COVID-19: Driver medical relaxation

Posted 20/04/2020 : By: Tim Ridyard

The long-awaited relaxation to the rules relating to driver medicals was made on 17 April 2020. This temporary waiver will come as a great relief to those vocational drivers unable to renew their licence through being unable to obtain a medical report due to the current COVID-19 problems.

The Department of Transport states that this will keep 30,000 vocational bus and lorry drivers on the road each month.

Normally a medical report is required on a driver’s 45th birthday or at the first licence renewal thereafter. This is a D4 Medical Report.

The current COVID-19 health crisis has prevented medicals and medical reports being prepared in the usual way.

So, if a driver is not able to provide a D4 Medical Report the DVLA will now issue a temporary one year (12 months) licence if the following conditions are met:

  1. the waiver only applies to drivers whose licences are due to expire or have expired since 1 January 2020; and
  2. the driver must declare they are fit to drive when they apply for the one year licence and, like any other driver, must not drive if unfit and report any medical condition to DVLA in the usual way.

The law

There is no change in the law to carry this out. The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licence) Regulations 1999 allow the Secretary of State in relation to Group 2 licences (Category C and Category D licences) to require lorry or bus licence applicants to supply a medical report. To effect this new waiver the Secretary of State has simply suspended its requirement temporarily.

The licence renewal applications for those aged 65 or over are unaffected because those licences are only valid for one year anyway.

Further information

We will continue to update you about developments as they arise.

Please contact Tim Ridyard on 07484 924834 or email tim.ridyard@ashtonslegal.co.uk for individual advice for your business.

Alternatively, if you or your business require advice or need assistance for any road transport matters, please get in touch with our specialist Road Transport team through this website or by calling 0330 404 0778.

This information is correct at 10.00am on 20 April 2020.

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