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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. With your letter, you will also need to 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

Reasons why the driving agency may review their decision

A wrong diagnosis
If you think you have been wrongly diagnosed with epilepsy, you should first talk to your doctor. If necessary, ask to have another opinion from an epilepsy specialist. If your diagnosis changes, write to the driving agency, telling them you would like them to review their decision, and why. The driving agency will base their decision on whether you can have a licence on the information they get from you and your doctor.

A misunderstanding of your case
If you think the driving agency has misunderstood your case, you, or ideally your doctor, should write to the driving agency with further details. You can also send them copies of any new, relevant, medical information. This information may show that your diagnosis has changed, or that your case is, in some way, exceptional.

An administrative error
If you think the driving agency has made an administrative error, you should contact them, telling them what error you believe they have made. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, you may then want to seek legal advice.

Reasons why the driving agency cannot review their decision

The driving agency cannot review their decision if you don’t meet the epilepsy driving rules. In this situation 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 make an appeal against the driving agency’s decision?

If your request for a review of the driving agency’s decision isn’t successful, and you still believe their decision is unlawful, you may decide to make a formal appeal. The driving agency should send you details of the appeals process at the time of the licence decision. 

If you decide to go ahead with an appeal, it’s really important to get legal advice first. People very rarely win appeals to do with epilepsy regulations. And if you don’t win, you 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

6 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

Departmental Solicitors Office
Centre House
79 Chichester Street
Belfast BT1 4JE

3 months from the date of DVA's decision letter

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 Ed Foxell at DVLA for his contribution to this information. 

Ed Foxell has declared no conflict of interest.

This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.

  • Updated April 2018
    To be reviewed April 2020

Comments: read the 5 comments or add yours


I am unsure on how the laws work my doctor made a false diagnosise and now i have suffered for 4 years as i have grangfather rights with my licence but dvla refuse to give it back im at my wits end and dont knw what to do as i dont suffer any medical condition that affects my abbility to drive can some one advise me the best way forward

Submitted by William Malcolm... on

Hi William

It is difficult to know how to advise you without knowing more about your situation. The laws on driving and epilepsy are fairly well fixed

If you feel you have been wrongly diagnosed you could always ask for a second opinion. But appealing against a DVLA decision can be extremely costly if it goes against you.

If it would be of any more help, feel free to contact us on the Epilepsy Helpline freephone number 0808 800 5050. 



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

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

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