DVLA licence revocations and refusals

DVLA are responsible (on behalf of the Secretary of State) for issuing driving licences. DVLA has the power to refuse or revoke a driving licence or to grant a licence for three years or less. DVLA may also impose conditions restricting the classes or categories that a person can drive. All of these decisions are made based on the DVLA's view of the person's fitness to hold a driving licence.

The DVLA's powers to revoke or to refuse a licence are contained in the Road Traffic Act 1988. DVLA must refuse a licence if, on enquiry they are satisfied that the person concerned is suffering from a "relevant disability". These include not only the usual diseases or disabilities you would expect, but also "any other disability likely to cause the driving of the vehicle by him… to be a source of danger to the public".

There is a full list available on the government website, that some of the most common "disabilities" include persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol, whether or not such misuse amounts to dependency. We have seen cases where alcohol misuse had been diagnosed solely as a result of a patient informing their doctor that they drink more than the recommended limit.

You can ask the DVLA to review their decision, and/or make an appeal to the magistrates court. The appeal must be made within six months of the DVLA's decision to revoke or refuse the driving licence.

In most cases, the decision to revoke or refuse a driving licence will have been made on the basis of medical evidence. This could be a report completed by your own GP and/or could be from information following a medical by DVLA doctor. It could also be based on blood test results.

Unfortunately, DVLA have a habit of informing the holder of a driving licence that it has been refused without giving much detail of the basis for their decision. Typically, a template letter will be sent advising the person of the date of revocation with perhaps a paragraph on the reason for it. They do not routinely provide a copy of any doctors’ reports with the letter. Of course this makes it very difficult to obtain independent advice about whether DVLA's decision was justified.

We can request that DVLA provides a copy of the evidence upon which the decision is based so that we can assess the situation. From there we can advise what, if anything, can be done to persuade DVLA to grant you a licence. If DVLA still refused to grant you a licence, then we can advise and represent you on appeal in the magistrates court.