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DVLA Medical - Timescale

daracam

New member
#1
Hello all,

I was banned in May 2009 for 24 months, with a 6 month reduction for completing the drink drive rehabilitation course, which I completed. As such, my licence is due to be reinstated in early November, subject to a medical examination.

This concerns me greatly as my alcohol consumption is quite regular, although not excessive. Common sense dictates that total abstinence is advisable and I'd like to allow myself as long as possible, within reason, before booking the medical.

DVLA have posted form D1 to me this week and inform me that upon my returning it to them they will be in contact with regard to arranging a medical. Ideally, I would like this to happen not sooner than 2 - 2.5 months down the line i.e late October.

My question is this. Should I 'sit on' form D1 and post a few weeks from now ? Or if I post it in now, will I have the option of booking a medical 2 - 2.5 months from now, or might it happen as quickly in a week or two ?

I am sure that many of you have been in this position. Could you please advise the timescales and procedures from returning form D1 to DVLA Swansea and physically arranging a date for the medical.

Thanks in anticipation.

daracam
 

Sillytoo

Active member
#2
I would advise to do it straight away as DVLA are currently experiencing some shocking delays. Once you get the letter wih the details of you assigned doctor it's up to you how quickly you book the appointment but it's best to start the ball rolling now.

I was banned in April 2009 for 20 months with reduction to 15 on completion of the course (which I have of course completed). My driving licence was due back on the 21s July but I still haven't got it! :mad:

I was away when the licence was due back and was quite disappointed when it was nowhere to be seen amongst the pile of post. Called DVLA last week to find out what's going on and was informed that they had written to my GP for some more info and my doctor's reply was only received by them on the 20th of July. Not amused as I had the medical on the 14th of June. Anyway, I got actually quite worried because like yourself haven't completely stopped drinking prior to the medical although I only drink weekends. I have abstained from drinking 11 days prior to the medical. Naturally I was worried that the blood test results were rubbish etc.

DVLA confirmed however that they have a new procedure in place whereby they contact everybody's GP from now on regardless of the test results. So essentially whether the test results are good or bad, everybody who is undergoing a medical before the licence is to be returned will experience a further delay because DVLA will now write to the GP. I was told that my case was marked as priority on the 26 July. I hope this means that they intend to return it and marked me as urgent because it's already overdue. I was also told that it will take between 3-4 weeks from the day I called last week - I think it was 5th of August (and not from the 26th of July!) and that DVLA are currently reviewing cases from 2nd of June! :eek:

Not amused and still a little bit worried but will report back to let everybody know what happened. :confused:

Anyway, like I said, do start the process, stop drinking now and by the time you have your medical maybe in a month's time or so you should be hopefully OK. If you delay you may not get the licence back in November...:)
 

Sillytoo

Active member
#3
I just actually realised that once you get a letter from DVLA asking you to book an appointment with their doctor there is actually a timescale to reply and it's definitely not 2-2.5 months. I can't find this particular piece of paper, but once you book an appointment you need to let DVLA know when you booked if for within a certain amount of time - I seem to remember it's 14-21 days.

It's your choice of course but I would still start the process now. Hope this helps.
 
#4
This is shocking. My ban is over on 05 September and I have my medical booked for the 23 August, 13 days beforehand. I only received the letter from the DVLA on 02 August asking me to arrange a medical.

Can the DVLA not issue a 'temporary' license until the medical results / enquiries are complete? Surely the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty' applies.

Why on earth don't the DVLA get their arse in gear and make these enquries in the months before we are eligable to get our licenses back?! It's not like we can keep driving for several weeks after being banned because we haven't made alternative arrangements is it!
 

gutted

Well-known member
#5
As long as you have booked or undertaken the medical, the DVLA will issue you a cover note enabling you to drive legally from the moment your ban ends, until the results of the medical are analysed. They won't to this automatically, you have to ring up and ask them to send it out.
 

daracam

New member
#6
I'm really concerned what Sillytoo has said about the mandatory writing to your GP. IS THIS DEFINITELY CORRECT ? 2 years ago I had a depressive spell due to marriage breakdown (young children involved) and family bereavement, and I was frank and open with my GP about drinking far too much, 50 units a week. For the depression I was put onto Citalopram which I still take, albeit entirely at my own choice. My life is good now, and healthy, but my frankness in speaking to my GP has already prevented me from taking a mortgage insurance policy out as GPs are duty bound to report anything and everything that they know about you as an indiviudal, even if it is detrimental to you, patient confidentiality does not exist any more. I appreciate that GPs are duty bound in their obligations but as a consequence of this being too frank and honest with them can 'bite you' whilst not receiving any worthwhile positives from the conversation.

I read somewhere elase on this forum that someone was refused their licence for an admisssion of chronic drinking 30 months ago. Therefore, is it possible that DVLA will penalise me for being an acknowledged heavy drinker 2 years ago ?
 

