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Driving

These pages are about driving laws in the UK. If you are looking for information about driving laws in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation.

The law says that if you hold a driving licence, or want to start driving for the first time, you must tell the driving agency about your epilepsy. In England, Scotland and Wales you need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). In Northern Ireland you need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA).

Some people believe that if you have epilepsy, you will never be allowed to hold a driving licence. But for many people with epilepsy this isn't true. Find out more by clicking on the links below.

When do I need to stop driving?

When you need to stop driving and how to report your epilepsy to the driving agency

When can I drive?

Find out when you can drive using our online tool

The rules for driving a car or motorcycle (group 1 licence)

The rules for driving a bus, coach or lorry (group 2 licence)

What are the rules if I'm changing or withdrawing my epilepsy medicine?

Rules if you're changing or withdrawing your epilepsy medicine (group 1 licence)

How do I get my licence back or apply for a first licence?

How to apply or reapply for a driving licence

What can I do if I'm unhappy with the driving agency's decision?

Appealing against decisions made by the driving agency

Will my epilepsy affect my motor insurance?

Information about motor insurance for people with epilepsy

Can I get help with travel costs and work?

Help with travel costs and work when you can't drive because of your epilepsy

Can I drive for a living when I have epilepsy?

Information about driving for a living when you have epilepsy

Code: 
B005.07

Epilepsy Action would like to thank DVLA for his contributing to this information.

This information has been produced under the terms of Epilepsy Action's information quality standards.

  • Updated March 2019
    To be reviewed March 2022

Comments: read the 15 comments or add yours

Comments

I have just lost my licence for having a fit after 20years. My insurance has my dad as name driver, can my dad still drive me around in my car for the next year, as i cant drive it.? is my insurance policy still valid. Have notified dvla,?

Submitted by karen on

 

Dear Karen,

 

Thank you for your message.

 

I am sorry to hear that your epilepsy has caused you to lose your licence.

 

As your insurance is based on your driving licence, it will now be invalid.

 

Some insurers might allow the main policyholder to be transferred to your dad. You would need to call your insurer to ask them if they can do this. 

 

However, some insurers will require that you also transfer the car’s ownership into his name too.

https://www.gov.uk/sold-bought-vehicle

 

It could be worth shopping around and calling some insurers to see what they can do.

 

I hope this information helps.

If we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact us again, either by email or the Epilepsy Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. We are open Monday to Friday 8.30am until 5.30pm.

Kind regards

 

Vicky

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

Hi after12 yrs of epilepsy diagnosed 2 mild strokes and at that time epilepsy which the NHS at that time never picked up I took Tegretol which helped the seizures decline to 3 in the day 2 at night a week. I was taken off them now after saying it is none epileptic. With the 6500 taken off me, my seizures have increased to average 14 a day and 6 at night that last up to 4min being very confused, being sick a lot. I just want to know will this ever stop. As a professor noticed my scaring of which was never reported. Professor states they are two old ones but due to strain it as now provoked my sensory with the seizures of tight crouch. It as burst some brain parts that now I am Sevier blind from total deaf due to bursts mute that side of right side sensory damage. I just want to know will this ease eventually My professor as put me on epilepsy which as now reduced but just waiting for this to finish with my Neurology now closed my case and a professor taking on my situation I just can not understand is it none epileptic from one hospital or have epileptic that reduce my seizures but the sensory is all damaged through heavy none seizures that are all confusing. I know am in a wheelchair with no sensation and done all tests from my professor saying they are no feeling after a large none epileptic seizure? I will be having more tests due to the continued vomit that as caused the throat not to swallow only a syringe into my stomach. The brain sensory damaged area. Will these seizures stop thank you? My support worker David lip reads and she types my documents and codes my hand.

Submitted by Geoff Bosworth on

Dear Geoff,

I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been through such a tough journey.

It’s difficult to say whether your seizure will ever stop completely. Sometimes seizures can be very difficult to control. And for some people, treatment can only make them less frequent and/or less severe.  Unfortunately, treatment doesn’t always stop seizures entirely.  If your seizures are difficult to control and the still happen even with treatment it can be challenging and frustrating.

The most important thing is that you have the right diagnosis and are  getting the right treatment for you. And we have some information about this and different types of epilepsy treatment on our website that you might find helpful.  I’m not sure whether the doctors think your seizures are epileptic, non-epileptic or a mixture of both. But if some of your seizures are non-epileptic seizures these won’t be helped by epilepsy medicines and would need a different type of treatment. And we have a webpage with more information on non-epileptic seizures and how they’re treated. 

I hope with the right diagnosis and the right treatment that things can improve for you. 

