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Rules for group 1 driving licences

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.

Am I allowed to drive with a group 1 licence?

For vehicles you can drive with a Group 1 licence please see the table on the driving agencies and licence categories page.

When you are allowed to drive depends on the type of seizures that you have.

I only ever have seizures when I am awake, and they affect my consciousness

If you have seizures while awake that affect your consciousness, 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

I only ever have seizures when I am awake, but they do NOT affect my consciousness

You might have heard these called simple partial or focal seizures. They have to be seizures where you remain fully aware of what is going on around you and you are able to react.

The driving agency will need a detailed description of your seizures before they make a decision about when you can drive. However, you may be allowed to drive when:

  • You have only been having seizures that do not affect your consciousness, for at least 12 months (even if you continue having them)
  • You have only ever had seizures that do not affect your consciousness

Even if you have been diagnosed with simple partial or focal seizures, this does not automatically mean you will meet this particular driving entitlement.

I only ever have seizures when I am asleep

If you have seizures when you are asleep, you are allowed to drive when:

  • You have been seizure free for at least 12 months or
  • You have been having sleep seizures only for at least 12 months, and you have never had seizures while awake or
  • You have had awake seizures in the past, but you have been having sleep seizures only for at least three years

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

I have seizures when I am both awake and asleep

If you were awake when you had your last seizure
You are allowed to drive when you have been seizure free for at least 12 months. The 12 months 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

If you were asleep when you had your last seizure
You are allowed to drive when:

  • You have been seizure free for at least 12 months or
  • You have been having sleep seizures only for at least three years, and any seizures you had when awake were over three years ago

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

I have had an isolated seizure

If you have had an isolated seizure you may be allowed to drive when:

  • You have been seizure free for at least six months and 
  • Your consultant thinks it is unlikely you will have another seizure and
  • The driving agency is satisfied that as a driver you are not likely to be a source of danger to the public

If you have a diagnosis of epilepsy you are unlikely to be considered to have had an isolated seizure however long the gap between your seizures.

I have had a provoked seizure

The circumstances in which the driving agency will define a seizure as provoked are very limited.

Here are some examples:

  • A seizure at the time of a stroke or mini-stroke, or in the following 24 hours
  • A doctor giving someone a medicine that is known possibly to trigger seizures

If you have had seizures in the past, it is much less likely that the driving agency will decide your seizure can be defined as provoked.

A seizure caused by alcohol or lack of sleep would not be classed as provoked.

If you think the driving agency may define your seizure as provoked, you should first talk to your doctor. They can contact a medical adviser at the driving agency to find out more on your behalf. If the driving agency believes your seizure could be defined as provoked, they will look at your case individually. Based on a doctor’s advice, the driving agency will tell you when you can start driving again.

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 Action freephone Helpline on 0808 800 5050.

Code: 
B005.04

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 2015
    To be reviewed April 2018

Comments: read the 48 comments or add yours

Comments

Hi,

I had one awake seizure this time last year. I have never had a seizure of fit in myself before. I was running a business, lack of sleep and very stressed.

Since then I have had 3 seizures in my sleep, one being beginning of October and the others being 10 months before that. The first seizure in my sleep was due to the doctor not giving me the correct dosage, The other seizures I have had have been my sleep and whilst I have been under the influence of alcohol and lack of sleep.

Not driving has effect my job and life and relationship, had to close my business down because of it. What can I do? I have been fit free whilst I am awake since November 2013.

Submitted by Tom Peare on

Hi Tom

It sounds like things have been tough for you since you haven’t been able to drive.

The epilepsy and driving laws say that you have to be seizure-free awake or asleep for 12 months before you can re-apply for your driving licence. Or if you only have sleep seizures and no awake ones, for an established pattern of three years, you would be able to re-apply for your driving licence.

Because you’re not able to drive at the moment, you would be entitled to a free bus pass. And you might be interested in a Disabled Person’s Railcard. They could help a little. I’ve linked you to the information for England. Hope that’s correct.

