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Driving and epilepsy FAQs
Answers to frequently asked questions on driving and epilepsy.
How long do I have to give up my driving licence for if I have only minor seizures and do not lose consciousness?
Some of the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) Group 1 regulations for epilepsy changed in March 2013.
If someone has had a seizure of any type they have to stop driving initially. This includes all types of seizure, whether consciousness is lost or not. Although this might sound harsh, the reason for this is to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. To be able to drive a car again you have to be free of all seizures for one year.
However, if you have only seizures that do not affect your consciousness and ability to control a vehicle, and have never had any other type of seizure, you may be able to able for a new licence after one year of having only this type of seizure. There is specific criteria about this on our main Driving and transport page.
Other changes to the Group 1 regulations for epilepsy may affect people who have only asleep (or 'nocturnal' or 'sleep-related') seizures with no history of awake seizures, or breakthrough seizures during change or withdrawal of medication under medical supervision.
None of the changes to the regulations apply to Group 2 licences for driving a larger vehicle, such as buses or lorries.
See our summary of the changes to Group 1 regulations from March 2013.
Will my car insurance cost more because of my epilepsy?
If the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) has said you can drive - that you meet all their criteria to drive - then they consider you are safe to drive. This means that should be no reason why insurance companies should charge you more for insurance just because you had seizures previously. However, insurance companies base their quotes on your individual circumstances and are allowed to ask you for further details about your epilepsy, which might include asking for a copy of a letter from the DVLA, before giving you a quote. If you're looking for driving insurance, it is often worth talking to a few different companies to see who can offer you the best quote.
There is more information about driving and insurance on our driving pages.
© Epilepsy Society
Information updated in November 2012.