Driven to despair


Our investigation shows that there is fault in the way that DMG assesses fitness to drive, sets standards, administers its process, engages with its stakeholders, and handles complaints. For these reasons we have concluded that DVLA needs to put things right for the individuals who complained to us and others who have been similarly affected. We therefore recommended that DVLA: 

  • apologises to the individuals who have complained to us about their individual cases;

  • produces a set of clear evidence-based standards that take into account risk within the UK context and that are in line with the requirements of the Regulators’ Code;

  • takes account of the evidence in this report to design a process that is administratively fit for purpose in all cases – including the most complex - and meets the requirements of the Regulators’ Code;

  • improves its communication so that information about fitness to drive is readily available, open, transparent and understood by applicants and the medical profession in line with the requirements of the Regulators’ Code;

  • provides remedies to the eight people who complained to us that puts them back in the position that they would have been in if there had not been any failings; and

  • designs and puts in place appropriate arrangements so that others who may have been affected by the failings we have found have the opportunity to seek appropriate redress. When considering the design of the arrangements, DVLA should take account of HM Treasury’s guidance Managing Public Money.

As the responsible Department, the Department for Transport should:

  • use all relevant information, including from complaints and stakeholders to ensure that DMG’s process fully meets the needs of its users and the legislation.