DVLA in U-turn over medical declarations

Agency reverses change to website requiring all autistic drivers to declare their condition

The DVLA has today issued a statement confirming that autistic drivers are only obliged to complete a medical declaration if their condition affects their driving. Twitter users had noticed that the agency’s website had been updated to require drivers to declare autism and ADHD in all cases, a change from the previous wording which requested disclosure only if a person’s ability to drive a vehicle was affected. The updated policy, which had not been announced, warned that drivers failing to disclose the conditions risked a fine of £1,000.

Following several days of discussion on social media and representations from the National Autistic Society, the DVLA released the following statement on their Twitter account:

The changed wording, now restored to the original version

“In our attempt to clarify the advice for drivers with autism spectrum disorders we’ve clearly muddied the waters and we’re very sorry for that. We have amended the advice on http://gov.uk for both drivers and medical professionals which make it clear that a driver who has an autism spectrum disorder only need tell us if their condition could affect their driving.”

An A-Z list of medical conditions which may affect driving can be found on the DVLA website. The wording for autism spectrum disorders and ADHD has now been returned to its original form, advising drivers to tell the DVLA if the conditions “affect your ability to drive safely”.

Driving licence holders seeking further clarification on disclosure of medical conditions are advised to contact the DVLA for advice. ∎