Thousands of people with diabetes could avoid lengthy delays and disruptions when reapplying for their licence under proposals announced today to extend the licensing period for people with the condition.
The Driving Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has put forward proposals to extend the licensing period for people who treat their diabetes with insulin to up to 10 years. Currently, people who have Group 1 Licences (cars and motorbikes) have to reapply at least every three years. It is hoped the proposals will form part of the Government’s Deregulation Bill, which is expected to get Royal Assent by the autumn and the changes could be introduced as early as next year.
Diabetes UK has welcomed the proposal as the current system is unfair and puts an unnecessary burden on both people with diabetes and the system.
The charity is often contacted by people with diabetes who are experiencing lengthy delays, which can cause anxiety and uncertainty about whether they will lose their licence and possibly their livelihood. It is hoped that the changes will improve the DVLA’s communications with people with diabetes and help to reduce delays.
"The DVLA has listened to our concerns"
Robin Hewings, Head of Policy for Diabetes UK, said: “The announcement by the DVLA that it is seeking to extend the licence period for people who treat their diabetes with insulin will be welcomed by the thousands of people with the condition who currently have to reapply for their driving licence at least every three years.
“We are delighted to see this as we know that many people with diabetes find the current system unfair and intrusive and that delays are causing real distress and anxiety and in the very worst cases their jobs are at risk so we are pleased that the DVLA has listened to our concerns.
“We will continue to work with the DLVA on the implementation of these proposals so that people with diabetes get a fairer deal when it comes to driving.”
The DVLA is consulting with diabetes stakeholders on its proposals. We will be seeking the views of its members and supporters to inform its response to the consultation.
People with diabetes have to notify the DVLA if they develop impaired awareness of hypos (where you are unable to recognise the hypo when it starts), if they have more than one severe hypo in a 12-month period and if they have any changes or complications to their condition that affect their ability to drive safely.