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Driving and Menieres (UK)

People often ask about how their driving licence is affected by Meniere's. In the UK you are required by law to inform the DVLA and where asked medical questions by your insurance company. But before you panic about losing your licence, or increased insurance premiums read on.

Once you have informed the DVLA, they will write to you seeking consent to contact your Doctor. When I informed them they sent me a letter within 5 days, advising me that I needed to complete a consent form and the questionnaire regarding my condition. Click here to see the forms they sent.

The English Law as quoted from the DVLA
"The law forbids the issue of a driving licence to drivers who have a liability to sudden attacks of disabling giddiness. Therefore, the standards of fitnes to drive ordinary vehicles require drivers, who have suffered attacks of disabling giddiness/dizziness which occur without warning, to be free of such attacks for three months before resuming driving. If in the future, disabling attacks occur without warning, you must inform the DVLA."

The DVLA say

4. Other medical conditions
In addition to those medical conditions covered by law, applicants (or licence holders) are likely to be refused (a licence) if they are unable to meet the recommended medical guidelines in the following situations

• Meniere’s, or any other sudden and disabling vertigo within the past 1 year, with a liability
to recurrence.

The relevant question relates to the previous year.....have you had...

"(b) Sudden and disabling dizziness/vertigo within the last 1 year with a liability to recur

The DVLA will then assess the completed form and your specialists comments. Your licence could be left as it is, or the expiration date amended to allow for periodic reviews on your health, e.g. your licence may be restricted to 1 to 3 years for review. Of course they could also withdraw your licence or amend it say previously you had an HG licence etc.

When the Disability Discrimination act came into force in 1996 it stipulated that you could not be refused insurance or have your premium excessively bumped up unless the insurance company could provide actual evidence to show the condition you have carries a greater risk. many insurance companies do not ask you medical questions as by law you should only hold a licence if you can do so. however some companies will ask so if you do find your insurance company does increase your premium, be sure to shop around or request this evidence. Remember if you do not declare this information you are committing an offence and any insurance claims null and void.

To kick things off tell the DVLA your driver no, full name and date of birth

  • email the DVLA eftd@dvla.gsi.gov.uk
  • telephone: 0870 600 0301 (Monday to Friday, 8.00 am to 5.30 pm and Saturday, 8.00 am to 1.00 pm)
  • write : Drivers Medical Group DVLA Swansea SA99 1TU
  • fax : 0845 850 0095

I have recently advised the DVLA myself, see my diary for how that went!

This web site has been written and developed by Alex Tye - "MrLexy" on the internet!
http://www.mrlexy.co.uk. Please feel free to contact me with my feedback form.