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Help please. Anyone had their driving licence revoked by the DVLA for ridiculous reasons?

(42 Posts)
iamlivinginanightmare Tue 14-Jan-14 19:07:39

I have anxiety and am on fluoxetine, very occasionally a tiny dose of diazepam (maybe twice a year). Unsurprising since my mum is dying. I was stupid enough to check with the insurance company who said this is fine as long as I tell the DVLA. So I duly phoned up the medical information line who said I had to fill in a form. I duly filled in the form and assumed that would be the end of it.

So today I get a letter saying that my licence has been revoked as "it is clear from information received that" I have "suffered a psychiatric illness". WTF? I have mild to moderate anxiety, which is being treated. If I had dementia apparently that would be OK.

What the hell is going on here? Has this happened to anyone else? Or was I just extremely stupid to declare this at all?

To top it all my Mum is in a hospice 4 hours away, my DH is too ill to drive (but hasn't had his licence revoked strangely enough) and I need to get there. What on earth do I do?!

iamlivinginanightmare Tue 14-Jan-14 19:18:51

Someone please. This is a living nightmare. I'm a regular who's name changed, if that helps at all.

How could this happen for a diagnosis of mild to moderate anxiety?

BikeRunSki Tue 14-Jan-14 19:20:22

Can your GP not intervene?

TheXxed Tue 14-Jan-14 19:20:52

Bump

OMG, have you tried to call them? shock
I had to speak to them once, I have epilepsy, and they were very helpful.

petitdonkey Tue 14-Jan-14 19:21:32

I can't help at all but I didn't want this to go unanswered….

Crikey - I have been on and off ADs for a few years and it never crossed my mind to inform the DVLA. I suspect that few people do declare such conditions so they didn't know what to do with the information.

I hope that someone comes along who can help.

BlueStringPudding Tue 14-Jan-14 19:23:39

That sounds awful, and very stressful. Can you go and see your doctor, and get an opinion (with note) about whether he/she considers you well enough to drive, and then send that off to DVLA?

It sounds like they're being overly cautious, but they should take a medical opinion into account?

Good luck..

That is a really odd decision for them to make. I know a lovely person who became very unwell with a mental illness and had to be hospitalised. They lost their license for a short time due to the sedating effect of some of the medication. Once their dose was reduced they were allowed to srive again.

So very many people take anti-depressants, a good portion of the country wouldnt be driving.

I'm really sorry that youve found yourself in this situation, I hope someone with some good advice comes along.

Found what to do :[[ http://www.rethink.org/resources/d/driving-and-mental-illness-factsheet factsheet]]

IAmNotAPrincessIAmAKaleesi Tue 14-Jan-14 19:29:57

I wonder if it's the diazepam that's causing the problem as its not safe to drive while taking it?

It does seem very unusual that they would decide to do this though, was their any information about appealing the decision?

Rosa Tue 14-Jan-14 19:31:02

Call them and ask what you have to do as you have never been diagnosed with a psychiatric illness and your GP wasn't aware that you had either !!!! ( well maybe don't be scarcastic). Sorry about your mum this is not what ypu need right now.

iamlivinginanightmare Tue 14-Jan-14 20:17:12

Hi, thanks everyone, sorry I got waylaid.

Well I called the DVLA's medical line initially, and explained that I had been asked to call them by my work's insurers (I never even bothered informing my own) and assumed they'd say, oh that's fine, it's a miniscule amount of diazepam, no problem. But the woman I spoke to insisted that because I'd phoned I had to fill in a form.

Then I called my GP and spoke to her and she put it all on record. We agreed that as I was concerned (because another GP had put the wind up me) we'd agree that I wouldn't drive within 6 hours of taking a dose of diazepam. I declared this on the form along with the fact that I maybe take it twice or three times a YEAR. Since then two other GPs have said the first one totally overreacted and they would never have even considered mentioning contacting the DVLA for such a tiny dose (2mg) so infrequently.

