6 October 2022

DVLA withdraws extended list of notifiable eye conditions

The College of Optometrists recently became aware of an updated list of notifiable ocular conditions that drivers must declare to the DVLA.

Unfortunately, the extended list contained several technical errors and included common ocular signs and conditions, which would have resulted in many drivers with otherwise normal eye health and good levels of vision making DVLA declarations. The burden on drivers, optometrists and the DVLA would have been significant. Responding to the update, the College immediately wrote to the Chair of the DVLA medical committee to raise our concerns and urge the DVLA to withdraw the guidance. Read the letter from the College to the Chair of the medical panel.

Within hours of receiving the letter from the College’s clinical adviser, along with correspondence from other stakeholders, the DVLA have confirmed that it has withdrawn the updated list. 

The College would like to thank all the members who alerted us to the confusing gov.uk update, and we are pleased that the DVLA and .gov.uk departments responded to the College’s authoritative letter as a matter of urgency. This update could have resulted in considerable harm and confusion, so we are pleased our intervention helped result in a timely resolution. We continue to offer optometric expertise and support to the DVLA to ensure its guidance is clear and that it is correctly communicated to all healthcare professionals. 

More on driving

Read more about examining patients who drive in our Guidance for Professional Practice

Related further reading

This in-person peer review in Belfast is free of charge for College members and will cover your peer review CPD requirement, offering 3 CPD points.

A report on a survey carried out by the College and funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) indicates that optometrists have an important role to play in educating and informing older patients about their fitness to drive.

In the second part of our series looking at the impact of ageing, Léa Suruge asks how to support older patients whose quality of life has been affected by age-related eye disease, and reviews the treatments available.