suspended it yet.

 

And theirin lies the rub.

If you don;t surrender your licence, and have another fit, causing an accident, you'll likely get prosecuted and will almost certainly find yourself uninsured (have you spoken with your insurers? if they won;t cover you, that might influence your drcision!).

If you don't surrender your licence and DVLA revoke it, you won;t later get the benefit of S.88

 

If you decide to surrender your licence (which you may decide to do, especially if your insurers won't cover you!), you then get the benefit of S.88 (although you may find you still can't get insurance until DVLA re-issue your licence!).

 

Either way, take a copy of your licence (and any counterpart!), as entitlements have been known to 'go missing'.

If you surrender your licence or DVLA revoke it, when you get a new licence you may find that you no longer have C1/D1 entitlement that used to be issued automatically if the first 'B' test was passed before January 1997

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Just checked online and its fine. Good job as I need to drive home tonight.

 

Check with your insurers that you still have insurance cover.

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What's the benefit of S.88?

 

I've found the below here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/general-information-assessing-fitness-to-drive:

 

"Driving during medical enquiries

The time taken to obtain all necessary reports can be lengthy but a licence holder normally retains entitlement to drive under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. However, a driver whose last licence was revoked or refused because of a medical condition or is a High Risk Offender re-applying after a drink/drive disqualification from 1 June 2013 would not, however, be eligible to drive until they are issued with a new licence.

 

The driver may be covered to drive but this carries implications for road safety in that the licence holder may continue to drive with a medical condition that, on completion of the DVLA’s enquiries, may ultimately result in licence withdrawal.

 

It is for the patient to assure themself that they are fit to drive. Medical professionals asked for an opinion about a patient’s fitness to drive in these circumstances should explain the likely outcome by reference to this guide. The final decision in relation to driver licensing will, however, rest with the DVLA.

 

By reference to the DVLA’s guidance, the doctor in charge of an individual’s care should be able to advise the driver whether or not it is safe for them to continue to drive during this period.

 

Patients must be reminded that if they choose to ignore medical advice to stop driving this may affect their insurance cover. Doctors are advised to formally and clearly document the advice given."

 

 

Interesting that my consultant has refused to provide guidance on this, other than to tell me to speak to DVLA.

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