A slight paraphrase on “Driving In My Car” by Madness, 1982.
Before anyone reminds me: Yes I know the following is the result of my own stupidity, my own fault. I am not trying to excuse that. This is just a rant at the DVLA’s DMG (Drivers Medical Group).
Right, rant time. I am getting really pissed off with the DVLA. Three years ago I lost my license on a charge of “Being in charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink“. Fair do’s, I received a three year ban and other punishments. This was in February 2008. I have “done my time” and accepted my punishment with good grace. In December 2010 I received the standard letter stating that I could now reapply for my license, but I would need to undergo a medical by a DVLA approved doctor. No problem. I borrowed the requisite £90 application fee and the £96 doctors fee from my mother and sent the £90 with the application form to the DVLA on Feb 22nd 2011 (which is when my ban ended). I then received, on 12th March, a letter dated 8th March 2011 giving me the name and address of the doctor I needed to see for the medical. I phoned the surgery and was told the next available appointment was on 7th April 2011, fine, no problem.
Before the medical I had to see my own doctor and had to have a blood test for liver function etc. This, surprisingly, showed everything within normal parameters, considering how much I used to drink. Even my own doctor was surprised, considering the alcohol levels and liver readings on previous blood tests. So I was hopeful for the DVLA one.
I attended the medical, paid my £96 and the doctor was quite thorough and business-like. The letter I received from DVLA stated that they should received the results within 14 days and make a decision within 4 weeks. Using these maximum parameters, the latest I should have received a decision and/or license would have been 19th May. On 9th May I received a letter (dated 3rd May), with a photocopy of the doctor’s form, asking for the full name, address and phone/fax numbers of my GP! The examining doctor had only put my GP’s name on the form, not the address and number I gave her! Fuming, I wrote back to the DVLA with the required details in a big, bold font so they wouldn’t miss it and posted it the same day (9th May).
On the 16th May, I received a letter, dated 11th May, stating that they had received the results from the medical exam and would now need to write to my GP for further information:
|To allow us to progress your application further we have now written to your GP for further information. We usually expect a reply within four weeks. When we receive their reply our medical adviser will then consider your fitness to drive. This may take some time but as soon as a decision has been made we will let you know.
How very vague.
Unfortunately, prior to this letter I had changed my name at the GP surgery and on the NHS list, so I had spoken to my GP and told him to expect a letter from the DVLA in Marks name, and could he reply accordingly.
I have since emailed the DVLA several times to request an update but so far have had no reply. I am not bothering to phone them as last time I did that I used a full £10 in credit while on hold.
In 1997, I was convicted of the same thing. At the end of my ban (3 months) I had to send off my application form with the required fee. There was no medical required (despite the exceptionally high reading), and I received my license back within two weeks!
According to my calculations the four week response time is over and I am now into the very vague “considering fitness to drive” period.
There is a message here: DON’T GO ANYWHERE NEAR A CAR IF YOU HAVE BEEN DRINKING
Here endeth the lesson.