FAQ

What is Section 88?

Section 88 refers to a part of the Road Traffic Act that may allow you to continue driving even if you do not physically have your driving licence.

There is a provision in the law, under section 88 that MAY allow you to drive while the DVLA process your application.

You must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be confident that your application will not be refused due to any medical condition you declared.
  • You must have held a valid driving licence and only drive vehicles you are qualified to drive.
  • You must meet any conditions specified on your previous licence
  • You must have sent your fully completed application (re-application) to DVLA in the last 12 months
  • Your licence has not been refused or revoked
  • You are not disqualified from holding a licence by a court

If you fulfil these points you can drive again even though your licence has not been returned to you.

DVLA cannot tell you if this section of the law applies to you.

For more information read the government leaflet on Section 88

How do I get my licence back?

Once your advised period of voluntary surrender has elapsed you will be able to re-apply again and have your licence returned to you.  

You can find information on this process on the government website and a link to download the relevant form.

Once you have mailed this you will receive a letter from DVLA stating that they have written to your consultant with an expected 6-week turnaround.  You do not need to do anything further other than call them back on several occasions as this part of the process takes a long time!

The DVLA will send your cardiologist forms to get more information about your cardiac status.  Your cardiologist will need to sign these forms to say they should issue you with a licence. This all takes time, and it’s a good idea to chase your cardiologist to make sure you’re not forgotten.

It’s also worth starting the process a good 8 weeks before the date your period of driving restriction ends.

If your licence was revoked, as opposed to voluntarily surrendered, you may find that the process to get your licence back longer and more arduous.

Why was my licence revoked?

In the SCA UK Facebook Group we are seeing an increasing number of members who get their licence revoked when they voluntarily surrender it.

At this time it is not clear why this happens as we have seen members with apparently similar circumstances have different outcomes.

The DVLA can revoke your licence on medical grounds and it may be the differences in the details that they make their decision but for now, it is a bit of a mystery.

Our only advice would be to not use the online form but as soon as possible fill in the paper forms and send in your licence stating that you are voluntarily surrendering your licence. This is because anecdotal evidence from the group indicates that if you use the online form it appears you’re more likely to get your licence revoked.

Remember if your license is revoked you cannot use Section 88 rules to drive until your license is reinstated.

When does my period of suspension start from?

The date of your suspension will usually start from the date that you have any remedial work or get a formal diagnosis of a condition, not necessarily the date of your cardiac arrest.

For example, if you have a cardiac arrest and 2 weeks later get an ICD implant, then the suspension will start from the date of the implant, not the arrest.

If you have a heart attack as the cause of your cardiac arrest, the problem is often looked at and dealt within a short time frame (same day) so the suspension will start from that day.

How long will I have to stop driving for?

It will largely depend on your individual circumstances and medical conditions but common suspension periods are as follows:

If you had a heart attack as the cause of your cardiac arrest and it was remedied with medications and/or stents then the suspension period is 1 month.

If you had to have an ICD fitted then the suspension period will be 6 months from the date of the implant. If you have any shocks further suspensions will apply and the length will vary depending on a number of factors. See “Can I drive if I get a shock from my ICD” for more information.

You may also have to temporarily stop driving if your anti-arrhythmic medications are changed, typically for 1 month.

If your driving licence was revoked you’ll have to wait until all medical enquiries are complete. You will also need to have your driving licence back before you can start driving again.

You can check the DVLA information for medical professionals regarding assessing fitness to drive here, and this shows the rules regarding whether you can drive or not and if not, for how long.