Sillytoo

Active member
#7
StuPidIdiot - I know it hardly seems fair, especially having forked out for the rehab course to reduce the wait! :( My problem is that I don't have a car as I wrote mine off during the accident (nobody got hurt thank god) and plan to get one from a dealer on return of the licence so getting a cover note would be pointless. I'm not forking any money on a cheapo second hand car just to be told that I failed the medical either...

My letter from DVLA inviting me to re-apply for the licence was marked HR03 and not HR01 or HR02 so I must be in one of the highest offender brackets. No wonder cos I was VERY very drunk and had 261 ml of alcohol in my blood when tested (they didn't test me at the scene for some reason and the breathalizing machine at the police station wasn't working). So I suppose I'm taking it humbly and just acceptng it as additional punishment. I'm just truly relieved it's hopefully nearly over and that I hadn't hurt anybody or myself.

I would say 13 days before the end of the ban for a medical is cutting it a bit finely because it takes about a week alone for the blood results to come back to the practice and only then will they forward their report to DVLA.

Daracam - this is definitely what I was told over the phone i.e. that they now write to all high risk offenders' doctors. Shame DVLA didn't deem it suitable to inform us i.e. people concered but I guess beggars can't be choosers... The letter mentions dependency over the past year, so perhaps you'll be fine.

Why don't you give DVLA a bell? The number to call is 0300 790 6806. At least you could ask them for a cover note if that's what you want to do...? :)

I have to say it all seems to be a bit of a lottery anyway from what I can see on this forum. I can only report what is happening to me. It is not to say that somebody with similar circs would even get the same sentence. It all depends on the magistrates on the day etc. The decision makers are only human too and have different approaches...
 

gutted

Well-known member
#8
I have to say, reading through the posts on this forum I also thought it was a bit of a lottery and I was really worried. However, having been through the process and also having done some research into how the results of the blood tests are interpreted, I can confidently say that it's not, and that I worried for nothing.

Remember that forums are crammed with people who are full of ****: 'I only have a small glass of wine once a week, and I gave up drinking for 2 months before the test and I still failed!'. These people are lying to themselves. It's all bollocks.
 

Sillytoo

Active member
#9
Hi Gutted - what's your experience then, have you had your licence back yet? You've probably posted somewhere else, but perhaps you could share it in this thread?

I hear what you're saying about what some people write. Which is why I thought: I'm no going to change my habits, because if there really is damage to my liver, they'll find out anyway. Stopped drinking for a little bit before the medical and decided to see what happens. It's not as if go on benders every weekend and I hardly ever drink during the week at all becaue I'm just too busy at work and home etc. "That" night was really exceptional and I should have never got behind the wheel. Simple as that and no excuses.

Anyway...still nothing in the post today...I'm secretly hoping that it won't be 3-4 weeks...well it's more like 2-3 weeks now...:rolleyes:
 

gutted

Well-known member
#10
I was banned for 12 months from July 4th 2009. I did the DD course and got my license back on 4th April. As I blew 104 I was a HRO. I usually have a bottle of wine of a Friday and Saturday night in addition to occasional benders such as stag do's, birthdays and christmas etc. I stayed off the beer for 2 weeks before the medical which I had a few days before my license was due back. As soon as I had, had the test I rang the DVLA and they said it would take a few weeks to get the results of the test, but that they would send me a cover note which made it legal for me drive from 4th April. That arrived on the 3rd April. A few weeks later my license came through the post.
 
#11
Gutted, Well that sounds OK. Sincerely hope things run as smoothly for me ! I would say that you were incredibly lucky to get 'only' 12 months for blowing 104. I blew 91 and got 24 months and 80 hours community service, which by all accounts, given legal guidelines, was entirely fair. Good luck to you though. Like most people on here, I am sincerely sorry for my actions but taking positives from it, I am fitter (thanks to much cycling through necessity) healthier, drink appreciably less than I did, and whilst it is all a hard lesson to learn, it is very much a lesson worth learning.
 

gutted

Well-known member
#12
Not luck - forward planning. You've just got to know the right things to say to the magistrate. I didn't even use a solicitor. I got a conditional discharge in lieu of a fine/community service, and the minimum ban.
 
#13
I was banned for 12 months from July 4th 2009. I did the DD course and got my license back on 4th April. As I blew 104 I was a HRO. I usually have a bottle of wine of a Friday and Saturday night in addition to occasional benders such as stag do's, birthdays and christmas etc. I stayed off the beer for 2 weeks before the medical which I had a few days before my license was due back. As soon as I had, had the test I rang the DVLA and they said it would take a few weeks to get the results of the test, but that they would send me a cover note which made it legal for me drive from 4th April. That arrived on the 3rd April. A few weeks later my license came through the post.
Gutted - How long before 4th April did you take the Medical and contact the DVLA to ask for a cover note? I have mine 13 days before my ban end date and need to ensure I'm legal to drive on the first available date.