I just cannot understand this at all, truly I can't. I've done a bit of Googling and found someone had the exact same wording issued to them when they had tried to commit suicide behind the wheel.

What are they trying to do to me? Of course I'll be onto the GPs first things in the morning. To top it all, I'm the main breadwinner, my job depends on a full driving licence and we live in the country!

iamlivinginanightmare Tue 14-Jan-14 20:18:44

Sorry, to be clear, that was all before I filled in the blasted form. I opened the letter this evening when I got home from work, too late to do anything about this evening. So now I have to stew on it all night.

iamlivinginanightmare Tue 14-Jan-14 20:22:48

Thanks Kitten. Looking at that information I should never have had to fill out the darned form in the first place, save possibly for the diazepam as I'mNotAPrincess said. I only did it because I'm the main breadwinner and I was terrified that if I died in a car accident they would find out I was on occasional diazepam and refuse to pay out on my life insurance.

What an idiot I feel right now.

IAmNotAPrincessIAmAKaleesi Tue 14-Jan-14 20:28:20

Iamliving, please don't beat yourself up about this, you were just being cautious- you had no reason to suspect they would react in such a ridiculous manner!

I'm sure this will be able to get sorted out, I'm sorry it's causing you so much stress though. I know it's not the same thing but I was able to keep my license despite regularly taking very strong opiates so I'm sure they have made a mistake in your case

Don't feel like an idiot, you were being responsible and duff advice you were given has had unintended consequences.

This type of reaction by the insurance and company and dvla is the sort of reaction that dissuades people from declaring things they ought to.

sublimecorpse Tue 14-Jan-14 21:08:11

Sorry, can't do links but click on

https://www.gov.uk/current-medical-guidelines-dvla-guidance-for-professionals#national-medical-guidelines-of-fitness-to-drive

At the bottom of the page it tells you about every possible condition by A to Z and if it is notifiable to the DVLA.

iamlivinginanightmare Tue 14-Jan-14 21:12:47

Thanks. I'd already found that in a document somewhere. There is nothing in there that explains this decision though. Quite the contrary! I'd already declared that I was not going to drive after the very rare event of taking a dose of diazepam (although the GP said it would be safer to drive after diazepam than to drive mid anxiety attack).

KeepNaanAndCurryOn Tue 14-Jan-14 21:17:25

The DVLA has suspended my license on a number of occasions as I have bipolar, even though my condition is stable. I now have a one year license that I have to ask to be renewed each year. It pisses me off.

KeepNaanAndCurryOn Tue 14-Jan-14 21:18:21

Yes, I wish that I'd not been honest too. Most of the people I know with psych disorders don't declare them for this very reason.

BalloonSlayer Tue 14-Jan-14 21:18:40

I thought they wrote to the Doctor after receiving your form.

If I am right about that, I wonder whether this: "although the GP said it would be safer to drive after diazepam than to drive mid anxiety attack" might actually be your problem, rather than saying you had diazepam a couple of times a year.

iamlivinginanightmare Tue 14-Jan-14 21:19:18

It seriously makes me worry about all the people out there driving around everyday, probably with conditions much worse than yours or mine, who would never even think about notifying the DVLA. Can't they see that the people responsible enough to notify them and tell the truth are NOT the ones they should be worried about?!

It seems to be the way of the world, certainly in this country. If you're honest and up front then you're screwed. I have fallen foul of that time and time again, you'd think I'd have learned by now.

KeepNaanAndCurryOn Tue 14-Jan-14 21:20:27

Considering I've never had an accident and had silly no claims discount as I'm that safe a driver, I really regret it.

iamlivinginanightmare Tue 14-Jan-14 21:20:57

But the DVLA's own information says that mild to moderate anxiety is not a notifiable condition. I wish I'd seen that earlier. The information they give out on their more public website is worse than useless. It basically says you don't have to notify us unless your doctor says you do, but if you don't notify us and you have an accident then you're personally liable regardless of whether it was caused by the condition or not.

That freaked me into phoning them!

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