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Appealing against decisions made by the driving agency

These pages are about driving laws in the UK. If you are looking for information about driving laws in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation.

If you disagree with the driving agency’s decision to revoke or refuse your licence, you can write to them to ask them to reconsider. You must be able to provide relevant information that was not included in the original assessment. With your letter, you must also include:

  • Evidence that you meet the required standards for driving (for example, a letter from your GP or neurologist)
  • The reference number from the letter the driving agency sent you

The driving agency will only change their decision if you can prove that you meet the required standards for driving. If you don’t meet the required standards it isn’t legally possible for them to issue you with a licence. There are no exceptions to this, even if you feel you really need a licence. 

How can I appeal against the driving agency’s decision?

You also have the option to appeal the driving agency’s decision to refuse or revoke your licence. It’s important to get legal advice before deciding whether or not to appeal. If you don’t win, you may have to pay the driving agency’s costs.


Who to appeal to

Time you have to appeal

If you live in England or Wales

Your local magistrate’s court

Six months from the date of DVLA’s decision

If you live in Scotland

Your local sheriff’s court

21 days from the date of DVLA’s decision

If you live in Northern Ireland

Your local clerk of petty sessions

Three months from the date of DVA’s decision letter

You must also tell the DVLA or DVA in writing that you intend to appeal.

If you would like to see this information with references, visit the Advice and Information references section of our website. If you are unable to access the internet, please contact our Epilepsy Action freephone Helpline on 0808 800 5050.


Epilepsy Action would like to thank DVLA for contributing to this information.

This information has been produced under the terms of Epilepsy Action's information quality standards.

  • Updated March 2019
    To be reviewed March 2022

Comments: read the 8 comments or add yours


I have minor partial seizures caused by a meningioma. As these have remained minor, I have never lost consciousness and I retain full control, after more than 12 months my neurologist said I could apply to have my Class 1 licence restored.
The DVLA turned down my application on the grounds that I had had a seizure within the last 12 months.
As that was clearly the wrong decision (Road Traffic Regs 2103), I appealed to them. My neurologist rang them, and said he had resolved the situation.
The DVLA then turned me down because I didn't have a current licence - they had revoked it.... because of their original decision!
I was told to reapply using the same forms (D1 and B1) which I had used before.
So I have made a complaint, got my MP on the case and await developments.
If this doesn't work I'm going to the ICA or Magistrates' Court.

Submitted by Hilary Power on

Hi Hilary

That sounds like a very frustrating situation. As you can see on this page, you can ask the DVLA to reconsider their decision if you think they’ve misunderstood your case. I hope you get a positive outcome from your complaint.


Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

Hi I had a seizure in my sleep back in Oct 2018 I volunteraly surrendered my licence. Then when I questioned them after reading section 88 about my ability to drive whilst my application was being processed they made their own decision that my licence had been revoked and this did not apply. Ok that did not phase me so I carried on with my bus pass. Recently my ex employer contacted me asking when my licence was due back I explained end of March which he said ok I will keep your job open for you. I reapplied for my licence 8 weeks early as told by dvla only to get a letter today telling me they are revoking it now for a further 6 months becouse of a seizure I had 3 years ago. I’m appealing against this surely they can’t send me a letter saying 6 months seizure free then change it. ???

Submitted by Chris Twomey on

Hi Chris

From what you’ve said it sounds as if the DVLA may have been treating your seizure in October as an isolated seizure. But now that they are aware of your seizure three years ago there not able to do so. And this means you would need to be seizure free for 12 months before they can re-issue you with a licence. We have more information on the driving rules here.

But your case sounds a little complex and I’m not sure I’ve fully understood the situation from your message. So you may wish to talk to us about this on our Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone on 0808 800 5050. We are open Monday to Thursday 8.30am-8pm, Friday 8.30am-4.30pm and Saturday 10am-4pm.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Jess-Epilepsy Action on

After being diagnosed with a brain tumour (meningioma) last year i had it removed in july.
I have made a full recovery and was back at work within 7 weeks from the op.
I was siezure free for a year on feb23rd 2019 but the DVLA today 13/3/19 have informed me that they have refused my licence application until july.
After asking other people who have had similar conditions this doesnt seem right as they and i were told it was either 12 month siezure free or 6 months after op.
Is it worth appealing?

Submitted by Lee Armstrong on

Hi Lee


That’s great news that the treatment was successful and you’ve made a full recovery. I can understand you want to get back to driving as soon as possible. But from what you’ve described it sounds like the decision the DVLA has made is in line with their rules for brain tumours. If this is the case, then I’m afraid you wouldn’t have any grounds to appeal.


The exact rules depend on the grade of tumour and the treatment, but for a grade 1 meningioma treated with surgery, the DVLA says ‘If the tumour has been associated with seizures, driving must cease for 12 months following surgery and 12 months from the date of the most recent seizure.’ As the surgery was more recent than the seizure, you need to wait until 12 months after the surgery before you can drive.


You can read the full DVLA rules for brain tumours here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/neurological-disorders-assessing-fitness-to-drive#benign-brain-tumours


Kind regards


Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

Hi, bit of advice needed-I have a brain tumour and its been stable for 9yrs, never been any change during this time, my epilepsy is medically controlled and continues to be successful, I moved anyway from family, support etc to a new town where I am struggling to settle, I have had untold problems with universal credit, appeals and general stress-so went to see new doc to tell them I felt very depressed and anxious ( been treated for anxiety and panic attacks for years) we did touch on whether I was having fits but concluded it was probably stress from the recent move ect..anyway DVLA were in process of checking my yearly licence and wrote to the new doc who has said im getting seizures!..obviouly ban now in place for 12 months, any advise would be greatly received as feel like im being punished for having panic attacks, I think these symptoms are similar to seizures, but I do no the difference, convincing doc and dvla is going to be difficult im guessing?-any advice on where to start pls

Submitted by lorien smedley on

Hi Lorien

This sounds like a difficult situation for you. It’s not clear if it was your new GP or epilepsy specialist you spoke to recently. You may be able to speak to them again to discuss their interpretation of your symptoms and to see whether they can speak to the DVLA about your situation. It might also be helpful to read our information about getting the right treatment for your epilepsy so you can be sure that this is happening for you:



We also have some information about anxiety and low mood and epilepsy that you might like to read:



This may help with explaining things to your doctor and there are some links here to support if you feel this would help you.


If you think you would like to meet others affected by epilepsy or link up with others online there are some options out there for you. This is a link to our Helpline page. This tells you about our coffee and chat groups, online groups and how to contact our advice and information team:





Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Mags - Epilepsy... on

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