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Can I drive a car or motorcycle?

If you've had to stop driving because of seizures, use our tool to find out when you might be able to start driving again.

This tool is intended as a guide only. The driving agency will decide when you can start driving again.

This tool applies to group 1 licences, which allow you to drive cars and motorcycles. If you want to find out about driving on a group 2 (bus and lorry) licence, visit our group 2 rules page.

If you've had a seizure and haven't yet informed the driving agency, visit our page about reporting seizures to the driving agency.

An explanation of the terms used in this tool

  • A seizure:

    For the purposes of licensing the driving agencies treat more than one seizure within a 24 hour period as a single seizure.
  • Provoked seizure:

    A seizure that happened at the time of a physical trauma or injury to your body, or within a week of a trauma or injury to your brain.
  • Unprovoked seizure:

    Any seizure that is not provoked. Most seizures in epilepsy are unprovoked. Even if you have seizures triggered by a specific thing, for example lack of sleep, they would still be classed as unprovoked.

You will need to be seizure free before you can drive.

You are allowed to drive when you have been seizure free for at least 12 months. The 12 month seizure-free period applies from the date of your most recent seizure.

You must also meet the following conditions:

  • As far as you are able, you follow your doctor’s advice about your treatment and check-ups for epilepsy and
  • The driving agency is satisfied that as a driver you are not likely to be a source of danger to the public

Think you meet this driving rule? Then find out how to apply or reapply for a driving licence.

First unprovoked seizure

If you've had your first ever unprovoked seizure the driving agency is likely to class it as an isolated seizure. If so, they may allow you to drive 6 months after the seizure, as long as you don't have any others.

If your doctor thinks you may have an increased risk of having further seizures (for example because tests have shown a possible cause in your brain or epileptic activity on your EEG), you will need to be seizure free for 12 months before you can drive.

You will need to be seizure free before you can drive.

You are allowed to drive when you have been seizure free for at least 12 months. The 12 month seizure-free period applies from the date of your most recent seizure.

You must also meet the following conditions:

  • As far as you are able, you follow your doctor’s advice about your treatment and check-ups for epilepsy and
  • The driving agency is satisfied that as a driver you are not likely to be a source of danger to the public

Think you meet this driving rule? Then find out how to apply or reapply for a driving licence.

If you only have seizures that don’t affect your awareness, you might be able to drive even if you continue having seizures.

The driving agency would need to be satisfied that:

  • You remain fully alert and able to react during your seizures and
  • Your seizures don’t affect your ability to control the vehicle and
  • You have been having this type of seizure for at least 12 months and
  • You have never had any other type of unprovoked seizure

You must also meet the following conditions:

  • As far as you are able, you follow your doctor’s advice about your treatment and check-ups for epilepsy and
  • The driving agency is satisfied that as a driver you are not likely to be a source of danger to the public

Think you meet this driving rule? Then find out how to apply or reapply for a driving licence.

If you have awake and sleep seizures, you can drive when:

  • You’ve been free of both awake and sleep seizures for at least 12 months or

If you stop having awake seizures, but you still have sleep seizures, you can drive when:

  • You’ve been having sleep seizures only for at least 3 years. The 3 years applies from the date of your first sleep seizure after your last awake seizure

You must also meet the following conditions:

  • As far as you are able, you follow your doctor’s advice about your treatment and check-ups for epilepsy and
  • The driving agency is satisfied that as a driver you are not likely to be a source of danger to the public

Think you meet this driving rule? Then find out how to apply or reapply for a driving licence.

If your seizures always start when you're asleep, you may still be able to drive even if you continue having them.

They don’t need to be at night. A seizure that starts during a daytime nap also counts as a sleep seizure.

Before they allow you to drive, the driving agency would need to be satisfied that:

  • You’ve never had an awake seizure and
  • You’ve been having sleep seizures for at least 12 months. The 12 months applies from the date of your first seizure

You must also meet the following conditions:

  • As far as you are able, you follow your doctor’s advice about your treatment and check-ups for epilepsy and
  • The driving agency is satisfied that as a driver you are not likely to be a source of danger to the public

Think you meet this driving rule? Then find out how to apply or reapply for a driving licence.

If you have awake and sleep seizures, you can drive when:

  • You’ve been free of both awake and sleep seizures for at least 12 months or

If you stop having awake seizures, but you still have sleep seizures, you can drive when:

  • You’ve been having sleep seizures only for at least 3 years. The 3 years applies from the date of your first sleep seizure after your last awake seizure

You must also meet the following conditions:

  • As far as you are able, you follow your doctor’s advice about your treatment and check-ups for epilepsy and
  • The driving agency is satisfied that as a driver you are not likely to be a source of danger to the public

Think you meet this driving rule? Then find out how to apply or reapply for a driving licence.

Provoked seizure

If your doctor thinks your seizure was provoked, and the driving agency agrees, they will look at your case on an individual basis. They will let you know when you can drive. If you've no history of unprovoked seizures you will usually need to be seizure free for 6 months before you can drive.

However, you are likely to need 12 months off driving if:

  • You've had any unprovoked seizures in the past or
  • There's evidence that you are at increased risk of having further seizures. For example, tests show scarring or epileptic activity in your brain

For information about which seizures may be classed as provoked contact the Epilepsy Action Helpline, or see DVLA's Assessing fitness to drive guide for medical professionals, Appendix B.

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