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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was 70 on Feb 10th 2014 and applied for group

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I was 70 on Feb 10th 2014 and applied for group 1 & 2 licence renewal but was categorically told that I was now no longer eligible for D1 licence as I only have sight in my left eye due to a childhood accident. I passed my test in 1961 and I feel that the dates indicate I am still eligible for a D1 category as I took my test with one eye in 1961 and the DVLA were aware of that at that point in time. I was told I had to sign a piece of paper they sent saying I didn't want to renew my D1 category otherwise I would not get a licence at all. How do I persuade them to issue a full licence incl D1 as I feel I was coerced into giving up that entitlement. Many thanks in anticipation of your kind assistance Martin


I am not sure that you need to worry about the D1 category as the legal definition of a minibus is a motor vehicle that has been constructed or adapted to carry between 9 and 16 passengers in addition to the driver.

If your station wagon has only 9 seats (including the driver), it would not fall within the definition of a minibus.

You may also check this with the DVLA.

Can I assist further?
Hi. Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.I'm afraid it is bad news. The rules upon eye sight have been increased since 1961 like all of the administration of the DVLA.You must have a visual acuity at least 0.8 (6/7.5) measured on the Snellen scale in your best eye and at least 0.1 (6/60) on the Snellen scale in the other eye. You can reach this standard using glasses with a corrective power not more than (+) 8 dioptres, or with contact lenses. Unfortunately though under the new rules you do need to have some vision in the worse eye and so need two eyes.You can always appeal a decision of the DVLA to the Magistrates Court but obviously its one thing to have an automatic ground of appeal and another to have a good chance of appeal.The good news is that the vehicle you describe is not a minibus because you are not carrying 9 passengers so you don't need a D1 licence anyway.I'm very sorry.Please let me know if you need more information.Jo
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your information. DVLA say the LR is classed as a Minibus as it has a driver + 9 passenger capacity. ie 3 +3 + 2x2 at rear.


What about the exceptions as also stated on the DVLA site


'Drivers who have monocular vision are barred in law from holding C, C1 (12 tonnes combined), D or D1 entitlements. The only exceptions are those drivers whose C or D entitlements had been issued prior to 1/1/91 in the knowledge of monocularity and were still in force on 1/4/91 or drivers who passed a C1 test prior to 1/1/97.
A minimum acuity of 6/12 is required if licensed on 1/1/1983 and 6/9 if since. A certificate of recent driving experience will also be required. DVLA will send this certificate to you for completion on receipt of a valid application.'


I took my test and received the D1 & C1 cats in 1961


Does this apply in my case and if not why not?



Thank you.

In that case, your vehicle appears to be a minibus as there are 9 passenger seats in addition to the driver's seat.

You could take 1 seat out so that you do not fall within the minibus category.

Be that as it may, it would appear that you fall within the exception mentioned as you were licensed in 1961 when you already had monocular vision. You should therefore point this out to the DVLA and return the paper they sent you unsigned. You should ask the DVLA to send you a certificate of recent driving experience for you to sign to go together with your application for the D1 category.

Hope this clarifies

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You are sure this exemption applies as the DVLA say on the phone that it doesn't and they will not therefore send me the certificate. They did however send a medical form for the optician to complete saying what my vision was in BOTH eyes despite knowing for 54 years I only have one eye

HiIm very sorry but the answer you have received in my absence is wrong.The DVLA are right. The exception does not apply to a D1 licence. The law is clear. You need two eyes because you need a minimum field of vision in the lesser eye.There is also no point in pointing out anything to the DVLA. What you need to do is appeal to the Magistrates Court. However, there is only a point in doing that if you have a challenge and sadly you do not here.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you.

Please let me confirm what you are saying..............

After 53 years of continuous satisfactory driving a particular category of vehicle with sight in only one eye on the day of my 70 birthday my sight becomes sufficiently unsatisfactory as to not be allowed to continue driving - not because of any variation in my visual ability but because the DVLA have changed the qualifying standards.

Sorry, I will be clearer!

The DVLA are unreasonable as you know. There have been many EU Directives and Statutory instruments that have racked up the medical requirements.

The requirements are for a group 2 licence that you must have as measured by the 6 metre Snellen chart.
• a visual acuity of at least 6/7.5 (decimal Snellen
equivalent 0.8) in the better eye
• a visual acuity of at least 6/60 (decimal Snellen
equivalent 0.1) in the worse eye.
This may be achieved with or without glasses or
contact lenses.

In fairness, there is an outside option for you but clearly the DVLA will not consider it here. If you were licence to drive group 2 vehicles and you had vision of 6/12 then they will consider it. They require a certificate of recent driving experience will be required. The DVLA's point here is that you either don't meet that standard or they would not consider it.

You can appeal that decision to the Magistrates Court but you should gather further eye tests because there is no point in doing so unless you have a good chance of appeal!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your help - you confirm what I have managed to find out.

My sight in my one eye is perfect but that is not applicable now I am 70.


Thanks again


Well, its not your age per se.

Many people over 70 do continue to drive.

Obviously eye sight does decline but you can meet these standards with corrected vision.

The issue is whether you meet these standards.

The only point really is that its no longer a case of just showing that grandfather rights exist.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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