For help with benefits you might want to talk to someone at your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Or contact Turn2us, which can help with benefits and grants information.

You may also be interested in our online community, forum4e. This is for people with epilepsy and carers of people with epilepsy. People can find it really helpful to talk to other people in a similar situation.

I do hope things improve for you soon.

Cherry

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Cherry-Epilepsy... on

I have had Epilepsy since 2003 when I had my first seizure asleep at the age of 45. I Iost my driving licence for 1 year. Eleven months later with one month to go before I got my licence back I had another seizure so I lost my licence again. All my seizures have been asleep seizures. I got my licence back the year later and was seizure free for 5 years, then I had another sleep seizure and was told I could carry on driving as I hadn't had any seizure's for 5 years and the ones I had were sleep seizures. In Nov 2013 whilst driving my car with my two young children I had a suspected seizure, luckily I had just parked my car when the seizure happened and it rolled to a standstill not causing any damage to the car, myself or the children.

I have just got my licence back and now my ex wife says I cannot drive the children at all unless I have an adult in the car with me and is threating to take me to court even thought my doctor,consultant and the DVLA say I'm fit to drive. Can my ex wife legally insist I have an adult with me when I have the children with me ? This is the first awake seizure I have ever had in the 10 years of having epilepsy. Whats your take on this ?

Submitted by Gerry Thomas on

Dear Gerry

Thank you for your question. That sounds like a difficult situation.

The DVLA make the laws on driving based on carefully researched calculation of risks. So they are clear that you are at no more risk that anyone else behind a wheel. This is why you have your licence back.

I’m sorry but I don’t know what the legal situation would be, to do with looking after your children. The Equality Advisory Support Service may be able to help you. Their number is 0808 800 0082. They could talk to you about whether this would be seen as an act of discrimination.  

Depending on what the EASS say, you may want to try the family mediation service. They could possibly help you and your ex-wife resolve this.

I really hope it can sort for you soon.

Cherry, Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Mark@Epilepsy Action on

Hi, the information I have read through so far has been very helpful, could you help me with this query?

I have had Epilepsy since about 1996 and has been controlled most of the time with suitable medication. I have lost and reapplied for my licence a few times during that period up to the beginning of 2014, when my seizures suddenly seemed to become more aggressive in appearance and more frequent.

My last awake seizure was at the beginning of Feb 2014, my medication has been altered with the addition of one new drug about 8-9 months ago and so far so good.

I previously had a pattern of sleeping seizures only, I wouldn't be able to definitively say that I have had full blown night time seizures on top of the last daytime seizure, because I do have very vivid dreams/night terrors - the doctor has explained it could be due to the medication.

Briefly, my question is this - My last awake seizure in which I lost consciousness was about Feb 2014, my last nighttime seizure that could be confirmed was a few years before 2014. Do night terror/active dreams count as seizures that would affect when I could re-apply for my licence?

Thanks

Submitted by Karl on

Dear Karl

Thank you for your email.

The answer to your question is most likely to depend on how your neurologist defines what is happening for you at night. If they are unsure, they do have a hotline to the Drivers Medical Group at DVLA. They may want to discuss this with them as it is certainly a grey area.

If they do not consider your night time activity to be seizure related, then you could reapply for your licence now. If you surrendered it voluntarily you should be able to start driving once the 12 months are up, your doctor is happy for you to drive, and you know that the DVLA have received your application.

If they do think it is seizure related, there are two different ways in which you could get your licence back. One is to be completely seizure free for 12 months.  The other is to have a 3 year established pattern of sleep seizures only. You could then apply for a licence based on this fact. So even if you continued to have sleep seizures, you could continue to drive.

The driving laws for epilepsy are complicated. And your situation is not straight forward. Within that, I do hope I have been able to offer you some clarity on it.

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.


Cherry

Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Cherry, Epileps... on

I had petit mal from 14 - 17 whilst being phyically abused by my father I am now 70 and have had 2 blackouts one dec. 13 one aug 14. Both un witnessed. Consultant put me on medication and have had mri and eeg . How long before I can apply to drive again plz I surrendered my licence myself

Submitted by fran langford on

Dear Fran

It sounds like you’ve had some difficult times in your past.

