During the COVID pandemic many drivers’ licences have expired. The DVLA initially gave extensions so that drivers could continue to drive and work. For many drivers however, this extension is coming to an end.
Some drivers are now being told by the DVLA to ask their GP if they are “fit to drive” so that they can continue to drive under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988). The DVLA has produced a leaflet which explains RTA 1988.
GPs are not usually qualified, and may not be indemnified, to advise patients whether or not they are fit to drive. In normal circumstances our practice may provide a factual report for the DVLA so that their expert medical advisers will decide upon fitness. If a GP were to provide an opinion that their patient was ‘fit to drive’, and then an accident were to occur, the GP may be liable. This would not be covered by the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice, as this is not NHS work.
If a GP were to say that a patient was not fit, then that could equally potentially adversely affect the long term doctor-patient relationship.
For these reasons, we cannot offer this service or provide such assurances if requested by patients.