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Do I need a practical driving assessment?

A driving assessment can confirm your practical driving ability and may be useful if DVLA are making medical inquiries. If you need adapted vehicle controls it can identify the most suitable adaptation and would allow you to try alternative controls.

The aim of an assessment is to check physical and cognitive ability to drive a vehicle in safety and comfort and to offer advice on aids and adaptations that may assist driving.

If your doctor has any doubts about your practical ability to drive safely he may suggest a referral for an assessment to confirm your ability. If you or your family have any concerns about your driving ability you can self refer to your local “Driving Mobility” assessment centre. If you need to use a new method of control to drive or if you think you may need adapted controls, again you can self refer or if you are a Motability customer (or intend to become one) you could contact Motability (0300 456 4566) and ask to be referred for a driving assessment.

It is your responsibility as a driving licence holder to notify DVLA if you develop a ‘notifiable’ medical condition  or disability (anything that could affect your ability to drive safely) or if a condition or disability has got worse since you got your licence. See the previous page “Does DVLA need to be notified” for details.

Following notification DVLA may refer you for a Driving Mobility Assessment as part of their medical enquiries once the questionnaire has been completed; a self referral would though result in the assessment taking place more quickly and the assessment report could then be sent to DVLA to aid their medical enquiries and speed up the process.

There is normally a charge for a driving assessment, contact your local centre for details; Motability and DVLA referrals are currently free of charge and often an NHS referral from your doctor will be at a reduced charge or may even be free of charge.

You must have current driving entitlement to undertake an in-car assessment, a non driving assessment can be undertaken for non-licence holders to establish potential for returning to driving  and a limited in-car assessment may be possible at centres with off road facilities. If your licence has expired or if you voluntarily surrendered it to DVLA you may still have entitlement to drive under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, so long as you have submitted a valid application to DVLA to renew your licence and your doctor has confirmed your medical fitness to drive, this will allow you to undertake a full on-road Driving Mobility Assessment. If your driving licence has been revoked by DVLA you would not be eligible for Section 88 and would need to apply to DVLA for your licence to be reinstated; they may consider issuing a temporary licence, referred to as a Provisional Disability Assessment Licence (PDAL), to allow you to complete a Driving Mobility Assessment, DVLA would need to refer you for this type of assessment.

The Assessment Centre Team will consider all aspects of driving including medical fitness, vision, awareness, reactions and decision-making as well as physical ability to operate the controls.

Assessment Centre staff are very experienced in putting clients at their ease and do their utmost to be supportive to individual drivers to help them retain or increase their independent mobility wherever possible. Following the assessment all clients receive verbal advice as well as a written report.

Updated 21.02.2022

Attending for an assessment isn’t like taking a driving test! The Assessment Centre staff are there to help and support you.