We are informed that, due to COVID, the DVLA has a backlog of applications for licence renewal. Initially drivers were given extensions by the DVLA, but these are now due to expire.
We are aware that 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. 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.
Therefore, we hope you will understand why our GPs are not in a position to provide these ‘fitness to drive’ letters.