Here is our information about the driving laws.

You need to be seizure free for 12 months in order to be able to reapply for your licence. There are slightly different rules if you have a pattern of sleep seizures only, or seizures that do not affect your consciousness. But as you surrendered your licence yourself, you can start the process after 10 months.

The epilepsy and driving laws are confusing though. So if it would be easier to discuss this on the on the phone, do feel free to contact us on our Epilepsy Helpline freephone number 0808 800 5050.

Cherry
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Cherry, Epileps... on

Hello,

I have been having epilepsy for about 14 years, I am 21 now, and my seizures are still not under control. I have tried many type of tablets, had a brain surgery but I keep having seizures at least once a week both grand mal and petit mal. I really want to drive, but there's no way I am going to be seizure-free for a year. I wanna pass the driving test. Am I obliged to tell them that I have epilepsy? Is it illegal drive when having epilepsy or is it just an advice ?

Submitted by Amy on

Hi Amy

It must be tough still not having seizure control after so many medicine changes and surgery. If you applied for a provision driving licence, there would be a question about your health on the form. If you didn’t declare you had epilepsy, your licence (and insurance) would be invalid. And you would be driving illegally.

It must be a hard thing to come to terms with, even after all these years.

Can I just check that you know about forum4e? It’s our online community for people with epilepsy and carers of people with epilepsy. They can’t make the laws any different, but there are lots of people on there in a similar situation so I’m sure they’d sympathise with you.

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.

Cherry
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Cherry, Epileps... on

Is there such a thing as having restrictions put on your licence, like not being allowed to drive with passengers?

Submitted by Charlotte on

Hi Charlotte

We aren’t aware of any rule about being allowed to drive but not have passengers.

Cherry

Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Cherry, Epileps... on

Hi,

I suffered an isolated seizure back in November 2014. I notified the DVLA and as predicted they revoked my license (I wasn't aware that I could voluntarily surrender it at the time!).

I've been discharged by my Neurologist who is happy with my CT, MRI and EEG results.

I have now reapplied for driving license - I know you can do it up to 8 weeks before your re-qualification date (mine is 4th May 2015). The lady at the DVLA said to post it a week before that so 9 weeks - that's what i've done.

I do have one question though which is not answered anywhere on the DVLA site -

If they are happy with my neuro and doctor's decision and grant me my license back - when should I expect to receive it? Does it ever arrive before the re-qualification date?? and do they trust you to wait until that day to drive? Or will it arrive after?

Also will the DVLA notify me that they have received my application as they have not done this yet?

Thanks,

Alex

Submitted by Alex on

Hi Alex

Thank you for your email.

It’s good news that you are able to reapply for your licence back.

I’m a bit confused over the lady at the DVLA saying you can apply 9 weeks beforehand. Maybe it’s to do with the fact you have had an isolated seizure and not a seizure due to epilepsy.

Our information is for someone with a diagnosis of epilepsy. And a person with epilepsy, who has their licence revoked by the driving agency, can only start processing their application 12 months after their last seizure. They can only start driving again when they meet the epilepsy driving regulations and have received their new licence.

If someone with epilepsy sends their licence back voluntarily they can ask the driving agency to start processing their application from 10 months after their last seizure. They can also start driving even if they don’t have their driving licence back.  As long as:

  • Their doctor agrees that they meet the epilepsy driving regulations and
  • they have checked and confirmed that the driving agency has received their driving licence application.

Maybe it would be best to check your own personal situation with the DVLA. 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. 

Regards

Diane
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane@Epilepsy ... on

Hi. My husband is on anti epileptic meds due to massive seizures & infective endocarditis in Sept '11. Hes been seizure free since & is on meds to insure against seizures. However, he took some st johns wort without my knowledge & had a seizure early hours of this morning. Hes main driver though I'm insured I have panic attacks & am on meds due to cyst on my spinal corD. Does he report this or not?

