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The Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Forums

Do I need to tell the DVLA I have sleep apnoea?

Talk about all aspects of sleep apnoea. Request help from others with the same problem, tell your story, exchange tips & techniques ..
Major Snorer
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2004 9:34 pm
Location: Erith, Kent

Do I need to tell the DVLA I have sleep apnoea?

Post by ceejayblue » Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:13 pm

Help! My daughter was filling out her provisional driving license form and one of the questions was do you suffer from any sleep disorders. When I applied for my Provisional license in 1987 (sorry to say have actually only been learning to drive fairly recently so it wasn't a problem before) I hadn't been diagnosed and I'm not sure if I had any proper symptoms then anyway. My question is should I be informing the DVLA and my car insurers that I have this problem and if I don't could I be driving illegally (even with my L plates and someone with me in the car!). I did tell my holiday insurers that I am a sufferer as I had to take my CPAP machine to Spain with me so needed to insure it.

Any ideas anyone, I don't want to be told I can't drive anymore if I tell the DVLA but also I don't want to not tell them and then get found out which could be much worse for me.





Post by Neil » Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:10 pm

I became interested in this myself (I started CPAP about a month ago), and found the following links on the web: ... ratory.htm

So it seems we do need to tell the DVLA, though as you are receiving CPAP treatment, you should still be able to drive - if this is confirmed by your doctor/consultant. I was surprised that neither my doctor, nor the hospital has mentioned any DVLA requirement, if this is the case.

One quote on the DVLA site made me sigh, though this only applies to 'group 2', whatever that means...

'Regular, normally annual, licensing review required'



Post by Neil » Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:23 pm

Heh, just found another link to a news article.... ... _page.html

Seems the poor chap went to see a doctor, got diagnosed with OSA, then soon after had a letter from the DVLA telling him his license had been revoked due to the condition.

The majority of sites I found suggest that it is either the legal responsibility of the driver, or the consulting doctor to inform the DVLA, so I guess I might be getting a letter in the post in the not too distant future. Oh joy.

Apparently you can reapply for the license if it is revoked, if your doctor is happy that you are on treatment, and it is managing your condition (and will testify as such).

Interesting that the news article referred to OSA as a 'rare sleep disorder' considering the number of people it apparently affects.


Post by Roberto » Sun Feb 06, 2005 4:01 pm

When I was diagnosed, the hospital told me immediately to inform the DVLA, but so long as I was undergoing treatment under the hospitals supervision, it wasn't an issue.

I simply downloaded the forms from the DVLA website, filled them in and received a letter back shortly saying that everything was fine and to carry on as normal until anything changed.

AFAIK, the DVLA check with your Sleep Clinic/GP for current treatment. Your CPAP machine also has a "mileometer" that records how long the machine has been in proper use between visits and they are duty bound to inform the DVLA of any serious findings.


Post by seaney » Wed May 18, 2005 12:35 pm

did not realize the DVLA needed to be informed.


DVLA and Insurers

Post by acebass » Thu May 19, 2005 12:34 pm

You need to inform the DVLA, Your Insurers, and If you drive a company vehicle, you need to inform the company's insurers that you have a neurological condition.

I sent the forms from the DVLA website back to them and received a letter shortly afterwards stating that as my treatment was progressing successfully I could continue to drive without restriction.
I also wrote to my insurers and they thanked me for letting them know but it made no difference to my premium (and it should not do so).
If at some future date I become eligible for a company car, I will need to inform my HR department dso that their insurers can be informed.



Post by seaney » Mon May 23, 2005 11:01 am

anybody have any idea whether TREATED sleep apnea would disqualify a person from being a taxi driver?

Major Snorer
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2004 9:34 pm
Location: Erith, Kent


Post by ceejayblue » Mon May 23, 2005 6:27 pm


I'm not sure if you would be stopped from being a taxi driver if you have sleep apnoea but unless it was totally under control I think that it might be a problem for you.l

I got the OK from the DVLA to drive as my condition is under control but I know that if the hospital check on my machine next week shows that there is a problem they could contact the DVLA and revoke my licence.

