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.
Before you can start driving you will need a provisional driving licence. To be allowed a provisional driving licence you will have to meet the epilepsy driving rules. You can apply for your licence online, or complete an application form available from Post Offices.
To reapply for your driving licence you will need to complete two forms - a D1 and a medical questionnaire. The D1 application form is available from Post Office branches. Or you can order a D1 pack from the DVLA website. The medical questionnaire is available online from gov.uk/government/publications. If you can’t download the medical form, DVLA will send it to you when they receive your application form. You can send the forms to DVLA up to eight weeks before you can legally drive again.
What information will the driving agencies need?
On the medical questionnaire, you will need to give details about your last seizure. You will also have to give the driving agency consent to do a medical enquiry and give them the name of a doctor who can provide a medical report.
The driving agencies have advised us that lots of applications are delayed because people don’t complete every box in the questionnaire. So in order for your application to go through as quickly and smoothly as possible, make sure you complete every single box.
If you then feel extra explanation is needed, you can enclose a covering letter as well as completing all the boxes. You can also enclose the letter from your doctor about when you last had a seizure.
There is no cost for reapplying for your licence, if you surrendered it because of your epilepsy.
When should I apply for my driving licence again?
Check that your doctor agrees you are fit to start driving again before you apply to get your driving licence back. This will avoid the risk of getting your licence revoked. When you apply to get your licence back, the driving agencies have to make medical enquiries into your fitness to drive. If your doctor and/or the driving agency feels you can't meet the required standards, your driving licence will be revoked. If this happens you will need to wait until all medical enquiries are complete and your driving licence issued before you can start driving again.
When you surrender your driving licence, post both parts of your driving licence, along with a covering letter detailing the nature of your condition.
When you can start driving again depends on whether you sent back your last licence voluntarily, or whether it was formally withdrawn (revoked) by the driving agency.
If you sent your driving licence back voluntarily
If you sent your driving licence back voluntarily you can start the process of reapplying for your driving licence 10 months after your last seizure. And, you may be able to start driving again after 12 months even if you haven’t got your driving licence back yet. This would be possible if:
- The driving agency has received your application
- You meet the epilepsy and driving laws
- There are no other medical or legal reasons why you should not be driving
Full Information about this is available in the leaflet INF188/6 - Can I drive while my application is with DVLA?
DVLA website: gov.uk/government/publications
If your driving licence was revoked
If your driving licence was revoked by DVLA you will have to wait until all medical enquiries are complete. You will also need to have your driving licence back before you can start driving again.
When you get your driving licence back, it will be medically restricted. Medically restricted licences are usually for one, two or three years. Three years is the most common.
If you live in England, Scotland and Wales
Once you have been seizure free for a total of five years, and your doctor supports this fact, you can apply for a long term (till 70) licence.
If you live in Northern Ireland
You can apply for a five year licence, but not for a till 70 one.
In England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the rules change when you get to 70.
If you would like to see this information with references, visit the Advice and Information references section of our website. If you are unable to access the internet, please contact our Epilepsy freephone Helpline on 0808 800 5050.
This information was written by Epilepsy Action’s advice and information team, with guidance and input from people living with epilepsy and experts at DVLA.
Epilepsy Action would like to thank Edward Foxell at DVLA for his contribution to this information.
The DVLA has no conflict of interest.
This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.
- Updated April 2015To be reviewed April 2018