Driving through the DVLA

Hello all

This is my first posting since joining the pacemaker club and wondered if anyone can kindly help me.

I passed out when I was driving my car and crashed in April of 2019. I went through every Neuro test for that to be ruled out along with every cardio test. The last test was for them to fit me with a long term heart monitor in October.

Within 6 weeks of having the heart monitor fitted, I passed out again to which the heart monitor detected my heart paused for 19 seconds.

The hospital rushed me in to fit me with a 2 lead pacemaker in November. All went well and fast forward to now, I have just recently had my 6 week check and the heart technician is happy with the  fitting and use of the pacemaker and has told me to get on with my life now including driving which they are under the impression I can now continue to do.

For the obvious reasons, I had to surrender my driving licence to the DVLA after my accident.

I have just spoken with the DVLA helpline and they have said that I need to wait a whole 12 months from my last fainting episode in November to be possibly given back my licence. To be honest they were not helpful in giving any further advice and were very blunt.

Also they would need my Doctor to write to them to say they are confident that the pacemaker will stop the blackouts but this does not guarantee they will give it back as it is their call.

I was under the impression that if the doctors have now found out that my fainting was due to my heart pausing and being fitted with a pacemaker has corrected this, that should allow me to drive?

Has anyone been through the difficultly of getting their driving licence back and gone through the same issues I have with passing out only for a pacemaker to now correct this.

by the way I am in the UK. 

Thanks for any help

Mark

 


8 Comments

Communication

by IAN MC - 2020-01-03 14:55:28

Hi Mark     I am in the UK and had fainted once prior to having a pacemaker fitted. I was lucky that  it did not happen while I was driving

I assume that you completed the online H1 form which gives you the opportunity to stress to the DVLA that a pacemaker has cured / removed your likelihood of fainting.  I did this and received confirmation that I could drive again after 7 days.

Perhaps you didn't do enough of a "selling job" when you filled in the form ?

I can understand the DVLA being ultra-cautious , they can only act on the way you provide them with information re your own medical background.

If I were you, I would communicate with the Dr who installed your PM and ask for his/her help in persuading the DVLA that    i ) bradycardia is no longer an issue and   ii ) you are no longer a danger when driving.

Best of luck

Ian

Driving Licence

by WazzA - 2020-01-03 16:25:58

I voluntarily surrendered my licence because of Pre Syncope (Not actually passing out) during that time I had a successful ablation for reentrant Tachycardia.

I had to wait 6 months before I was cleared & allowed to drive again by my Cardio /EP & GP. two weeks after that I had my PM implanted for Bradycardia & then stopped driving again for 1 week.

I can only suggest you supply them with the relevant paperwork & clearance from your Doctors & keep trying. It is better safe than sorry that NOBODY is at risk of injury albeit being a pain in the backside!

Long Heart Pause

by nhorner10 - 2020-01-03 17:25:51

Hey Mark, no issues with getting my DL revoked but your heart issues do sound like they could be similar. I started passing out out of the blue in May this year - had all sorts of cardiac tests done and nothing showed anything out of the oridnary but it continued to happen every 2-3 weeks. Wasn't until I had a holter monitor on when I passed out that they saw my heart was stopping for 20 seconds - had a PM put in the next week. That was at the beginning of August and I haven't passed out since. Best of luck to you, I hope the PM prevents the syncope.

Reply to comments and Thanks!

by LondonPM - 2020-01-03 19:39:31

Hi All

Thank you for the replies.

I haven't yet completed a H1 form so I will get to work with that as well as get confirmation and support from my heart consultant and as well.

The only thing I have done so far is call the DVLA helpline today to get advice from them on what I need to do to get my licence back after voluntary handing it back. The person on the call shut me down pretty much after saying that it will be another 12 months to get it back if you recently had fainted even though I told them I had this before I had the pacemaker which the hospital believe will have had corrected this issue.

I may or may not have got incorrect information from them so that's why I thought I would check on here. It just felt the call was a kick in the teeth as I really wanted to get back driving.

Thanks again for the replies and help.

Mark

 

 

In the US

by Pacer2019 - 2020-01-03 23:50:40

We would engage an attorney and appeal to the court if we felt in good standing -

 

In the US...

by AgentX86 - 2020-01-04 01:15:37

...our bureaucrats are no different than theirs. Rules and all that.

I didn't have to turn my license in but I have another 3-1/2 months to go until I can drive again (six months after any unconsious episode by state law).  I could drive now but if I got in an accident, the victim could own my house and retirement.  My insurance company would stand back and laugh. No, it's not worth the chance.

DVLA form

by Selwyn - 2020-01-04 07:54:31

The advice from Ian is good advice. In addition, it is important to use the right language .  'Fainting' is not the right terminology now that you have a diagnosis.  You may wish to talk about Stokes-Adams attacks. This is the terminology best understood by medics that have to make the decision as to your fitness to drive. A supporting letter from your Consultant Cardiologist would be wise as they can certify that the condition has been resoloved to their satisfaction. 

For any single episode of fainting that is unexplained, there would be an automatic 12 month ban for all of our sakes. 

You have suffered from a Stokes-Adams attack(s).

Send in the form.

by Graham M - 2020-01-04 17:30:06

I tried to complete the electronic form (that you will find on the DVLA web site), but it didn't work, so I had to print it out and fill it in manually and send it by post.  Once they receive it, they will contact your cardiologist before making any decision.  I had had only one syncope before getting my PM, and had no problems with the DVLA.  I presume that there is an appeals procedure if they say no, but don't know what it is.

Good Luck,

Graham.

You know you're wired when...

You have rhythm.

Member Quotes

A properly implanted and adjusted pacemaker will not even be noticeable after you get over the surgery.