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Proposed driving regulations
The Department for Transport ran a consultation in 2011 on proposed changes to the DVLA standards for fitness to drive for people with epilepsy. There is information about the proposed changes on the DVLA website, but currently (August 2012) the standards for epilepsy have not changed.
See the current standards on our Driving and transport page.
We are working closely with DVLA, and will update our website and driving information as and when any changes to the driving standards for epilepsy come into force.
Planned changes to DVLA medical standards aim to bring UK driving regulations in line with European standards, making travel between countries easier for drivers.
The Department of Transport consultation period ran until 28 April 2011 and Epilepsy Society submitted a full response to the proposed changes.
Key changes under the new EU directive include:
- People who have had asleep (nocturnal) seizures only and have never had an awake seizure will be able to drive again after one year of sleep seizures only, rather than the current three-year recommendation. Those with a history of both awake and asleep seizures will still need to show a three-year period of asleep seizures only before driving again.
- People who have, and have only ever had seizures that do not affect their consciousness or ability to drive can start to drive again in spite of continuing to have these seizures. A pattern of these type of seizures, and no other types of seizures, must have been established for one year. Current regulations say people must be free of all types of seizures for one year before driving.
- People who are seizure free and coming off their anti-epileptic drugs under the guidance of their specialist are advised to stop driving during this period and for six months afterwards (this is reduced from one year). If a person experiences a seizure during this time, they can start driving again after three months as long as their medication has been resumed.
Professor John Duncan, medical director of Epilepsy Society said: ‘We have worked very closely with the DVLA to refine these regulations fairly and safely for everyone with epilepsy. While we agree with the proposals there are several areas where we have sought clarification.
To read the full revised medical standards go to www.dvla.gov.uk/consultations