Section 88 Medical Exemption

Section 88 Explained

Under 🌍 Section 88 of The Road Traffic Act 1988, a driver may be permitted to continue driving even though they do not hold a current driving licence.

In practice, this will be when they have applied to the DVLA to renew their licence, but the licence expires (runs out) while DVLA is processing the application.

Conditions of Driving

In order for a driver to be eligible to drive under 🌍 Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 the following criteria must be met:

  • They must be confident their application will not be refused due to any condition, their doctor must have told them about their fitness to drive
  • They must have previously held a valid licence and only drive vehicles that they have applied for on their application and that they were previously entitled to drive
  • If they hold a group 2 lorry or bus licence, their entitlement to drive these vehicles has not been refused, revoked or suspended by the traffic commissioner
  • They must meet any conditions specified on their previous driving licence
  • The DVLA must have received their complete and correct application within the last 12 months
  • The previous licence must not have been revoked or refused due to any medical condition
  • They must not be currently disqualified from driving by a court of law
  • They must not have been disqualified from driving as a high risk offender on after 1st June 2013 (ie: Drink or Drug Driving)

If they have any questions about their application or eligibility to drive under Section 88 then they should 🌍 contact the DVLA.

Fitness to Drive

If their doctor is unsure about how a medical condition affects driving, they should refer to ‘Assessing fitness to drive – a guide for medical professionals’ at 🌍

DVLA Information Leaflet

INF188/6 Information Leaflet

This information leaflet from DVLA explains whether a motorist may drive whilst their application is with DVLA and their licence has expired.

INF188/6 Information Leaflet which can also be located on the internet on the 🌍 website.


Updated on 2023-03-11

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