Submitted by Rebecca James on

Hi Rebecca

It depends whether the seizure your husband had was while he was asleep, and whether he has a pattern of three years or more sleep seizures only.  If you are not sure, the safest way would be to discuss it with DVLA. If he doesn’t report it, and continues driving, he could be driving illegally.

If he is not allowed to drive, he will be eligible for a concessionary bus pass, and possibly some help with getting to and from work.

I hope this answers your question If we can be of any further help, or if you would like to make any comments about our service, please do not hesitate to contact us again, either by email or the Epilepsy Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. Your feedback is valuable.

Yours sincerely

Kathy, Epilepsy Action

Submitted by Kathy@Epilepsy ... on

Hi. Thanks for your reply. Sleep seizure in 2011 September & nothing else until that night of 25/3/2015. got appt to see GP tomorrow night, but hey seem confused by the rules too. Ive been driving & although hes been offering, have told him that we need to wait until we have a definite answer. Seizures have never been whilst he was awake & I'm very confident that its a provoked seizure by the St Johns wort. Becky

Submitted by Rebecca James on

l have been seizure free ( l had 2 unwittessed ones) for 12 months and am taking lamotrigine 75g per day neurologist ,discharged me but DVLA are still deciding if l can return to driving. My last letter from neurologist states that l am looking forward to getting my licence back. Will the fact that l am taking lamotrigine 75g per day and l am 70 be a stumbling block for me. The meds do not affect me in any way

Submitted by fran langford on

Hi Fran

No, the fact that you are taking lamotrigine will not affect a Group 1 driving licence – although it would for a Group 2 licence. I’m wondering whether it is the fact that you are now 70 that is holding the decision up. This is because it is standard practice for DVLA to seek more medical information about people before issuing a licence for people of 70 years and above. And the licence you do get will only last for 3 years, when you will need to fill out a medical form again. Have a look at this information from the Age UK website.

I hope you get your licence soon.

Regards

Kathy
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Kathy, Epilepsy... on

I've been diagnosed with epleptic only had one sleep fit while I was asleep how long is it till I can drive

Submitted by suzanne on

Hi Suzanne
The driving regulations for epilepsy can be confusing.

There are two general rules that may apply to you:

  • You are 12 months seizure free, or
  • if you have further sleep seizures, and you have a pattern of sleep seizures only for at least 12 months and never had seizures while awake you can apply for your licence.

We explain all the various driving regulations in more details on this webpage.

If you’d like to discuss this further please feel free to contact the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am until 5.30pm.

Regards

Diane Wallace
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane, Epilepsy... on

I just want to say that I followed all the rules, sending my licence back when advised by neurologist not to drive after two suspicious seizures. I applied to the DVLA eight weeks before my year of being seizure free was up sending copies of all the letters i had received from my consultant by recorded delivery. After the seventh week I was very nervous , aged seventy and on medication. I had to wear specs to drive and getting the "what if l dont get it," feeling. Exactly a year to the date of my last seizure my driving licence arrived. A few days later i gently drove my car to town , the feeling was utter utter delight . I wish everyone on here all the very best xxxx

Submitted by fran turner on

I have only ever had 2 seizures in my life. The first was back in Jan 1994 as a result of pressure on my brain caused by a brain tumor, and the other was in 2010 after a accident in menorca, I have just found out that I have not been excepted fora hgv licence and this is the only thing I can think of that would hold it back. Is there an amount of time you must wait before you can pass the medical

Submitted by Mike fisher on

Hi Mike

Thank you for your question.

When you are allowed to drive with a group 2 licence depends on the type and frequency of your seizures. We explain the rules for group 2 driving licences and epilepsy on the following webpage

https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/driving/driving-licences-group-2-rules

I hope this helps.

If you don’t have a diagnosis of epilepsy, you will need to check with the DVLA or your GP about your own situation.

If we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact our helpline team again. You can contact us directly by email helpline@epilepsy.org.uk  or phone the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am until 5.30pm.

