Updated: Jul 22, 2022
TLDR: From today, the law has changed to enable healthcare professionals other than doctors to complete DVLA medical questionnaires.
From today, 20 July, the law has changed to enable healthcare professionals other than doctors to complete DVLA medical questionnaires following notification of a medical condition that may affect an individual’s driving, DVLA has announced
The change to the Road Traffic Act 1988 will now allow doctors to refer medical questionnaires to colleagues such as specialist nurses and opticians from other professional bodies
This change is a result of extensive work by DVLA including a public consultation where 82% of respondents were supportive of the change
This forms part of an approach by DVLA to speed up elements of the medical licencing process while reducing the burden on doctors to complete DVLA medical questionnaires
Specialist nurses and opticians are among the healthcare professionals now able to complete DVLA medical questionnaires, as part of an approach by DVLA to improve and speed up the medical licensing process. An amendment to the Road Traffic Act 1988, which comes into force today, means a wider pool of registered healthcare professionals, other than doctors, can now be authorised to provide information where a driver has declared a medical condition.
By law, all drivers must meet the medical standards for fitness to drive. Often, other healthcare professionals such as nurses or opticians will be involved in patient care and this change in the law now allows these and others to complete DVLA medical forms following deferment by a doctor. DVLA will continue to send questionnaires to GMC doctors and consultants, and it will then be up to individual GP practices and hospital teams as to which healthcare professional in practice is best placed to complete the questionnaire.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said:
Obtaining or renewing a driving licence should always be a quick, simple and efficient process. That’s why we’re allowing more healthcare professionals to complete DVLA medical questionnaires to speed up the medical licensing process and ease the burden on GPs.
DVLA Chief Executive Julie Lennard said:
Every year we are receiving an increasing number of medical licensing applications from drivers. This law change, which widens the pool of healthcare professionals who can complete DVLA questionnaires, improves the process for those notifying DVLA of medical conditions whilst reducing the administrative burden on doctors, benefitting drivers and the NHS alike.
Previously, only doctors registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) could complete the questionnaires. Although there is no requirement for GP surgeries or hospital teams to make changes to their current processes, the change to the law will now allow medical professionals from the following Councils to complete medical questionnaires on behalf of doctors:
General Chiropractic Council
The General Optical Council
The General Osteopathic Council
The Nursing and Midwifery Council
Health and Care Professions Council
The change to the law does not apply to the D4 Medical Examination Report which will still need to be completed by a doctor or consultant who is registered with the GMC.