Frequently asked questions

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What do I need to bring with me to my assessment?

  • Your driving licence, or a letter from the DVLA confirming your entitlement to drive.
  • If you do not have your licence we will need to call the DVLA on the day of your assessment.
  • Any spectacles you may use for distance or reading.
  • Any medication/inhalers/snacks you may need during your assessment. You should always carry your glucose meter and blood glucose strips with you.

Is there a charge for the assessment?

No, the service is free of charge for the driving, passenger and wheelchair assessments unless you have been sent to us as a police referral or you are wanting a report for medico legal.

How do I get to the assessment centre?

Directions to our centres

What happens when I arrive?

On arrival you will be welcomed and introduced to your assessment team.
The assessment team will explain the process of the appointment and will ask for your consent to the assessment proceeding.

The assessment team are aware that you may be anxious when attending for assessment and will do their utmost to put you at your ease.

*You will be asked to read a car number plate from the minimum distance as required by The Road Traffic Act 1988, which is 20 metres. As a very approximate guide, this is about 5 car lengths. If you need corrective spectacles or contact lenses to meet the standard, these must be worn at assessment.

Before any driving takes place, there will be a short discussion with the Mobility Clinician and Driving Adviser. This is a very important part of the assessment process as it allows us to gain further information about any recent changes to your health. The assessment team will consider your medical fitness, vision and physical ability. The Mobility Clinician may also ask you to carry out some basic tests which look at how you interpret information.

What happens during the driving part of the assessment?

Driving assessments take place in the Centre’s own vehicles. We have a purpose-built driving track area in the grounds of our Newcastle centre and quiet areas at Teesside and Cumbria where you can get familiar with the centres vehicle.

If you are getting used to a new method of control for the first time, the assessment may be restricted to the driving track or quiet
areas, and we may advise that you return for the on road assessment at a later date.

If considered safe to do so, the drive will then proceed on to the public roads. This enables the team to assess your interaction with other road users, how you forward plan, anticipate the actions of others, and deal with the complexities of driving.

Can I use my own car for the assessment?

Clients are not permitted to use their own car for their assessment. We provide a range of vehicles, and for safety reasons they are all dual controlled, and insured for the purpose of your driving assessment.

We understand the assessment vehicle may not be familiar to you, but we find that most people manage to use our vehicles following a period of familiarisation to get used to a different car.

What happens after the drive?

Possible outcomes of the assessment may be:

  • You are suitable to drive with, or without vehicle adaptations.
  • You are asked to return to North East Drive Mobility for review following a period of driving tuition. If this is the case, we can
    advise you on how to obtain suitable driving tuition.
  • You should not drive. Although we will try to find ways for you to be able to drive safely, there is a possibility of this outcome.

A written report from the assessment team detailing the recommendations and advice given will be sent to you by post after the assessment.

If you have been referred by the Medical Adviser at the DVLA, the report will be sent directly to the DVLA as part of their medical
fitness to drive enquiries.

How long does the assessment take?

On average the assessment takes between 2½ and 3 hours.

What are the waiting times for an assessment?

Approximately 12 weeks from us receiving your APP1.

Do I need to physically bring my licence with me?

We would prefer you to bring your licence and NI number so that we can check your licence online. If you do not have these to hand then we can check by telephoning the DVLA at the time of your assessment.

Is there any help or advice for people who need to stop driving or require other forms of transport?

We have a Hubs Mobility service that can give advice for your individual needs. For more information go to our Mobility hubs page.

How do I know if I meet the NHS criteria?

If you can mobilise indoors then you will not meet the NHS criteria for a powered wheelchair.

How fast do mobility scooters go?

Class 3 scooters can go up to 8 MPH and can be used on road, however all scooters are restricted to 4 MPH on the pavement.

What’s the difference between different types of mobility scooters?

Scooters come in all shapes and sizes. They range from the tiny fold up “boot scooters”, weighing as little as 40lbs (20 bags of sugar), to the large all-terrain models used by ramblers and others who need to use their mobility scooters on different terrain. These weigh in at 140kg (more than 20 stone!).

Do I need a licence for an on road scooter ?

You do not need a driving licence for a mobility scooter, but you may need to register it.

Can I use a powered wheelchair or mobility scooter if my eyesight is poor?

The government recommend you only ride your scooter if you can see a car’s registration plate from 12.5 metres (40 feet) away.

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