DVLA - driving and how to find out if my GP has signalled me

Hi all,
I’m planning to buy a car as public transport has become very complicated; I used to rely on that and cycling. However, I’ve read a few times on here that GPs can signal our dizziness to the DVLA (I’m in the UK); I’m worried that I might buy a car, then try to pay for tax on it and find out I’m not allowed to drive! I don’t really feel like asking the GP as it might give them ideas about signalling me! I need to add that I have no rotational dizziness, “just” rocking, and when I’m in a moving object, the dizziness is cancelled out, like in mal de débarquement, so driving would not be an issue.
Has anyone got any advice or experience?

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Surprised to read your post. Do you remember who on here said this had actually happened to them (and find the relevant post) or is this just heresay. Can’t imagine it happening personally. Doctors are surely reluctant to do anything that could destroy the doctor/patient trust relationship.

It is the drivers responsibility to advise the DVLA of any condition that could impair their driving ability. With our condition the relevant symptom is vertigo. I think the recommendation is you need not to have had disabling vertigo for three months before resuming driving. As you have no rotational dizziness I don’t imagine you have a problem. When you sign the form you are declaring yourself fit to drive. GPs have a strict confidentiality agreement with their patients. Apart from that I would wonder how such action conflicts with The Data Protection Act. I am not that familiar with it but would imagine they would have to advise you at the time of action rather than go behind your back. No. I would certainly want actual proof of such an incident before I gave it a second thought. As long as you are happy to sign the form I would say just go ahead. Otherwise just ask your GP ‘is it OK to drive?’

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Yes, this is a crucial thing to remember and also explains why some people seek private treatment using a pseudonym. ‘Onandon’ mentions the confidentiality agreement, the doctor/ patient relationship, and data protection, but this counts for nothing. It’s all bunk.
A doctor is legally obliged to inform the DVLA directly themselves if they find that a patient is unfit to drive or operate machinery. If they think that you are unfit, they will write themselves to the DVLA and this is part of their remit and they must do this for insurance purposes. That is to say, it is a caveat “to protect against harm to self or others”. A doctor is not a Catholic priest where you can confess all, say 10 Hail Marys and then be absolved and spin no more. The GP’s allegiance is to the state, who pay his wages. Patients are 10-a-penny and waiting lists and demans are miles high. Patient beware. If I were you, I would ask the doctor is he’s grassed you to the DVLA then you know whether to buy a car or not and your mind will be at rest. Also, if your concerns are about public transport and the ridiculous lockdown measures, they will probably be easing as soon as the plandemic subsides. Best wishes. Anthony

What makes you think all that new totalitarian power will ever be ceded back? Ask an American about the Patriot Act.

Thanks for commenting Helen and Anthony. I’m somewhat reassured by what you say Helen.
So basically I’ve seen about 10 different doctors at my practice, it’s always someone different, and one of them one day rang me up saying I had to be careful with driving (after she’d seen me); I answered I didn’t drive and didn’t have a car, which was true at the time. My worry is that she might have signalled me to the DVLA. But I don’t want to ask my GP in case it gives them ideas…!


If indeed they have already reported you it would appear they didn’t follow the guidelines. Unless of course that, previously unmentioned, telephone call was supposed to be it or did you also have a discussion on the subject.

Procedure used to be the driver had to surrender their licence if not deemed medically fit to drive and that this would be returned when applied for after health was restored. As you did receive that telephone call the doctor is already alerted, and presumably will have some note on file, so you may as well just ask. I don’t suppose you have a computer link to your own medical records (I have or at least I have the option to have) or you could just check. Must surely be recorded on there if only to cover the doctors back. Otherwise I guess you could either make an application under The Date Protection Act which I imagine would take an age or simply contact the DVLA direct and ask. You must have a legal right under the DPA to know. Will be very interested to hear the outcome of your enquiries.

Hi Lucy,
I drive for Royal Mail. I was required to prove that my Vestibular Migraine diagnosis in 2018 wouldn’t impact on my ability to drive. I asked my neurologist for confirmation of this and could I have it in writing which he was happy to do. Royal Mail were satisfied with this so I would suggest that you do something similar. Hope this helps.

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In any case, regardless of the law and the DVLA, it goes without saying: exercise extreme common sense when it comes to driving! Do not drive during or a few days after an attack is my advice, no matter how great the temptation. Get someone to pick you up if stranded.