Need some advice - please

Has anyone informed the DVLA they have Ataxia? And what happened?

I have read that you are supposed to do it. I sell vehicles, so I need a driving license do do my job. If it was taken away, I wouldnt be able to do my job.

I was diagnosed a couple of years ago. While my walking is getting worse, my driving isnt yet.

I feel I should call and tell them but Im worried.

Thanks guys

I have not told the DMV (Dept. of Motor Vehicles) in my state that I have anything. My license is good for one more year. If I pass the vision test, I assume I will be given a new license.I just had an eye exam for new glasses , so I know I am taking care of that aspect. I still feel I can drive safely, but I am much more cautious and drive slower. I think we will know when the best idea is to give up driving.

Can you get in trouble trouble if you don’t tell them? I have not been blood tested and diagnosed with that yet. But they think I have it.

You are supposed to tell the DVLA about your diagnosis and your insurance company.

I did and no assessment was required. You can get an assessment but it costs a lot of money.

It's really up to you to judge whether you are safe.

Hi Scotty:-)
Did you see the discussion on AtaxiaUK about this?

The top and bottom of it is, yes.

If you look on the DVLA website under Health, conditions to notify.
It’s legally required.

Neurologists are really to blame for this confusion, it’s just not good
enough. Most people feel that at the time of diagnosis, driving and
notifying the DVLA should be mentioned.

It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose your licence.

I have double vision and nystagmus and wear corrective glasses.
After consulting with my Neurologist and Eye Dept, the DVLA
issued me a 3 year licence, to be reviewed as necessary.

Of course it’s up to you, I know people who drive and haven’t
notified. But, if heaven forbid you had an accident, you then
may be obliged to give details of any condition you have etc.

Best wishes :slight_smile: xB

I informed the DVLA and Insurance. it took almost a year and much prompting from me before the DVLA said I had to take a test. They did say I could go on driving until I took the test. Very nerve racking - not just a driving test but lots of desk top puzzles and a breaking test. They were very nice and know you are nervous. The worst part was the actual driving test as it was pouring with rain and a car I wasn’t used to. Anyway I passed and they have renewed my licence for another 3 years. I do drive slower than I used to and don’t drive at night if I can avoid it.

I applied for a handicap tag and got it based on that. I also applied for an EZ pass and was granted that with free unlimited tolld all over the country. Check with your DMV about getting a handicap tag…I’m sure the neurologist will have to certify that you are still able to drive.

I’m sorry I thought you were referring to the U.S.

Hi Scotty,

I would strongly advise you to notify the DVLA and your insurance company of your ataxia.

You are obviously a capable and experienced driver, however if you were to be involved in an accident, even if not caused by you, and the police had to get involved they would probably question your walking style - thinking that you were DUI - and then you would have to inform them about your medical condition.

This information would then get back to your insurance company and the DVLA, and I am sure that the consequences would not be very pleasant.

Speak to your GP or Consultant about your dilemma and I am sure that their advice will put your mind at ease. As others have mentioned you may have to have a medical assessment and,depending on your driving history, retake a driving test.

The form you need to send to the DVLA is here

Best wishes,


I have SCA6 and had to inform the DVLA they sent me a letter saying I had to speak with my Doctor once year I reported it in 2012, I am still driving although my walking is getting worse but not my Driving hope this helps, just had my eyesight tested and am still Legal for driving.

I t old the DVLA about two years ago. I was given back my license for three years and then you see your Dr.I gave up about one to two years ago when i didn't feel safe. Myy vision is ok but i cannot focus. That means signs and things are a blur.

I tthought when I stopped driving it would be the end of the worlld but it wassn't.I have hadd Cerebellar Ataxia for 6 years and carried on driving for years. I think you have to iinform the DVLA by law but only you and your Dr know how it has affected you.

You have to fill in a form with questions about your ability to drive. Then they might ask for a report from your doctor. It is a bit nerve-racking waiting for a response. In my case, it was all ok. The thing is you really do have to tell them if you have a notifiable illness which ataxia definitely is. If don't tell them, you might not be insured. If you feel you are safe to drive, I'm sure you'll be ok.

Hi.....I got diagnosed 4 years ago now.....its hereditary and only presented itself then at 44.

I keep myself fit and healthy and am sure this has given me a headstart on how fast it progresses in me.

I go to see my consultant at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford once a year.

I informed the DVLA and they investigated and wrote to my consultant and wrote back to me a month or so later and said I was still able to time limit imposed.

You have to legally inform if your driving is still'll get a good outcome.

Can anyone tell me if this apples to Canada, specifically, Ontario.

My experience of this process is positive. A neuro at John Radford Hosp. in Oxford, UK strongly recommended it as something which MUST be done after a definitive diagnosis. Otherwise you could be found guilty of driving while uninsured because you have a condition you haven't declared.

If you use the DVLA form (recommended) there is space to include neuro's contact details, DVLA contact the neuro for an opinion, neuro replies and DVLA usually follow the advice.

Occasionally, if the neuro's opinion is borderline or not available the DVLA can insist you take their driving assessment tests.

Subsequently tell your insurance company that you have informed DVLA and they have given you permission to drive (this shouldn't effect the premium - DDA and all that).

One downside I found was that my employer insisted on conducting their own medical examination and then refused to let me drive on company business, even though DVLA had un-conditionally cleared me.

BTW - If you have a Motability vehicle I understand they undertake all of this on your behalf plus with a Blue Badge you're exempt from paying vehicle excise duty (car tax) and congestion charge.

When I started to go through the process of starting driving and i told the DVLA and they revoked my licence , but i think it all depends on how bad your ataxia is.

Hi, You have ti inform the DVLA and your insurance company as is is a notifiable illness. It took nearly a year to reply but I can drive and will have to reapply every 3 years or be assessed by a specialist but you must inform them as you will invalidate your insurance. Didn't cost anything either

Good luch

HI Scotty,

As a police officer with EA2 I can confirm that once you receive a diagnosis you need to let both your insurance and the DVLA know.

As long as your consultant hasn't said you shouldn't drive you can go on as you are (if you feel well enough) and keep driving until they tell you otherwise. My consultants have said that it is rare to be told you can't drive, unless you are a danger to yourself or other drivers.

My insurance hasn't gone up either which is a nice change.


Hi Scotty, I just lost my license, not through having ataxia but having had consecutive unexplained collapses. My license was revoked some four months after my last collapse and lasts for 12 months, though I was able to drive up to the revocation date. This seemed rather abitrary to me but there is no arguing with the dvla.
My consultant at the JR in Oxford never brought up the subject until I mentioned it to him. I have been left with ataxia which doesn't affect my driving, though my walking/balance is very poor and am now wondering whether, when it comes to re-applying for my license it will be refused on the grounds that I now have ataxia.......

Wasn't planning on telling the DOT(IA) as it does not impact my driving. However, when I took my son in to get his permit they saw the way I walk and busted me. I had to take a driving test and passed and was told to report in with them again in five years. I like John's answer.