Regards

Diane Wallace

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane - Epileps... on

I have awake epilepsy. But however have never gone unconscious. Only twitching (convulsing) I have never been advised to inform DVLA. But I knew not to drive for a year after my last one. Is this right? Or will I get in trouble if I don't inform DVLA? My GP or Consultant has never told me to do this. My medication is working very well & ive only had one of these seizures in the last year. So obviously I'm looking forward to driving again when I've been seizure free for a year.

Submitted by Libby Madterman on

Hi Libby
Thanks for your message. You have done the right thing by not driving, but you should also contact the DVLA to let them know about your epilepsy. If you were to start driving again without telling them about your epilepsy, your licence would be invalid and your car insurance would not cover you if you needed to make a claim.

Unfortunately not all doctors fully understand the rules about epilepsy and driving, but as a driver it’s your responsibility to let the DVLA know if you’ve had a seizure. It’s not too late to tell them. We have information about reporting seizures to the DVLA. It’s good idea to surrender your licence when you contact the DVLA. If you do this, you should be able to start the process of reapplying for your licence 10 months after your last seizure.

I hope this helps. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch.

Grace
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Grace, Epilepsy... on

Hello,

I am considering going in for driving lessons and I was just wondering would I be allowed to drive with me suffering from epilepsy?.
My last seizure was in 2008 and I have been clear since then and I am also not taking any medication for it so what would my chances be?.

Sincerely.

Joanne foster.

Submitted by Joanne Foster on

Hello Joanne
Many people with epilepsy are able to drive, so it is great you are looking in to this.

Driving rules say that to be granted a driving licence a person must be seizure free for 12 months. As you have been seizure free since 2008, you would meet this rule.

Karen
Epilepsy Action Advice & Information Team

Submitted by Karen, Epilepsy... on

I'm applying for my daughters provisional licence she's 17, she's been seizure free since around the age of 7 and medication free from the age of 8, do I still have to declare she has epilepsy as it was said it was a childhood thing ?

Submitted by Estelle on

Hi Estelle
You need to tell the DVLA of her past medical history. So you do need to mention her epilepsy. But this shouldn’t affect her application.

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

Regards
Diane Wallace
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane, Epilepsy... on

I'm coming up to a year clear but unfortunately I had a seizure this morning. However all my seizures that I've had have been first thing in the morning, as soon as I wake up, so would I now have to wait another year or could I start driving when I hit the year clear I was coming up to?

Submitted by izzy on

Hi Izzy
Sorry to hear of your recent seizure. It must have been a shock after going such a long time.

There are different driving regulations for different seizure types. For us to answer your question we would need more information about your seizures.  We need to know about your past seizures and the recent one. We need to know  if you were awake, asleep and if your seizures affected your consciousness or not.

If you need to come back to us with more information, please contact us directly either by email helpline@epilepsy.org.uk or phone the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am until 5.30pm.

Regards
Diane
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane, Epilepsy... on

In my past my seizures have been the same as this, I wake up not very long after I wake up I have a seizure.
So yes I'm awake, it affects my consciousness and is always even in past in morning as soon as I wake up

Submitted by izzy on

Hi Izzy

Thanks for giving us more information about your seizures. As your seizures happen when you are awake and they affect your consciousness you will need to wait another 12 months from the date of your most recent seizure.

I can understand this must be tough to hear when you had almost come up to a year seizure free. If you would like to talk anything through please feel free to contact us on the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050.

Best wishes
Grace
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Grace, Epilepsy... on

Hi
I had a sleep seizure in March 2014 I then had an awake seizure in June 2015. After this seizure I surrendered my license. I then had a absence seizure in August 2015 my epilepsy specialist says the last 2 awake seizures are due to stress.
With having a sleep seizure in March 2014 then 2 awake seizures in 2015 will this affect me in getting my driving license back as I have had both sleep and awake seizure or will I get my license back 1 year from my latest seizure in August??

Thank you for your help in this matter.

