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My experience and timescale as HRO


Active member
I have today received conformation that my license is to be returned, but wanted to post my story on here as support for others going through the ordeal of being banned and trying to get their license back after dq.

I was banned for 40 months in May 2014, for a second offence in 10 years, and a reading of over 120.

In April 2018 (7 months after the ban finished) I applied for my licence to be returned. To cut a long story short I was in a new job, and had been sober for 6 months, and thought it was a mere formality. My cdt reading was 0.7%. However, I was refused a licence because I had been to see my GP the previous year with depression and was signed off work. I told him the amounts I was drinking, and it was all linked to my depression. I guess at the peak I was drinking 8-10 pints a day. He declared this on his questionnaire that he was sent, and I was told by the DVLA that I had to go 12 months sober before I could get my license back. They classed me as alcohol dependant. Although would never give me a definition whenever I asked. This all came off the back of 6 months complete sobriety, a new job, a new home etc...... so I certainly would think twice about speaking too much to a GP if you are suffering from mental illness and use alcohol to cope. In my experience they offered very little help, it just made things worse.

In Sept 18 I applied again, as this was 1 year of sobriety, or would be when the medical came round. However, owing to various mistakes, delays and incompetence, I was eventually sent for medical in March 2019! I had been drinking again, socially, at Christmas, and before my last medical I only had 23 days of sobriety. So to anyone thinking they may fail the medical due to drinking recently, and reading you need 3 months sobriety, I have passed on 23 days. I certainly wouldn't advocate that, and it's not as if I was drinking daily, but had 3-4 days of drinking on a holiday prior to the 23 days, so I was certainly concerned.

As I say, license returned today. Its only for 1 year, but that is what I was expecting. I can now get a promotion, and company vehicle. It feels really good, and has been such a long journey. My experience is that there are many delays, DVLA and GP delaying the process with their long timescales, and I would say the process of getting your license back is as bad and stressful as the ban itself!

I will talk more about the medical and cdt testing another time. But hope my information, timescales and overall experiences can help some people on here.


Well-known member
Well done getting your licence back
However harsh it might seem the DVLA are not trying to punish folks with abstinence time frames! I know from experience I was asked for 3 years proven sobriety it's there for a reason they must find a way to weed out alcoholics whom balatantly do not seek help


Well-known member
The DVLA ask for three years of history, but the relevant time periods for alcohol are

1 year of sobriety if you are dependent on alcohol.
Six months of controlled drinking if you are misusing alcohol.

It's why, perhaps counter-intuitively, if you think you might be facing a medical it is worth going to your GP at least 1 year/six months before and asking for it to be specifically recorded on your file that you have stopped drinking, or the number of units a week you are drinking. Don't rely on the GP assuming that because you haven't attended for an alcohol-related problem that you have stopped/cut down drinking. Medical professionals absolutely love having things documented.

If you need to know whether you are seen as alcohol dependent or misusing alcohol, either ask your GP, request your medical record or check the definitions by Googling DSM or ICD.


Well-known member
Good advice from tipsy Nurse regarding Doctor and 1 year timescale proven,
Just clarifying if your PCV or HGV it will be 3 years of not only abstinence but proven via GP recorded signed