I now also have cervical spondylitis and have had to inform the DVLA about that too!




Post by seaney » Mon May 23, 2005 7:19 pm

Thanks for that Chris.



Post by meachp » Sat Jul 16, 2005 1:26 am

Hi there everybody - I'm a new member of this site having only recently being diagnosed with sleep apnoea. This thread seems a bit old now but if anyone is still interested I can confirm that once diagnosed you must inform DVLA immediately. Its a £1000 fine for not doing so!!!



Post by bex1975 » Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:58 pm

been using machine for a week hospital have told me to inform dvla after a fortnights treatment.... they said the onise is on me to inform DVLA, but fingers crossed it seems to have done the trick n is working.....

plus was thinking what happened to patient confidentiality lol not that im not going to inform them,

Tony The Busman

Post by Tony The Busman » Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:45 pm


After nearly 3 months of waiting to hear from the DVLA I finally got a letter back from them today. Naturally I opened it thinking that this would be them finally giving me a decision on whether or not I was fit to drive.

Guess what? They sent me an Epworth Sleepiness Scale questionnaire to fill in! I kid you not and this is after they have consulted both my consultant and my GP.

Forgive me if I am being a bit dim, but I thought that the fact they know that I have a CPAP machine might be a bit of a clue, but apparently not.

I really do think that they are having a laugh at my expense.

Rant over.

Major Snorer
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2004 9:34 pm
Location: Erith, Kent

Post by ceejayblue » Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:53 pm

Hi Tony

When I informed the DVLA I think it only took about 6 weeks and I got a letter saying I could drive while I was controlling things with the CPAP machine, they didn't send me an Epworth scale to fill in.

I also had to tell them that I've got cervical spondylitis and that only took a few weeks to get the go ahead.

In both cases I gave them full details of my GP, hospital and how I was doing on the treatment and I think that may have helped. Did you give them all the information they needed? Perhaps as it has been in the press and on TV lately they are being extra careful about people driving. Anyway, you could fill in the form and lie (don't recommend that though!) and they wouldn't be able to prove anything would they? I wonder if they actually contact the hospital sleep units when people advise them they are sufferers?


Tony The Busman

Post by Tony The Busman » Sat Jun 17, 2006 12:32 am


I filled in the very detailed form they originally sent me giving them full details of my OSA and which clinic I had been diagnosed at, who my consultant was etc.

I know that both my GP and consultant were contacted and asked to fill in a medical report form as both the sleep unit and my GP's surgery contacted me by phone to let me know this and to make sure that all my personal details were correct.

I do think this is a classic case of it being passed round the office and people not taking the time or troube to check the file properly. I will send back the questionaire, but I will also be having a few words with them on Monday, as I would really like to know why it has taken them 3 months to do absolutely nothing constructive.

Tony The Busman

Post by Tony The Busman » Mon Jun 19, 2006 7:40 pm


Just to let you all know that I spoke to the DVLA today about the letter they sent me. The girl I spoke to did not know why they had sent out the letter and to be honest did not seem to know anything about my case.

However, after I explained what had happened so far and after she had checked out my file on her computer, she did finally make a call to the admin team and spoke to someone about my case.

It turns out that they wanted me to fill in the Epworth questionnaire as to my current state of sleepiness, to gauge how well I am coping with my CPAP machine.

If their staff do not understand what their system is then how are we supposed to know what they want!

I know they are busy and it is so easy just to type out a standard letter stating that you need to fill in a form and send it back, but if they do not make themselves clear then it is a false economy as someone will have to spend time explaining what it is they actually wanted in the first place.

I realy do wish that big organisations would try to put themselves in their customers shoes once in a while and ask themselves what it is their customers really want and whether they are willing and able to provide it. I suspect that in some cases if they were to answer this question truthfully the answers would be quite revealing!

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