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Does DVLA need to be notified about specific learning difficulties?

Advice regarding this is somewhat complex and it is best to discuss driving with your GP before applying for a licence or when the condition is diagnosed if this occurs at a later stage after the licence has been issued.

Under the title “learning difficulty/disability” there are varying categories:

  • “Learning Difficulty” is not included and it is clearly stated that dyslexia and dyscalculia are no bar to ordinary Group 1 licences being awarded following a successful driving test; DVLA do not need to be informed.
  • “Mild Learning Disability” is included and DVLA state that candidates may be able to drive but notification must be made. Licensing will be granted provided there are no other relevant problems. DVLA may require an assessment of adequate functional ability at the wheel.
  • For “Severe Learning Disability” DVLA state that candidates must not drive and notification must be made; licencing is likely to be refused.
  • For “Pervasive Developmental Disorders” such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Asperger’s syndrome and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), DVLA have recently changed their advice and now state that those with these conditions “May be able to drive but must notify DVLA if the condition affects the ability to drive safely”.

When applying for a first provisional licence you will not have had the opportunity to drive on the public road so have no way of knowing whether the condition will affect your ability to drive safely. Your GP will be able to confirm the classification of any specific learning difficulty/disability and advise if notification to DVLA is required; the GP will only be able to advise on medical fitness to drive and cannot determine practical driving ability, referral for a formal Driving Mobility Assessment may be required to confirm this. You will need a provisional driving licence to complete the practical driving assessment, ask the GP for a letter confirming medical fitness to drive to attach to the licence application form.

If the medical condition does not match any of the conditions listed in “Your Health” (section 4) of the D1 licence application form you are advised to give details of the medical condition in a covering letter (or provide the GP letter above) and attach this to the D1 application form. For further advice ring DVLA Medical Unit on 0300 790 6806.

For those who have already passed a practical driving test, the fact that you have passed will have proved that the condition does not affect your driving ability so no notification is needed.

Updated May 2019