Thanks
 

Sillytoo

Active member
#14
It is a bit of luck though in that who you appear in front of in court. At my first court appearance I used the duty solicitor (I do recommend this as it's free and takes a bit of pressure off you if you're not used to being in this sort of situations!) and appeared in front of three magistrates (mature ladies shall I say...) who wouldn't sentence me! :confused: They asked for further reports: one from a probation officer and another from an alcohol worker. So a week later I had appointments with both people scheduled in the morning and the hearing in the afternoon. Armed with 2 character references (one from my employer and one from a charity I'm heavily involved with) I represented myself this time as the duty solicitor was really pleasant and honest enough to advise me how to present the case and not to waste my money on hiring him privately. :)

This time there was just one female judge and she really rushed through everything, but I had a feeling she was already briefed about my case. You know, you kind of get the feeling... The usher was extremely nice to me too and they swapped the court I was going to appear in at the very last minute. The whole thing took probably 5 minutes max this time and she gave me .... a 2 months curfew, 20 months ban (reduced to 15 after rehab course) and £40 fine. That was it! No community service which I was dreading and which was specifically recommended by the probation officer. He recommended a medium length one as well! Instead I got the curfew and they told me I'd be tagged. Was I ever tagged? No!!! Nobody checked my movements once, nobody ever phoned or knocked at the door and nobody ever contacted me to be tagged. Which is just as well as this was late spring and it wouldn't be exactly easy to disguise, although I usually wear trousers anyway! ;)

I observed the curfew anyway between 7pm and 7am for 2 months which wasn't too much hardship anyhow as I hardly go out on a weekday and get home from work about 6.30-7pm. I just had to make sure it wasn't any later than 7pm. Weekends I was free to do whatever I liked during the day and if we wanted to see people, they came to ours instead of us going out. :D

I do think it was a bit lucky, which is why I'm not rocking the boat about the DVLA delay now. I'll be just mega pissed off if they refuse the licence. :rolleyes:
 

gutted

Well-known member
#15
Stupid Idiot, as long as you have at least BOOKED the test, you can legally drive with a cover note from the DVLA the moment your ban ends. So even if the test was booked fot 13 days AFTER you'd still be able to drive. If your medical is 13 days before your ban is up the odds are you probably won't get your actual license back by the time your ban ends. However you should ring the DVLA the minute you get out of the medical, inform them that you have had it and instruct them to send you a cover note - that way it will arrive before your ban is due to end.
 

gutted

Well-known member
#16
Sillytoo if you are a HRO then it's normal for the magistrate to adjourn for probation reports to be made. I had my meeting with the probation officer a week after my first hearing and then my sentencing the day after that. In fact, as I've posted on here a couple of times it's what you say to the probation officer, rather than the magistrate, that has the biggest effect on your sentence. Magistrates really don't take a blind bit of notice to your mitigation - but the probation officer does ... i.e. if the probation officer recommends a 12 month ban and a conditional discharge it would take a brave magistrate to give you a 24 month ban and a community order.
 

Sillytoo

Active member
#17
Gutted - I fully appreciate what you're saying but I thought it was unusual for the magistrate to go against the recommendations of the probation officer and give me, what I considered to be, a much more lenient sentence. 2 months curfew or 180 hrs community work...errr, I'd rather stay at home and watch telly than spend my Saturdays working in a charity shop! ;)
 
#18
Gutted - As you seem pretty well 'in the know' so to speak do you think I could get away with rearranging my medical until after my ban is over even I have booked it for 13 days beforehand and still get a cover note license meaning I could drive to my medical as the DVLA being a lovely bunch have told me to go to surgery in a different county!
 

Sillytoo

Active member
#20
Seeing all your posts about the cover note I got the taste for it and phoned DVLA today to get one! Even though don't have a car to drive, I'm just curious what it looks like! Who knows, it might arrive alongside the licence...:) It's going to be 4 weeks on Wednesday since my ban had ended... Why can't they issue those cover notes automatically? No, sorry - silly me - that would be too logical I suppose...:p

The DVLA guy didn't have a clue to be honest. He asked me whether I contacted my GP! I said...eeer, no...you have and why would I need to contact my GP? As far as I know I don't have an alcohol problem and was never treated for anything like that, so can't see why you're asking. Anyway, after putting me on hold a couple of times and reading me some sort of procedure word by word, he eventually said he'd send the cover note immediately...Oh dear! :D

By the way he also told me that they are NOW dealing with the cases from the 14th of June, so haven't caught up on the backlog by the look of it...They're still 2 months behind. Told him they needed to employ more staff and he laughed. Not funny at all... Well, I'm not amused... :rolleyes:
 
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