Brain tumours

A place for people affected by brain tumours or brain cancer to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Delay in re issue of driving licence

Smilingmoose
Posted by

Hi,

Has anyone has issues with DVLA in getting their licence back?  Is there anyway you can speed DVLA up?  I reapplied two months ago, and with a second phone call to DVLA this morning, they say it is still in the managers pile, where is has been for the last month, so it's not even gone back to my consultant.  

I had a successful craniotomy to remove a grade 2 meningioma in December 2017, then 6 weeks of radiotherapy, so it is coming up for 18 months since I've been allowed to drive.  And without ever having any seizures at all, I'm feeling very frustrated. 

TracyP
Posted by

Hi Smilingmoose

Regrettably yes, to getting the license back, and no, I couldn't get them moving any faster.

I surrendered my license, rather than waiting for them to remove it, after a craniotomy. I did have some seizures post surgery so had to wait 12 months to be seizure free before reapplying. They contacted my gp, and got his reply. They then contacted my neurosurgeon and got his reply. Then came back to me about one box I'd ticked on the application. Had I made a mistake? If do please confirm, if not fill in another, different form. I filled this is (it related to a visual deficit I have as a result of surgery). I then had to go for vision tests. These were sent to DVLA. I did make an official complaint  about the delays and the slow drip, drip of their requests. I asked for them to ask for all enquiries to be to done simultaneously, rather than one at a time. I got a bullshit reply, ignoring the request to seek all the info at once and got some waffle about must make sure that I'm safe etc. 

I got home from having my second craniotomy, 2 years and 8 months after my first op, to find the license on the door mat. Of course that is another immediate loss of license. I also lost my grandfather rights so the license that was returned was significantly lower than my previously surrendered one ( I was told that by voluntarily giving it up I kept the grandfathering rights). I've now given up with DVLA.

I would suggest that you put your chase in writing, asking them to update you on progress within the next 14 days and saying if you have not heard from them you will contact the Minister of State for Transport (and  maybe the head of the DVLA?). If you follow this route make sure that your issue not that you have not got your license but that the DVLA have not even started the process to determine if you can have it. These are the only things I think may get some movement. 

Sorry to be so pessimistic but DVLA do seem to be a law unto themselves. There are lots of obligations on us, as drivers, but seemingly none on them as service providers. I regret that the only way to deal with the bureaucracy is to use more senior bureaucracy.

When I fist joined the forum I read old posts and this issue is one that was raised years ago, and still seems to be a problem that is ongoing.

It may be that someone else can let you know how they managed to get the DVLA to move more swiftly.

Good luck

Smilingmoose
Posted by

Hi Tracy,

Thank you for replying, and I think I was being optimistic thinking that there would be a 'quick fix', but you've confirmed all the stories I've heard!  Thank you also for your advice. 

I hope you are all well after your second craniotomy.

TracyP
Posted by

Hi Smilingmoose

We live in a rural area so the loss of the driving license was a big blow - public transport is non-existent. I tired to remind myself that things could be worse. Given the diagnosis most of us on this site share, I take the view that things can be a lot worse. After all, I was well enough to be arguing with DVLA, even if I was not driving. 

My second craniotomy was in July 2017 for a recurrence. It was a debulking so the critter is still there. I'll find out later this month if the latest MRI shows if its still behaving. 

In the meantime, I enjoy life as I can. I hope you're able to do the same, despite the lack of co-operation from DVLA. I hope you have success in getting the license back soon- (sorry for sounding the note of pessimism in my previous message - your post just brought back so many of my frustrations).

Best wishes

T

Smilingmoose
Posted by

Hi Tracy,

We too live in a rural area, and whilst my husband and friends have been brilliant with lifts etc, it still feels like my independence has been taken away.  When I retired, I signed up for as volunteer for hospital transport, for those in these rural areas who couldn't get to their hospital or doctors appointments!  I also volunteered for the Royal Voluntary Service doing home library visits - it's this sort of thing that I miss and can't do without driving! 

But as you say,  and I quite agree with you, we are the lucky ones in that we can still walk, talk and enjoy life, with, hopefully a better outlook, so many do not have that luxury, and sometimes that makes me feel guilty.

I do hope when you have your MRI later this month that it is positive.

Thank you again,

Best wishes

TracyP
Posted by

Hi Smilingmoose

I understand the lack of independence. When I was first diagnosed we lived on a smallholding at the end of a road to nowhere. Very isolated, 7 miles to the nearest shop. I lost my license for 6 months after the initial seizure but despite being in hospital for 11 days they failed to diagnose the tumour. It was picked up months later. I got the license back but had to surrender it again when I had the first surgery. We also had to sell the smallholding as it could be completely cut off in winter. We now live in a village where there is a bus service twice a day to the local town. You get an hour there then have to get the bus back again. But, like you, I have a very kind husband who has taken on the role of unpaid taxi driver. 

I can see that given your voluntary activities its not just your own convenience and independence you've lost, but also a chunk of your social life and ability to help others. That must be very frustrating. Probably more so in that you've not had any seizures and are healthwise doing well. I'm sorry I let my own anger at DVLA spill over into my reply to you. 

A while back I did a mindfulness course that was specially tailored for those with life threatening conditions. Most of the people on it had a cancer of once kind or another but a couple had MS. It brought it home to me that though I have lost some aspects of my former life and lifestyle, I would still take the low grade tumour over many other conditions. Yes, some days are rubbish but many are not. While they are not, we try and make the most of them. 

 I hope this message finds you well (its all comparative, I know, but we live to a new set of standards), and once again sorry for my negativity regarding the DVLA.

Regards

Tracy