If you drive, one immediate effect of having a seizure is that you have to stop driving. This is true for all types of seizures, and whether you have a diagnosis of epilepsy or not. For many people, this can have a big impact on their life and it may be very difficult or upsetting.
How the driving regulations apply to you will depend on the type of seizures you have now, the type of seizures you have had previously, and the type of licence you have (Group 1 or Group 2). Specific regulations also apply after an isolated seizure or first unprovoked seizure.
Answers to some of the questions that people with epilepsy may have about the practical application of the driving regulations.
Use our interactive guide to find out how the driving regulations for people with epilepsy in the UK apply to you.
Driving regulations if you have epilepsy and want to learn to drive.
How to get car insurance if you have epilepsy
An outline of the current driving regulations affecting people with epilepsy.
A list of the specific terms used by the DVLA in its documents, along with the definitions.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) licenses cars and drivers for driving on public roads in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). If you have a driving licence, by law it is your duty to tell the DVLA about any medical condition that may affect your ability to drive, including epilepsy. This is a condition of holding a driving licence. If you have a driving licence and have a seizure of any kind, in most cases you must stop driving.
You are responsible for telling the DVLA and returning your licence to them.
The driving regulations cover all epileptic seizures:
- auras and warnings;
- seizures where you are conscious;
- myoclonic seizures; and
- seizures where you lose consciousness.
These regulations apply even if you have only one seizure (an 'isolated seizure’), whether you have a diagnosis of epilepsy or not, and whether you are taking anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) or not.
Medical standards of fitness to drive
Epileptic seizures are specifically included in the Road Traffic Act 1988. This means that if you have one or more seizures, by law you must meet certain medical standards in order to have a driving licence.
The DVLA’s ‘Assessing fitness to drive’ sets out the medical standards for driving, advised by expert medical panels, and based on UK and European legislation. Only the medical advisers at the DVLA are able to decide whether or not someone meets the standards to drive.
A ‘Customer service guide for drivers with a medical condition' leaflet is available from the GOV.UK website.
Taken from our Driving and travel leaflet. Order this leaflet from our online shop as part of our 'first five free' offer.