Looking for information on the HGV driver medical? Want to know what medical form you can use to apply for your medical examination or what are the HGV medical requirements such as your age and your health condition? Read on to find out more about the HGV driver medical that you need to know.
In order to order to operate commercial vehicles safely on public roads in the UK, the law requires HGV drivers to be in reasonably good health. In practice, this means that a driver applying for their commercial HGV (or bus licence), and every commercial driver whose licence has expired, must undertake a medical examination by a properly qualified GMC registered doctor.
HGV Medical Form – DVLA – D4 Form
The doctor must complete a DVLA for known as a D4 (Medical examination report for a lorry or bus driving licence). The same form is used for both HGV (lorry) drivers or bus drivers. All HGV drivers must undergo this medical at 45 years old, then every 5 years thereafter until 65, after which it is then required annually. You can download the medical form the D4 form here.
The form can usually be filled in fully by the doctor carrying out the HGV medical, however, there are sometimes occasions where the doctor may be unable to accurately complete the vision assessment depending upon your condition, and a qualified optician or optometrist may need to complete this section instead.
Once the D4 has been completed it is valid for 4 months. It is then down to the DVLA to decide whether you are fit to drive. The doctor completes the answers honestly, but the DVLA makes the final decision.
Who Can Carry Out Your HGV Medical?
You will need to make an appointment to get the medical done, either with your own GP or by any number of private practitioners that offer the service. It is often much cheaper to go to a private clinic that specialises in HGV medicals than going to your own GP, so do your homework. A GP may charge up to £100 for a medical, but many private clinics offer the medical for around £50.
Any doctor that is GMC registered can carry out the HGV medical test. For many HGV drivers, they prefer their own GP, as the doctor will be familiar with their medical history, but it is usually more expensive. You may also have the additional problem of having to wait longer for an appointment, and your own doctor may not necessarily have much experience in filling in the D4 form, which if not filled in correctly, could result in a delay for you gaining/renewing your HGV licence, and may even involve taking another medical at a later date.
Most professional HGV drivers elect to use a private clinic or medical centre with doctors that are used to filling in the D4 every day.
What To Take To Your HGV Medical Examination?
- Your driving licence
- Glasses if you wear them for driving
- If you normally wear contacts, you may be asked to take them out for the vision test, so bring your contact lens case.
- A full list of any prescription medications you are on and the dosage.
- The D4 medical form which you can download here.
- To speed up the process, you can complete all the information relating to you on page 1 of the D4 HGV medical form prior to your appointment.
- Any letters from hospitals or hospital consultants that treat you for any existing conditions.
What To Expect At The HGV Medical Examination?
Your medical will take the form of an interview followed by a physical examination, and usually takes no more than 30 minutes.
HGV Medical Interview
The interview is a verbal conversation with the doctor to address any current medical issues that might interfere with safe driving. The doctor will ask questions about your medical history, which you should always answer completely honestly as it is a criminal offence to conceal information or make a false declaration when applying for any driving licence.
During your interview, you will be asked questions about:
- Whether you are diabetic, and what type you are.
- If you require regular insulin to control your diabetes, you must declare it. This will not automatically disqualify you from getting your licence, but you must demonstrate it is well controlled.
- Your general state of health, how much you drink, do you smoke, do you suffer from any sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea, do you have any issues with hearing.
- Mental health issues – do you suffer from anxiety or depression, dementia, psychotic episodes or any drug abuse issues.
- Many people suffer from depression and anxiety, and again the doctor will be looking to see evidence that this is well controlled.
- More serious mental health conditions are more likely to affect your application.
- Drug and alcohol problems are obviously a serious issue when it comes to driving.
- Heart conditions – do you have heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia or any circulation problems.
- Minor heart conditions can become more serious as time progresses.
- Any medications and dosage that you are currently prescribed.
- Do you have any neurological problems such as narcolepsy, seizures, blackouts, strokes or brain tumours.
- Neurological conditions are again, very common. Doctors are looking here to ensure that any of the symptoms that can occur with neurological conditions will not affect your driving safety.
- They need to know about narcolepsy, memory problems, or conditions that may become dangerous with respect to driving.
- Your vision, and the measures taken to correct any issues.
- History of spinal injuries
HGV Medical Physical Examination
The physical examination is generally the part of the medical that most people feel anxious about. It is important to remember that this is a very objective examination and is not designed to catch anyone out. It is purely about establishing that you are safe to drive from a health perspective. The physical examination is actually very straight forward, and will check:
- Your height
- Your weight
- Your eyesight (this may require additional testing on occasion)
- Your blood pressures.
- Your urine via a simple urine test.
- If you have declared a heart problem, you may need an ECG.
After the HGV Medical Examination
Assuming there are no issues with your HGV medical, once the DVLA has approved your D4, you will be eligible for your new or replacement licence. However, your responsibilities do not end there. You are responsible to report any new development to your health to the DVLA on an on-going basis so that they can assess your fitness to drive in the future.
Don’t forget to report any medical conditions that might potentially affect your driving to the DVLA once you have gained or renewed your licence. The conditions include those specified in the section of the interview as well as other medical conditions such as cancer.
Once you report a medical condition that is developing, you may need to undergo a new HGV medical to continue driving. When, as a result of a failed examination, your driving privileges are revoked, procedures are in place to allow you to recover your licence. Check the DVLA website for more info and further advice at the Gov.uk website here.
As an HGV driver, your health is vital to your career as a driver of HGV. Remember to keep yourself healthy while driving a long time behind the wheel, lots of healthy diets and regular exercise can help you be active and have a better lifestyle.
We hope you enjoyed reading the post and found it useful if you have any enquiry on HGV driving opportunities, please get in touch with Global Employment Bureau on 01604 761206, our friendly team are always happy to help.