Tue, October 24, 2023
Understanding HGV Medical Requirements: Ensuring Your HGV Medical Fitness
You must be physically fit to carry out your role as an HGV driver, and therefore undergo medical examinations to confirm this will be a routine part of your HGV driving career. These medical examinations are quite straightforward and can typically be carried out by occupational practitioners, often by your GP.
HGV Medical Requirements
When applying for your provisional HGV entitlement, you'll need to pass a medical examination to confirm that you are in good health to drive. This is primarily done to ensure road safety, as driving a truck with health issues can have disastrous consequences for both the driver and others on the road. The medical examination typically takes around 15-20 minutes.
During the examination, they will check your blood pressure and test your eyesight. You'll also need to declare any illnesses or health issues to the DVLA when applying for your provisional license. If you do not meet the required standards for blood pressure or eyesight, your application will be rejected.
The eyesight test involves reading lines on a Snellen Chart until you can no longer see the letters. You must have good vision in both eyes, meeting a minimum standard. Typically, you must attain at least 6/7.5 with your good eye(s) and at least 6/60 in the poorer eye. If you wear glasses, remember to bring them for the medical examination.
For the blood pressure test, your reading must be below 180 on the systolic level and 80 on the diastolic. These numbers are relatively high, and most people should meet this standard. However, many individuals may have high blood pressure without any noticeable symptoms. It's a good idea to take deep breaths and avoid coffee or energy drinks before the medical examination. If your eyesight or blood pressure does not meet the required standard, do not send your license application to the DVLA as it will be rejected.
Instead, if your eyesight is not up to scratch, consider getting your eyes tested and obtain driving glasses if needed. If your blood pressure is too high, consult with your doctor and consider blood pressure-reducing medication.
As you age, DVLA will invite you to renew your HGV entitlement. At 45 years of age, you'll be invited to renew it for another 5 years. When you reach 65, you may renew your HGV license for 12 months only, and this must be repeated annually if you wish to maintain your entitlement. The DVLA will send you a D4 form and a D47PU license renewal form in the post approximately 6-8 weeks before your current driving license entitlement expires.
DVLA D4 Medical Form
The D4 form is a crucial part of the HGV license renewal process. When completing the D4 form:
Personal Details: You will need to fill out your personal information, such as your name, date of birth, address, and the name of your current General Practitioner (GP). You may also be asked to provide details about your first date of driving a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV).
Medical Assessment: The rest of the D4 form is to be completed by a healthcare practitioner. During your medical assessment, the healthcare practitioner will record important health-related information, such as your eyesight reading, blood pressure measurements, and any medication you are currently taking. This information is vital to ensure you meet the health standards required to continue driving HGVs safely.
It is essential to complete the D4 form accurately and ensure that both you and the healthcare practitioner provide all the necessary information. This form plays a crucial role in assessing your fitness to drive HGVs, so any discrepancies or omissions should be avoided. Once the D4 form is completed and submitted, it will be reviewed by the DVLA as part of the license renewal process.
Cost considerations for obtaining the D4 form
The cost of the D4 medical examination can vary depending on where you have it done. On the lower end, you might find it for around £40, while it can go up to £150 in other places. There are specialized medical companies that offer D4 medicals at reasonable prices, and they often allow you to book appointments online for your convenience.
While it's possible to approach your regular doctor for the D4 medical examination, it's worth noting that appointments with GPs can be harder to come by, and they may charge higher fees. Opting for a specialized medical company that focuses on these types of exams can be a more cost-effective and efficient choice for most individuals seeking HGV license renewal. Don't forget to bring your completed D4 form with you when you attend the medical examination.
HGV Medical Renewal
After receiving the renewal notice from DVLA, it's important to be proactive in ensuring that your HGV license doesn't expire. Check the expiration date on the back of your driver's license and take note of the renewal requirements. DVLA will not send additional reminders, so you should take responsibility for the renewal process.
Once you've completed the required medical examination (D4) and received the necessary forms (D47P) for renewal, send them back to DVLA along with your current driving license. It's worth noting that there's no additional fee for renewing your HGV license itself; the cost is associated with the medical examination.
If your renewed license doesn't arrive promptly and your HGV license entitlement expires, you can continue driving legally if there are no medical reasons prohibiting you from driving and if DVLA is processing your application. You can check the status of your driving license online by searching for "check my driving license" to see if any updates have been made to your entitlement. It's essential to stay on top of the renewal process to avoid any disruptions to your driving privileges.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the duration of an HGV medical certificate?
From the date of the medical form D4 being completed, it is only valid for 4 months. Therefore, you must send your D4 renewal back to DVLA as soon as you have undergone your medical.
Can you fail an HGV medical examination?
Yes, you can fail an HGV medical by not meeting the minimum physical standards required, which include at least an eyesight test and blood pressure reading.
How much does an HGV medical cost?
The medical can cost anything between £40 and £150, depending on the provider. Before you book, make sure you are not paying over the odds for a 15-20-minute basic medical examination.
Where can I obtain a D4 form?
The DVLA will send you a D4 form at your HGV license renewal stage. Alternatively, you can download one from the internet and print it off.
How often are HGV medicals required?
Medicals are required at the first point of your HGV provisional entitlement. You will also be required to undergo the same medical every 5 years until you reach the age of 65, at which point you must complete a medical every year. Keeping an eye on your HGV license expiry date is crucial, as it is the responsibility of the HGV license holder to ensure this license is up to date and to arrange their medical for renewal. Your employer may assist you with this, but ultimately, it is your responsibility to ensure it is done.
HGV medicals play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of both the HGV driver and others on the road. The DVLA conducts these medicals to confirm that drivers are physically fit to carry out their main driving duties. They assess various aspects of your health, including your vision and blood pressure, to minimize the risk of accidents and health-related incidents while driving. These medicals are an important step in maintaining the high standards of health and safety in the transportation industry.