Darren

Submitted by Darren on

Hello Darren
As you were asleep when you had your last seizure, and have had seizures both when you are awake and asleep, driving rules say that you are allowed to drive when:

  • You have been seizure free for at least 12 months or
  • You have been having sleep seizures only for at least three years, and any seizures you had when awake were over three years ago

This means that you should be able to get your driving licence back in August, as it goes from the date of your most recent seizure.

If we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact us again, either by email or the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050.

Karen
Epilepsy Action Advice & Information Team

Submitted by Karen, Epilepsy... on

I have been epileptic for 27 years, I passed my driving test a year before I was diagnosed, my doctor never told me to hand in my driving licence and in those 27 years I have had about 12 seizures and I have not had a seizure in 10 years. I've been putting off driving again but now I need to start due to work and family situations but I don't know who I need to contact or do I need to contact someone to let them know I want to start driving again. Any help will be appreciated.

Submitted by Paul Mawston on

Hello Paul
Many thanks for your message. Driving rules can be complicated so  it is good you are looking in to this.

When a person has had a seizure, current rules say that they need to make sure they tell the driving agency using the form FEP1 and declaration of voluntary surrender. If you have not already done this, then you will need to do this first.

To be allowed to drive again you just need to  check that you meet the driving rules. In general, this often means a person needs to be seizure free for 12 months, which you meet. Once you have confirmed this, you can then reapply for your driving licence. To do this you will need two forms – a D1 and a medical questionnaire. You can get these from your local  post office, or via the DVLA website.

I hope this answers your question. If you want to talk about it, or if we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact our helpline team.

Karen
Epilepsy Action Advice & Information Team

Submitted by Karen, Epilepsy... on

Hello. I had a fit today and got taken to hospital. Everything was fine and I got to go home soon after. I've been under alot of pressure lately been struggling to sleep and the same day this happened I got prescribed some anti depressants to help me get back to myself and help me sleep. However after being told I have to inform dvla and can't drive untill I've had a check up from neurology it has now added to my stress. Being a single mum of a little boy with cerebral palsy we rely on my driving to get us out and get us out the house and picking him up from school which is a 30min drive away. The doctor said I can't drive untill I've had the checks from a neurologist but I'm reading things online about not being able to drive for a year!! Can u tell me if this will be the case if this was a one off and down to stress.

Submitted by Emma latter on

Hi Emma
It sounds like you have been going through a really stressful time recently. DVLA rules say if you have a suspected seizure you need to stop driving and inform the DVLA. We have more information about how to report a seizure to the driving agency. If the neurologist decides the seizure was a one off and the DVLA agrees, you should be able to start driving again 6 months after the date of your last seizure.

I can understand your worry about having to stop driving when you rely on your car for getting out and about with your little boy. You may be able to get help with school transport for getting your son to and from school. Your local council will be able to let you know if your son is eligible.

It can be really hard to hear you have to stop driving because of a seizure. If you have any other questions or would like to talk anything through, please feel free to contact the Epilepsy Action Helpline.

Best wishes
Grace
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Grace, Epilepsy... on

Hi,
I have had seizures since 2000 as a result of scar tissue from a brain tumour removal in 1979 at the age of 10. I received a license in 2013 after being fit free for nearly 2 years. This time last year I had a day seizure due to taking codeine for a bad back so I have not had a day fit for 1 year but I have suffered Nocturnal fits within this 12 month period until December last year when my medication was upped to 3gm of Keppra plus 800mg of Lamotrogine a day. I now have an application form for a renewal as my 12 months is up from my last awake seizure, Can I reapply due to not having awake seizures or do the dvla classify night seizures as awake seizures?

Submitted by lee on

Dear Lee
Thank you for your question.

The driving regulations can seem confusing. If I have understood your history correctly, our information on ‘I have seizures when I am both awake and asleep’ should be the driving regulations relevant to your situation.

When you reapply for your licence, there are separate boxes on the medical form to show if you’re awake or asleep when you had your seizures.

If you need to discuss this further please phone our helpline team on the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am until 5.30pm.

Regards
Diane
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane, Epilepsy... on

Hi there,

I had a single generalised grand mal seizure when asleep in June 2015. I then had a handful of deja vu/rising auras in the week following. These were described as simple partial seizures.

