Confidentiality: patients' fitness to drive and reporting concerns to the DVLA or DVA



We give examples of when it might not be practicable to seek consent in paragraph 14 of Confidentiality: good practice in handling patient information. You can find all of our guidance online.


See ‘The duties of a doctor registered with the General Medical Council’ in Good medical practice, which you can find available on our website.


The principles in this guidance also apply to drivers and pilots of other kinds of regulated transport, including rail, water and air, although such individuals are likely to undergo medical assessment as part of the relevant licensing or certificating process. 

If you are concerned that a patient who holds a private or commercial pilot’s licence may be medically unfit to fly an aircraft, you can contact the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s medical department on 0330 022 1972 for confidential advice or, out of hours, either contact the CAA’s main reception on 0330 022 1500 or email

For advice about a seafarer, you can contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency health and safety branch for advice at seafarers.h& If you are concerned that a train driver’s medical condition or treatment may make them unfit to drive a train, the advice from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is to make contact with their employer’s HR department in the first instance. The ORR can provide contact details for train operators in Great Britain if you know the name of the employer. You can contact the ORR by email at


You can contact the DVLA’s medical advisers on 01792 782 337 or at, and the DVA on 0800 200 7861.