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The process for dealing with professional driving licence applications has been made faster following a change in the law enabling healthcare professionals other than doctors to complete medical questionnaires.

The change to the Road Traffic Act means the forms can be referred by doctors to colleagues such as specialist nurses and opticians to speed up the system and get truckers back behind the wheel as quickly as possible.

All drivers must meet the medical standards for fitness to drive and often nurses and opticians are involved in patient care and so this change in the law now allows them and others to complete the DVLA medical forms amid a shortage of professional drivers, as well as easing the burden on GPs.

Roads minister Baroness Vere said: “Obtaining or renewing a driving licence should always be a quick, simple and efficient process.

“That’s why we’re allowing more healthcare professionals to complete DVLA medical questionnaires to speed up the medical licensing process and ease the burden on GPs.”

Logistics UK supported the move: “Logistics UK has engaged with DVLA on a number of occasions regarding the negative effects medical assessment delays have had on professional drivers’ applications, which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Phil Lloyd, head of engineering policy.

“With a national shortage of HGV drivers, it is vital applications are processed in a timely manner.

“Logistics UK therefore supports this change, which will enable DVLA to process medical assessments faster, providing swifter clarity for drivers and removing driver licence entitlement from those who are considered medically unfit to drive, thus making our roads safer.”