DVLA promises to return driver's licence after conceding it ignored neurosurgeon's advice

Chris Tindall
April 30, 2018


The DVLA has promised to reissue an HGV driver with his licence after CM questioned why the agency was ignoring the medical advice of a neurosurgeon.

Owner-driver Ray Fry said he had suffered financial hardship after his licence was revoked following a motorbike accident in August 2017.

A brain scan shortly after the accident was interpreted as showing evidence of pre-frontal contusion, but a consultant neurosurgeon wrote to the DVLA in February to explain that this was incorrect, and that following a review of new scans the injury was in fact a subarachnoid haemorrhage.

This classes the head injury as mild, so Fry’s licence could be returned.

In addition, the consultant said the risk of a seizure fell below the threshold at which the DVLA could revoke a licence.

However, in a letter the DVLA said the new scan was “not contemporaneous to the injury” and that rigid licences are usually returned “by five years, and sometimes after two or three years following a head injury”. It added that he currently did not meet the standards for rigid licensing.

Fry said: “I have had to sell my artic, but I have not been able to drive my car and I am not mobile. We’re struggling to pay the rent. It’s been hard for us. All the DVLA does is make you wait. It goes on about the shortage of drivers and then behaves like this.”

Daniel Wardle, of Caddick Davies Solicitors, said the DVLA had ignored the communication provided by himself and Fry. “It is true to say the DVLA is not understanding that people can be misdiagnosed and such diagnosis can change over time with further testing,” he said.

“Here, the consultant has admitted that a review of previous scans and new scans demonstrate that what Fry suffered was not a traumatic brain injury as first thought, but rather a mild head injury. In any event, the evidence provided by the consultant proves that Fry meets the standards of safe driving.”

CM approached the DVLA and asked why it had overruled the advice of a consultant neurosurgeon and a spokesman said: “We deal with around 700,000 medical licensing cases a year and the majority are dealt with swiftly and correctly.

"I can confirm that we are issuing a licence to Fry and that we will contact him to apologise for the delay.” 

  • Encountered delays or difficulties in getting your licence restored? Let us know by emailing chris.druce@roadtransport.com

About the Author


Chris Tindall

Chris Tindall started writing for the haulage and logistics industry in 2002 and quickly realised there was enough going on to keep him busy for a very long time. He’s covered a broad range of significant issues, including GPS jamming by criminals, platooning, Brexit and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the lack of safe and secure lorry parks and he helped secure the release of a lorry driver in a Polish jail due to misuse of the European Arrest Warrant.

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