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. You’ll need to meet the same epilepsy driving rules as for a full group 1 licence. You can apply for your provisional licence online, or complete an application form available from Post Offices.
You can reapply for your licence up to 8 weeks before the date you meet the legal standard for driving. For most people this date will be 12 months after their last seizure, but this might be different depending on the type of seizures you have. See our page about the group 1 driving rules or group 2 driving rules to check.
Before you reapply, check with your doctor that they agree you’re fit to drive again. If they think you meet the epilepsy driving rules, you can then start the process of reapplying.
To reapply, you’ll need to fill in a driving licence application form and a medical questionnaire. There are different forms depending on whether you’re applying for a group 1 or group 2 licence, and which driving agency you are applying to.
In England, Scotland and Wales: check the DVLA website to see which forms you need.
In Northern Ireland: check the DVA website to see which forms you need.
What information will the driving agency need?
If you’re in England, Scotland or Wales and reapplying to the DVLA, you’ll need to complete the medical questionnaire yourself. You’ll need to give details about your seizures. You’ll also have to give contact details for your GP and your consultant, and give permission for DVLA to ask them about your fitness to drive.
If you’re in Northern Ireland and reapplying to DVA, you’ll need to get your GP to complete the medical questionnaire.
I’ve reapplied for my licence. When can I start driving again?
When you can start driving again depends on whether you surrendered your licence, or whether it was formally withdrawn (revoked) by the driving agency.
If you surrendered your licence
If you surrendered your licence you may be able to start driving again as soon as you meet the epilepsy driving rules, even if you haven’t yet received your new licence. This would be possible if:
- The driving agency has received your application and
- 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? (England, Scotland and Wales). Information for drivers in Northern Ireland is available on the NI direct website.
If your driving licence was revoked
If your driving licence was revoked you’ll 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 can be for 1, 2, 3 or 5 years.
If you have been seizure free for 5 years, the driving agency may issue you with a ‘till 70’ licence.
I’ve got my group 1 licence back but the categories of vehicle I can drive has changed. Why is that?
Group 1 licences issued before 1 January 1997 included the categories C1 (lorries weighing between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes) and D1 (minibuses, 9-16 seats, not for hire or reward). Licences issued after 1 January 1997 do not include these categories. If you’ve had to give up your pre-1997 licence for medical reasons, the C1 and D1 categories will have been taken off.
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.
Epilepsy Action would like to thank Ed Foxell at DVLA for his contribution to this information.
Ed Foxell has declared no conflict of interest.
This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.
- Updated March 2017To be reviewed March 2018