The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is a Government executive agency sponsored by the Department of Transport.
The DVLA are responsible for the registration and licensing of both drivers and vehicles in Great Britain.
They are also responsible for ensuring that people who hold a driving licence or apply for a driving licence are fit to drive in a safe manner and do not pose a threat to the general public.
If the DVLA have been notified either by yourself or a third party about a medical condition that could impact your ability to drive a vehicle in a safe manner they will investigate and assess your fitness to drive.
The DVLA medical assessment process is in place to help keep Britain’s roads a safer place.
Unfortunately, the process by which they determine an individuals fitness to drive can sometimes result in people being unfairly prevented from driving.
A report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman produced in 2016 uncovered major failings in the way the DVLA assess people’s fitness to drive.
If your fitness to drive is currently being assessed by the DVLA and you think you are being treated unfairly or the DVLA have made a wrong decision what can you do about it?
You have two options. You can make a formal complaint and /or appeal a decision the DVLA have made in court.
How to make a complaint
In order to make a formal complaint about the DVLA medical assessment process you must have first tried to resolve any issues with the relevant department.
You can contact the DVLA medical department by:
Phone on: 0300 790 6806
Email: Online web form
Drivers Medical Enquiries
If your issue has not been resolved after contacting the DVLA medical department you can then contact the DVLA complaints team.
Contact the DVLA complaints team
You can also contact the DVLA complaints team by post at the following address:
The DVLA should acknowledge receipt of your complaint and they will aim to reply to your complaint within 10 days.
If they cannot reply to your complaint within 10 days they should contact you and let you know when you can expect a full reply to your complaint.
If you are not happy with the way the DVLA complaints team handled your complaint and still feel your complaint is unresolved you can contact the DVLA chief executive.
Contact the Chief Executive
If you have contacted the DVLA complaints team and feel that your complaint has not been resolved then you can contact the DVLA Chief Executive’s office.
The Chief Executives office will ensure your case is reviewed and responded to within 10 working days.
You can also contact the Chief Executives office by post at the following address:
Chief Executives Office
If after contacting the Chief Executive you still feel unhappy with the way your complaint and case has been handled you can ask the DVLA to refer your complaint to an independent complaints assessor.
Independent Complaints Assessor (ICA)
If after following steps 1 to 4 you feel that the DVLA have still not resolved your complaint you can ask them to refer your complaint to an independent complaints assessor.
Independent complaints assessors review complaints made against the Department of Transport and its agencies such as the DVLA.
The independent complaints assessors will look into how the DVLA handled your complaint and if they handled your complaint appropriately and fairly.
The ICA can look into complaints such as:
- bias or discrimination
- unfair treatment
- poor or misleading advice
- failure to provide relevant information
- unreasonable delays
- poor administration
The ICA will investigate whether or not the DVLA has handled your complaint appropriately, fairly and in a timely manner.
The ICA will review your case and contact you directly. They aim to review cases within 3 months.
Once the ICA has reviewed your complaint they will write to you explaining their findings and what they have decided.
If you still feel like your complaint remains unresolved you can look into having your complaint referred to the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman.
Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
If after going through the DVLA complaints procedure and having your complaint reviewed by the ICA you still feel unhappy about the way the DVLA has handled your case and complaint you could have your complaint reviewed by the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman.
By law, the Ombudsman can only look into complaints about Government departments if a member of parliament (MP) has referred the case to them.
In order to have your complaint referred to the Ombudsman you will need to download the Ombudsman complaints form for UK government services.
Once you have completed this form you will need to find an MP who will sign it and then send it to the Ombudsman for review.
Appeal a DVLA decision in court
If you disagree with a decision made by the DVLA to withhold or revoke your driving licence you can lodge an appeal against the decision in court.
You must contact your local Magistrates court within 6 months or your local Sheriffs court within 21 days.
If you decide to lodge an appeal in court you are required to notify the DVLA in writing that you are appealing. You can notify them by sending a letter to the following address:
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
Drivers Medical Group
You may want to obtain legal advice to help you appeal a DVLA decision in court.