Do you think you need a short-term medical driving licence? Let's find out more about it.

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What is a short-term medical driving licence?

Many citizens of the UK are eligible for a medical driving licence, but few know what it does. Developing certain medical conditions will require the driver to get a short-term driving licence. Drivers should report to Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency for their medical conditions to be assessed. The DVLA will then decide if you meet the medical requirements or standards to drive. They may advise you for future medical checkups and allow using the regular driving licence, revoke the current licence or issue you with a short-term medical licence. Disabilities that affect people when they have already been issued a regular driving licence will also necessitate you to consult DVLA on what best options you have to continue driving.

What is a short-term medical driving licence?

Short-term medical driving licenses are licenses issued by the UK's Drivers Vehicle and Licensing Agency when a driver has developed a medical condition or disability. The licenses are issued and stay valid for a period ranging from 1, 2, 3 or 5 years to expire. The licence can also be applied by learner drivers who have certain medical conditions. When a driver informs DVLA of a certain medical condition, it will give them a medical questionnaire to provide certain details. The DVLA may also decide to get you examined by a certain medical officer and various experts on your condition. The DVLA may also contact your medical doctor for further information and examination. The DVLA can also decide to retest on a driving assessment, driving tests or if you have eyesight problems.

A medical test or examination and various inquiries about your condition will take various periods depending on the condition you are suffering. It might take longer due to sourcing more information from your doctor or further medical examinations. It will also depend on whether you are currently driving or a learner driver. After your medical condition is assessed, various decisions can be reached by the driver vehicle and licence agency, (DVLA of the UK). The decisions include:

  • Retaining your licence, the DVLA may decide to let you keep your driving licence if your medical condition poses no danger to yourself and other road users.
  • If your licence is revoked, the licensing agency may revoke your current licence and turn down your application for a short-term driving licence if your condition cannot allow you to drive or is of high risk to you and other road users.
  • Special controls licence, the licensing agency can also decide to give you a licence indicating that your vehicle is installed with special controls to aid your driving due to a medical condition.
  • Short-term medical licence: The licensing agency can assign you a short-term medical driving licence for a certain period depending on how your condition may change in the future or future reexamination of your medical condition.

Can my medical driving license be extended?

Medical driving licenses can be extended or renewed depending on the validity period. The DVLA usually sends an extension or renewal alert to drivers 90 days into the period of expiry. Your medical licence can be extended or renewed after a medical review has been done on the current status of your medical condition. After reexamination, DVLA may decide to extend your medical licence, issue a new licence or revoke your medical licence if your condition can no longer allow you to drive safely and pose a risk to other road users. 


Many current drivers and learner drivers in the UK can obtain medical driving licenses. If drivers develop a certain medical condition, they can contact DVLA to get medical examinations and be advised accordingly. They will be given a short-term medical licence, retain the current licence, or be issued with a special licence that requires them to have special controls fitted on their cars or their licenses revoked if they cannot meet the medical requirements to drive safely. Medical licenses can be extended by DVLA when their validity dates expire.

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