Driving and dementia: advice from MIND


Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
Just stumbled across this really helpful page on the MIND site:


Relevant bit:

Duty to notify the DVLA

It is the duty of the licence holder or licence applicant to notify the DVLA of any medical condition which may affect safe driving. Failure to do so is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Sometimes a licence holder
(a) cannot do so because she lacks mental capacity or
(b) does not want to do so, for example because s/he does not agree with a doctor's diagnosis. These situations are addressed below.

(a) Incapacity
Incapacity refers to occasions when someone is unable to make decisions for themselves (eg because of severe mental illness, brain injury or dementia).

In these circumstances, government guidelines* state that medical practitioners should inform the DVLA immediately and explain to the patient that they have a legal duty to inform the DVLA.

(b) a patient does not accept that s/he is not fit to drive
Under the guidelines the doctor should suggest that the patient seek a second opinion and should make appropriate arrangements for the patient to do so. However the patient will be told not to drive until s/he has obtained the second opinion.

If the patient continues to drive when the doctor says s/he is unfit, the guidelines say that the doctor can inform the patient's next of kin, and should disclose the relevant medical information immediately in confidence to the medical advisor at the DVLA. If the doctor does do this s/he should inform the patient of the decision to do so, and write to the patient confirming it.

The doctor's duty to notify the DVLA about someone's health may override his/her duty of confidence to the patient.

Take care,

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