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Autoimmune disease

MS - Do you automatically lose your driving licence?

17 replies

AForest · 06/05/2019 17:01

I haven't been diagnosed but have enough symptoms to make me think it is a possibility. I need to be prepared and I have a neurology appointment in 3 weeks. As someone who is self employed in a physical job, which I am struggling with, I was wondering if you automatically lose your driving licence and have to be tested to get it back? This would have a big impact on me. My life is currently in a lot of uncertainty, complicated by being mid divorce and without being able to be physically active and being able to drive I will lose my income. I'm not panicking but feel I need to be prepared. I know no one can diagnose me but I was wondering, in the worst case, how it may affect my earning ability.

OP posts:
Herland · 06/05/2019 17:07

No. I don't believe that you automatically lose your license. You do have to contact DVLA and advise them of your condition and how it is affecting you. They will then decide whether or not you should have a medical, and the results of that will decide if you have to stop driving. I know many, many people with MS who still drive, some with adapted cars but most without. Unless your symptoms make driving dangerous - eye problems for example, you should be fine. Good luck.

Ariela · 06/05/2019 17:08

Really depends on severity, I have a friend with MS and he is perfectly able to do a lot of things, just not too much without resting otherwise if he over does it he spends a week in bed catching up. He's kept his licence so far.

ILoveMaxiBondi · 06/05/2019 17:09

No you don’t. Not automatically. I have a family member who was diagnosed very young with MS and got their driving license just recently. You just have to declare your diagnosis.

Chorleywooders · 06/05/2019 17:09

No you will not automatically lose you license unless your doctor believes you are unfit to drive. It is not like being diagnosed as epileptic. My brother drove for 15-20 years after diagnosis, it all depends how aggressive your MS becomes.

AForest · 06/05/2019 17:20

Thank you so much, that has put my mind at rest a bit.

OP posts:
gubbsywubbsy · 06/05/2019 17:31

No .. a family member has it and still drives .

stucknoue · 06/05/2019 17:32

No you don't, you need to tell dvla with an accompanying letter from gp/specialist saying you are fine to drive. If symptoms mean you have delayed reactions, sight issues etc then you need to voluntarily halt driving of course. Have two family members with diagnosed ms and both drive. Remember there's more than one kind and it's variable from day to day for some people - safety always comes first over the convenience of driving

AForest · 06/05/2019 17:53

I totally get that safety comes first, and I wouldn't drive if I felt unsafe. I just needed to know if it was an automatic thing as I need to plan for my clients.

OP posts:
Ffsnosexallowed · 06/05/2019 17:55

My mum was diagnosed years ago and still drives, though she drives an automatic because of leg weakness in one leg

GettingTooOldForThis · 06/05/2019 18:39

I have MS and had to stop for a few months when I was having investigations for it as I had double vision as one of my symptoms.

When that cleared the DVLA asked the consultant if I was ok to drive and I had to do a field vision test. After this I was given a medical licence which I have to review every three years.

AlunWynsKnee · 06/05/2019 18:44

I haven't lost mine or had any restrictions added. I'm on a 3 year licence now.

Yogagirl123 · 10/05/2019 19:22

I have MS.

MS is a condition that needs to be reported to DVLA. Once you complete the form, DVLA will then write to your Neurologist and perhaps your GP, based on the information they provide DVLA will make their decision.

Based on my experience, initially my ten year licence was cancelled and a new 3 year one was issued, I was contacted by DVLA before the 3 yr one expired,again wrote to Neurologist, had a 5 year licence issued.

DVLA understand that most MS patients are safe to drive and need a licence to get to appts etc.

My car insurance hasn’t increased either.

Good luck OP, try not to worry.

AForest · 11/05/2019 21:03

Thanks for all the replies, they are reassuring.

Yogagirl can I ask how long it took for you to be diagnosed and what your initial symptoms were? Please don't feel you have to reply but I am getting into a bit of a tizz! I don't see the neurologist for another 2weeks. I know I should stop worrying, but every day I struggle with my job, energy levels and forgetfulness. I don't have any RL support.

OP posts:
Yogagirl123 · 11/05/2019 21:54

I was dx with Relapsing Remitting MS, 7 years ago, my first set of symptoms was an area of numbness that gradually increased, tingling in my legs, numbness in my hands, walking felt like the ground was wobbly, like trying to walk on a bouncy castle.

My DX was very quick as I was in a private health scheme, it was a very scary time.

My advice to anyone finding themselves in this situation would be to stay away from google, as you will scare yourself silly and unless the info is from a trusted source it may not always be genuine,

MS is different for everyone. Assuming an RRMS dx, there are good treatment options available, that can reduce relapse rate. I am on my second disease modifying drug, and touching wood it seems to suit me.

Being diagnosed with MS has totally changed my outlook on life, I have had to make lots of adjustments to make my life easier. But you can do it and still have a good life.

The MS Society have a support line and a forum, that may be helpful to you for support. The MS trust also have lots of information too.

Good luck.

Ladymargarethall · 11/05/2019 22:01

My DD has MS and drives a Motability car, adapted for hand controls, so the answer is no. She has three year driving licences.
She has been diagnosed for 18 years.
However each person experiences MS differently.

AForest · 12/05/2019 11:55

Thank you Ladymargarethall. It sounds like your DD is doing well.

Yogagirl thank you for being so honest. My current symptoms started with my left hand feeling stiff and tingling. I feel like I have spiders crawling up my neck. Now my left leg tingles from foot to hip, my arm to my shoulder. I am extremely tired and need to nap after work, I feel groggy and the room spins occasionally and my vision is hazy. In the past I have lost vision which the doctors put down to ocular migraine, and I have had periods of confusion (unable to spell words or tell the time) and am really forgetful (although that is reasonably normal for me). I was reasonably good runner but my legs won't work properly to run at the moment. I also get muscle twitches when I am in bed.

It is good to hear positive stories though, and I suppose if it is MS there is support out there and treatments available. Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to reply, it is much appreciated.

OP posts:
NobodyKnowsTiddlyPom · 12/05/2019 21:23

A fellow teacher has MS and she still drives - she qualifies for Motability because of her mobility issues. I'm not sure if she had to have a medical/DVLA investigations once she'd told them about it.

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