Unusually, the consultant I saw at the time was a locum and has since left the nhs. My medical form was completed by a doctor who I have never seen using my previous consultant's notes. She was fairly vague on the form and didn't mention my seizure occurred during my sleep, dates etc.

My question is whether this lack of detail will affect the type of license I am given once my 12 months is up (i.e. the length of license I am granted). Also, can the isolated seizure rules apply in my case or is the 6 months only for folks who have had epileptic symptoms previously and have been seizure free for 5 years?

Happily, I have had no symptoms since June 2015 and have been discharged from my local epilepsy clinic with no official epilepsy diagnosis or medication etc. I also had the EEG and brain scan with clear results.

Thank you!

Sarah-Louise

Submitted by Sarah-Louise Ba... on

Hi Sarah-Louise
Thank you for your comment. It’s good your tests came back clear and you are nearly 12 months without a seizure

The driving regulations can be confusing. So check that your family doctor agrees you are fit to start driving again before you apply to get your driving licence back.

You can apply for your licence when you are 12 month seizure free, this includes simple partial seizures.

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 by the DVLA you will have to wait until your are twelve months seizure free to apply. And wait for all medical enquiries to be completed and your licence back before you can start driving again.

When you get your licence back it will be a medically restricted licence. These 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.

At the moment we are waiting for clarification from the DVLA about the isolation seizure. It appears the driving regulation may have changed, so we have taken down the information for people who have not had a seizure for five years or more.

Regards
Diane
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane, Epilepsy... on

Hi

My son started driving in November last year having passed his full license test. In January he was prescribed Fluoxetine as a "mild anti-depressant' and subsequently had 3 incidents of blackouts (1 at home in bed, and two on the road, the final one leading to a bad accident from which he miraculously escaped injury. The GP advised him not to drive and to stop taking the Fluoxitene immediately, and referred him to a neurologist for tests. His MRI test was ok but his EEG showed some limited evidence of an underlying tendency to epilepsy which the consultant believes was provoked by the use of fluoxitene, leading to the blackouts and accident. Aside form advising never to use fluoxitene again, he has not recommended any ongoing treatment for the epilepsy tendency. My son has notified the DVLA and surrendered his license voluntarily. The DVLA (standard advise leaflet) response suggests he will have to wait 12 months before he can drive again. He had never had any incidents of blackouts prior to taking the fluoxitene and has had no further incidents is the 3 months since the accident. Do you think this is a case for provoked seizures and if so, what is the process for trying to obtain his license back earlier than 12 months? Thanks

Submitted by Sean on

Hi Sean
Thanks for your message. That sounds like a difficult situation for your son. The DVLA will sometimes consider a seizure to be provoked if it has been caused by a medicine known to trigger seizures. It’s difficult to say what they would decide in your son’s case. We’d recommend your son speaks to his doctor. The doctor can contact the DVLA medical board on your son’s behalf. If the DVLA believes his seizure could be defined as provoked, they will look at his case individually. Based on the doctor’s advice, the DVLA will tell your son when he can start driving again.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us at the Epilepsy Action Helpline.

Best wishes
Grace
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Grace, Epilepsy... on

Thanks Grace. Have spoken to the GP and the good news is that he is happy to advise the DVLA that he considers that my son is fit to return to driving, given the passage of time with no further incident since coming off Fluoxitene (the provocation), there being no previous history before this was prescribed, and no ongoing treatment required for the epilspsy. Am now going to contact the DVLA and ask what the next steps are for a reinstatement of his licence, hopefully they will take the steer from the GP.

Submitted by Sean on

Hi,

I am 25 years old. I had a seizure in 2010 and therefore voluntarily surrendered my drivers license and was given a freedom pass. The last seizure i had was in June 2012, my freedom pass has expired and i not planning to renew it. My question is, considering i have not had a seizure for almost 4 years with controlled medication, would i be granted a drivers license again if i apply now ?

Many thanks

Submitted by Jafar on