Re-Applying For my Drivers License 2003

After my AVM I was in no shape to drive, as many of you will imagine.
But I had always loved driving, and I never gave up on doing so again.
I got my doctor’s permission to reapply in late 2002, and by several weeks later
I was tested for driving at what had been my first hospital. That went OK, and
then the state allowed me to reapply for my license just like a 16 year old, taking
all the tests by computer, and also those in a car. I studied for this constantly, but after my AVM collapse it was not easy to study, and remember.

Finally I got my chance, and I was ready. I found the questions on their computer to
be pretty easy. I had been a computer gamer, and the exercises were somewhat
enjoyable to me. Then I was given a test driving, and parallel parking, and the parking
was not easy, but I aced it. But then the local authority applied to those above for my
new license, and they balked. I was informed what was happening as they argued
back and forth. Finally the local authority told their HQ that I had been passed by an
expert, and they had better give me that license. They were in no hurry to give
a survivor of a major brain operation a driving license, but they did.

I was congratulated. I had not driven in more than a year, and at first it was mostly
a matter of remembering how to get to places that I had not thought of in months.
But I did it, and without a GPS. This made me very happy.

I drove at least half way on our next vacation, and two years later I did again as
we drove from the East Coast out to Missouri, and Kansas, and back.

I had only one accident, a few years later, and in that one a sedan tried to pass
a truck, and four cars in a no passing zone, and then they struck me on my car’s
left side at they went by. Plenty of damage, but they got in trouble, not me, and
I recovered, and even better no one else was hurt.

I still drive, and no other accidents or tickets, so far. Thank you God!
This all encouraged me that I could over come adversities, if I tried.

Good luck to all who try to drive again!



Nice story, as always!

I was told not to drive from something like October 2016 round to some time in June 2017. I told the UK Driver & Vehicle Standards Authority about my condition, once I had my operation in the April, so they started the process of assessing my fitness to drive at the point at which I was probably getting better, not worse. As it happens, I got clearance to drive before they got through the process of withdrawing my licence, so my movement from not driving back to driving was remarkable because within an hour or two of seeing my own primary doctor, I was told I could drive again. (Note, I’m in the UK, so different rules from the US and I suspect I should have told DVLA about my AVM in the October, not the April, but the most important thing was to stop driving for a while.)

I found the liberty of being allowed to drive again a wonderful thing. I’m sure none of us should take some of these things for granted, like you always do as a young person. My favourite thing was being able to have the radio on to the music I like rather than being in someone else’s car and staying politely listening to whatever they choose to listen to! I was very lucky to be able to take lifts to work from a number of very generous colleagues, as well as using buses or trains.

I did find driving more challenging than I thought – mostly tiredness-related – but I’m back to full strength these days.

Thanks for sharing the story,


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I’m hoping I can get my back someday but with my loss of peripheral vision on the left I’m not very sure that will happen but I will find out in October when I’m due for a renewal test.

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Thank you. Good luck, Mike5. I hope it works out for you.


Welcome back to Driving-101!! I was elated when I was able to drive after 6 months, but I was scared as hell too! It took me another 6 months to drive on the expressway, but I did it. Lets keep taking the baby steps necessary to get us back to where we want to be.

Sharon D…


So, in all cases, I expect you need to tell the appropriate driving authority (e.g. about your condition(s) and their rules or doctor’s advice will tell you what you can and cannot do.

For DMV in California, there are probationary periods for resuming driving that start at 3 months, I believe. For other countries / states, I expect it to be different: in the UK, for example, you have to be a year clear of seizures to drive a private car and more than 10 years clear to drive a truck or bus.

Every state has different guidelines to return to driving after a seizure, as well as some form of monitoring/doctor’s notes.

In NY it’s six months to return, along with a doctor’s note. There are also some loopholes where a seizure does not necessarily stop you from driving. For example, if you are changing meds in the hospital and you have a seizure, that may be excused.

Even once you are permitted to drive, standard caution should apply. If you miss a dose, you may want to delay 24-48 hours. If you are sleep deprived, you will want to not drive. If you’ve been sick and illness/fever is a trigger, you should hold off on driving. Just some thoughts.

Sharon from ModSupport

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I never had a seizure, although I can imagine having one. I have no idea how long to wait until
coming back to drive after one, but I am sure it is possible. I still drive after having survived my AVM 20

Many of you can do as well as I have or better! Do not give up!

Hi John, Good to hear that your persistence paid off. I was recently in an accident and not driving. I’m scared about the process and also feeling isolated. You’re a good inspiration for me. Greg

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Don’t give up, and you will get your license in time. But I remember even after I passed my
driver’s exam…the MVA resisted giving me my license. They are in no hurry to give brain
operation survivors a driving license. I got my license several years ago, and how many
accidents have I been in since? Only one, and that was caused by a licensed driver
who tried to pass 4 autos, and 1 truck in a no passing zone. They hit me, but wife and I
survived. My prayers are that you will get your license back also. John

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