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The law requires HGV drivers to be in reasonably good health in order to legally operate commercial vehicles on public roads. To that end, every new driver must undergo an HGV medical exam with accompanying paperwork (D4) that is submitted to the DVLA by the physician who performs the examination. Candidates are required to undergo a new medical exam every time their licence comes up for renewal. It is the same exam whether you wish to drive a lorry or a bus. The most important fact to know is that a Doctor cannot assess whether you are fit to drive a commercial vehicle, they simply complete the D4 medical examination form. The DVLA makes the decision on whether you are fit to drive.


What does a Driver’s Medical involve?

The HGV medical is comprised of two parts:


Who Can Conduct the HGV Medical

There are no special qualifications for conducting the medical test. Any doctor registered in the UK can be utilised. That means you can go to your NHS GP or a private physician in your local area. But keep in mind that both options will cost you and the doctor you choose must be able to perform the medical test and the vision test. Both options have pros and cons:

Your GP will perform the HGV medical but will charge for their time, often very high amounts. Whilst you may be more comfortable using your GP and they will be very close to where you live, they will often charge very high amounts for their time, and will not be used to filling out the D4 form. This may lead to hold-ups at the DVLA as they request clarification from your GP due to unclear answers. Your GP may also be very busy, causing a significant delay in getting your assessment booked.

Private Doctors have shorter waiting times and more flexible scheduling options. They are often far cheaper than an examination by your GP and they do this day-in, day-out meaning they are efficient and know how to answer the form in a way the DVLA will understand. HGVT would always recommend this option as it is often cheaper, quicker, and with a greater chance of being filled out correctly.

As part the service at HGVT we would organise your medical with a Private Doctor as soon as you sign up. What’s more, we include the medical in the price! If you want more details please call us or complete a registration form here:


How fit do I need to be?

The physician who conducts your HGV medical exam will be looking at some very specific things. As long as you are in reasonably good health, you should not have a problem. That said, the existence of some serious conditions may disqualify you from professional driving.

Also understand that developing certain medical conditions after you are already licenced may result in your licence being transferred from the standard format to a short-term format. Short-term licence holders must undergo more frequent medical exams in order to keep their licences.

Here is a list of some of the things a physician is required to check in during the HGV medical:

This list of conditions may make it seem as if a candidate must be a perfect physical specimen in order to be licenced as an HGV driver. But this is not so. As we have already stated numerous times, you need only be in reasonably good health to pass your HGV medical.


Developing Medical Conditions

Licenced HGV and PCV drivers are required to report a change in health to the DVLA if they develop any sort of medical condition that could potentially disqualify them from driving. Those conditions include all of the things listed above as well as additional conditions such as cancer.

Reporting a developing medical condition may require the driver to undergo a new HGV medical exam in order to continue driving. Passing a medical exam may result in the restoration of full driving privileges or the transition to a short-term licence. In either case, the driver must continue to keep his or her doctor updated about the medical condition in question.

Should driving privileges be suspended as a result of a failed HGV medical, there are processes in place to enable the driver to have his or her licence restored. Some of these processes can take months to complete. This is not intended to punish the driver in question, but rather to ensure both his/her safety and the safety of others on the road.

HGV Medical Your Responsibility

The HGVT (HGV Training Centre) makes sure all of our students successfully undergo the HGV medical before starting to train with us. But after that initial exam, the rest is up to the student. It is your responsibility, as an HGV driver, to make sure you get the appropriate medical exams whenever these are required.

We urge HGV drivers to be cautious of those who offer heavily discounted medical exams. Be especially careful of mobile services offering exams at rest stops out of the back of a delivery van. Some of these services are legitimate; others are not. You can learn more by searching for a provider’s name online to find out what other drivers have experienced while using them.

Also, be aware that falsifying an HGV medical form is against the law. The government takes the health of commercial drivers seriously; they do not look favourably on those who are untruthful in any way.

The HGV medical exam ensures all commercial drivers are healthy enough to safely operate their vehicles. It is an excellent tool that makes our roads safer across-the-board. We urge you, if you are considering a career as an HGV driver, to not be prevented from applying due to minor medical conditions. At least undergo the medical exam and see how you do. You may be in better health than you know.

We are here to answer any questions you might have about the application process or training to become a professional driver. The HGVT (HGV Training Centre) offers industry-leading training at dozens of facilities staffed by experienced trainers and committed support personnel. We would be happy to help you launch your career as an HGV driver.

More Reading on HGV Licence Training

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