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Driving with a Medical Condition or Disability

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 22 Mar 2021 | comments*Discuss
Medical Conditions Epilepsy Heart

When you apply for your driving licence you may be in good health but as time passes your health may deteriorate or you may contract an illness that makes it difficult for you to drive. In either of these events you must inform the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) and surrender your licence if medical reports show you are not fit to drive.

What Medical Conditions may Prevent me from Driving?

  • Epilepsy - there are around 450,000 people in the United Kingdom with Epilepsy. There are different types of epilepsy but they all at risk of seizure. Epilepsy can be controlled well with medication but you must make the DVLA aware that you are epileptic. Many people go through their lives having only a handful of attacks but there are many others who can seize without warning.
  • Heart Conditions - some heart conditions could cause problems when driving, but medication can keep them under control. Your doctor will inform you whether or not you are safe to continue driving. As with all illnesses you should inform the DVLA as soon as you are made aware of the condition.

Losing a Limb

People can still drive after losing a limb; again it's something that the DVLA need to be aware of. If you are driving after losing a limb – or having lost the use of a limb – you may have to have your vehicle modified in which case you must inform your insurance company.

Revocation of your Licence

It is worth noting that if you suffer from a medical condition or disability that may impair your ability to drive and you do not make this information known to the DVLA that they can – without informing you – revoke your licence thus making it illegal for you to drive.

The DVLA have the right – and indeed exercise the right – to revoke the licence of any driver who has not declared a medical condition or physical condition that may render them unable to drive

Likewise the DVLA have the right to approach your doctor at any time for an update on your medical history in order to make sure that your condition has not worsened and also that you are not putting the lives of yourself and others on the road at risk.

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had a driving licence but had to send it back for something when I tried to renew my licence. I became quite ill almost straightaway and so didn't think about my licence. I now need to drive but haven't a clue how to go about it. It's been 5-6 years since I have driven and I have Diabetes Type 2 which is insulin controlled. My medical records will show that I have good control. I am 66 years old and wear glasses which give me excellent vision! I really need to speak to someone. I'm quite happy to take the tests and consider myself compus mentis.
Lisa - 22-Mar-21 @ 2:13 PM
Does a 78 year old need to send in a new photo to renew his driving licence please?He currently has a photocard licence which was renewed last year and is being reviewed on a yearly basis. Lorraine
Lox - 28-Oct-20 @ 9:54 AM
I don't need to report any health conditions. I have to renew my license every 3 years as I have diabetes. I have completed the form for medical renewal and sent my license as well as it expires in June. I haven't heard anything back it has been over 3 weeks.
Bal - 26-May-20 @ 8:37 AM
I have sent my driving licence for renewal as I do normally every 3 years as I have a medical issue. Due to Corona I am unable to speak to anyone regarding an up date of the renewal. What should I do,?
Bal - 16-May-20 @ 3:22 PM
what kind of medical conditons do you need to report
bran - 13-Aug-14 @ 1:47 PM
My friend had a motorcycle accident making him disabled from the waist down. He was asked to send his licence to the DVLA which he did. He now wants to have a disability driving assessment but has been told he needs to produce his driving licence which the DVLA are holding. His problem is that he cannot find anyone or any department at the DVLA that can speak to him and tell him how to get his licence back. Help please
Chris - 6-Aug-14 @ 3:00 PM
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