Frequently Asked Questions
What does the assessment involve?
This will be an assessment of your fitness to drive and will include checks on your strength and range of motion for handling the car, a cognitive assessment to check how you process information, and a visual check to ensure you meet the DVLA requirements for distance and peripheral vision. If you have any concerns regarding your eyesight it might be a good idea to visit your optician before the assessment.
Who will carry out my assessment?
Your assessment will be conducted by an Occupational Therapist and an Approved Driving Instructor. Both of your assessors have had additional training to ensure that they are able to assess your fitness and ability to drive safely. They also have knowledge and experience of driving with a disability and using adaptations.
Can I use my own car for the assessment?
Assessments are undertaken in our vehicles for insurance purposes, but also because our vehicles have dual controls making the on-road assessment safer. If you come to one of our main centres we will have a range of vehicles available for you to use, so that we can choose the most appropriate car for you. We appreciate that it can be un-nerving driving a car that you are unfamiliar with and it can take some time to adapt to a different car, but our assessors will take this into account during your assessment.
Do I need a licence?
You do need to have valid licence cover from the DVLA to drive on public roads, even if you are under-going an assessment. Licence cover can be a full or provisional licence, or it can be temporary licence cover such as Section 88 cover whilst your licence is under review, or a ‘Provisional Disability Assessment Licence’ issued by the DVLA for the duration of your assessment. If you are at all worried please call us and one of our admin team will be pleased to advise you.
Do I need to come to a main centre for my assessment or can I use one of your outreach services?
Where possible we try to see clients at our Outreach Centres if this is closer to where they live to prevent clients having to make long journeys to get to us. However, sometimes it is necessary to ask clients to attend one of our main centres where we have more equipment including a ‘static rig’ (driving simulator), access to a wider range of adaptations and a better choice of vehicles for conducting the on-road part of the assessment.
Should I learn the highway code?
Although the assessors may ask you to identify some of the more common road signs, there is no need to learn the highway code for your assessment – this is not like the driving test you will have passed to get your licence originally.
How long will the assessment take?
A full assessment can take up to 2 ½ hours. This sounds like a long time, but we are very careful not to rush anyone, and allows time for short refreshment breaks if needed. If you need to take medication or have a snack during your assessment, please let the assessors know.
Do I need to bring anything to the assessment?
Please bring your licence (or any DVLA notification of temporary licence cover) and your national insurance number (this is used to check licence cover with DVLA should we need to).
Distance and reading glasses if you wear them, as well as any medication you may need to take and a snack if you think you will need one. We can provide tea / coffee but do not have facilities for providing food.
Can I bring someone with me to the assessment?
You can have someone with you for most of the assessment process.
Can I drive myself to the assessment?
We recommend that you have someone bring you to the assessment or use public transport. If you need collecting from a train or bus station, please let us know in advance and we can arrange for this.
Do I need to tell DVLA about my assessment?
You do not need to tell DVLA that you are having an assessment if you prefer not to; however, if you have been diagnosed with a notifiable medical condition you should tell both the DVLA and your insurance company as soon as possible. For information on notifiable conditions please refer to the DVLA website. https://www.gov.uk/driving-medical-conditions
What if I need to cancel my assessment at short notice?
We ask that where possible you try to give us at least 5 working days-notice if you need to cancel your appointment so that we can offer the appointment to someone else. If you cancel with less than 5 working days-notice, you may be charged.