Regards

Jess

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

at 46 i have lost my C1 driving licence because I had two seizures last year, although nothing has been found during scans or tests i have been diagnosed with Epilepsy and given meds. I have no problem with that as i am seizure free for 18 months. That said I cant get my C1 licence back as i am on medication and if its the medication that is keeping me seizure free I'm not coming off. My point is I cant go back to my job as a Paramedic because i cant drive an ambulance, Is there anyway the DVLA will look at individual cases or is there any action groups that will fight to give us the same writes as other medical conditions?

Submitted by chris on

Hi Chris – This is a tough situation for you. Sometimes managing risk isn’t easy or straightforward with epilepsy. The DVLA will consider appeals but does not look at adapting the rules on an individual basis. We aren’t aware of any action groups but you may be able to get some views from others through our online Forum4e site. You would be welcome to contact us at the Helpline if you need any further advice.

Regards

Mags

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Mags - Epilepsy... on

Hi Chris
I am a Paramedic in the same situation with the C1, I used to primarily work on an RRV. It is clear from the DVLA that different trusts can set their own standards for driving, however, C1 only relates to the weight of the vehicle not the standard of driving.
I would be very interested to know how you are getting on with your ambulance trust or any progress you have made?
I am hopeful there is a Paramedic out there somewhere that is able to drive an RRV and already set a president with this.
If there is I would be very keen to discuss this with them further.
Thanks for any info.

Submitted by Leila Chandler on

Hello, I was just diagnosed this past June with Epilepsy. I had the first seizure in my sleep and I was sent to the local hospital. This happened out of the blue. I have had 5 now since June. They average about every other month and only 1 of them was in the evening in which I collapsed. I am under the care of a Neurologist and she put me on Keppra. She has had to keep increasing the dose to no avail and I still get the seizures. My recent one was last Tuesday at around 1 a.m. They are classified as "Nocturnal" seizures. I have also had 2 MRI tests and 1 EEG in which all came out with normal results. There is no medical reason for these. I am stumped. I am 61 years of age and in good health so I don't understand what's going on. I had a head injury when I was the age of 10 years old but this specialist says it isn't likely anything to do with the seizures.

Submitted by julie hoffman on

My son had his last seizure a year ago and so had to defer applying for his first licence. His consultant arranged to see him last week so that she could write a ‘fit to Drive’ letter fornDVLA. However, for her personal reasons this appointment has had to be cancelled and has been put back six months. Is there anyone else, such as his GP, who can confirm he is fit to drive?

Submitted by Jeremy Dunford on

Hi Jeremy – It’s good to hear that your son has been seizure free for a year and that he is keen to learn to drive. Your son can apply for his driving licence when he meets the driving rules. He needs to fills in the forms to apply for his provisional licence. The forms will ask for details of his hospital consultant. If he includes this information the DVLA will get in touch with his consultant to get the medical evidence they need.

Regards

Mags

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

I had my first sleep seizure in January 2018 and stopped driving for 6 months. During this 6 months I was under the care of my neurologist who carried out CT/ MRI scan/EEG and sleep deprivation EEG, which all came back clear. Subsequently July 2018 I was granted to drive by DVLA after my 6 months had elapsed.

I have now had a second sleep seizure in September 2019 (1 year and 8 months after my first sleep seizure in January 2018) and prescribed Keppra medication. A CT scan was carried out which came back clear. I have been referred to be seen by a neurologist and currently awaiting my appointment.

I have voluntarily stopped driving for now.

However my question is, do I fall under the term permitted seizures for driving purposes? Given both my seizures were asleep seizures?

Would be grateful to your reply

Thank you

Submitted by Asif Khan on

Hi Asif

The rules for epilepsy and sleep seizures are these:

  • You have never had an awake seizure
  • You have had sleep seizures for 12 months or more
  • You are following your doctors instructions about treatment
  • You meet the general driving laws

From what you have said it seems clear to me that you do meet the epilepsy and driving laws for sleep seizures, and can reapply for your licence.

A sleep seizure is defined as one you have when you are sleeping. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is. If you get your licence back based on having only sleep seizures, you can continue to drive even if you have further sleep seizures. If you have an awake seizure you need to stop driving and tell DVLA. 

I hope this is helpful.

 

Regards

Cherry  

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Cherry - Epilep... on

I have had various mri scans and recently a EEG..Which came back clear.Ihave never had a siezure..but what i would call episodes which i believe to be related to my Migraine.Can my Doctor allow me to resume driving.Or what must i do .Regards Barry

Submitted by Barry Blacklock on

Hi Barry – The driving rules vary for different medical conditions. The DVLA will ask for medical information from your doctor to help them to make their decision about when you can drive. So it may be best to talk to your doctor about this.

Regards

Mags

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Mags - Epilepsy... on

Mags Thank you for you advice .Seeing Doctor very soon Regards Barry

Submitted by Barry Blacklock on

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