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Reporting seizures to the driving agency

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.

I have had a seizure. Do I need to stop driving and inform the driving agency?

If you have a suspected seizure at any time, the law says you must stop driving and inform the driving agency. There are two exceptions to this. You are allowed to continue driving if:

  • You already hold a driving licence that has been issued on the understanding that you have seizures while asleep, and the seizure you have just had was when you were asleep OR
  • You already hold a driving licence that has been issued on the understanding that you have only ever had seizures that don’t affect your consciousness, and the seizure you have just had didn’t affect your consciousness

Why should I stop driving and inform the driving agency that I have had a seizure?

It is your responsibility
It’s important to stop driving when you’ve had a seizure because:

  • A seizure could affect your ability to drive safely
  • If you continue driving, you will be breaking the law and could face prosecution
  • Your car insurance will not cover you

It is your responsibility to inform the driving agency. If you don’t do this and carry on driving, anyone could report this to them. Your doctor may also inform the driving agency if you carry on driving when you shouldn’t. Although doctors have a duty to protect their patients’ confidentiality, over and above this, they have a duty of care to protect the public.

Particular information on reporting seizures to DVLA in Great Britain

How do I inform the driving agency that I have had a seizure and I have to stop driving?

There are two forms you need to complete:

  • You can download a medical conditions form FEP1. Or you can write to, or telephone, the driving agency, telling them the date of your most recent seizure
  • You will also need to complete the declaration of voluntary surrender form. Retun this with your licence. It’s a good idea to either take a photocopy of your driving licence, or to make a note of your driving licence number. This information will be helpful if you reapply for your driving licence at a later date

Advantages of sending your licence back voluntarily

There are two advantages of sending your driving licence back voluntarily. The first advantage is that you can start the process of reapplying for your driving licence 10 months after your last seizure. The other advantage is that 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 you decide not to send your licence back voluntarily

If you do not send your driving licence back voluntarily it will get revoked by the driving agency. There are particular disadvantages to this. If your driving licence was revoked by the driving agency, they can only start processing your application 12 months after your last seizure. What's more, you can only start driving again when you meet the epilepsy driving regulations and you have your new driving licence.

If the driving agency learns that you need to stop driving they will send you a form to complete and ask your permission to contact your doctor for a medical report. In some cases they may ask for you to be examined by one of their nominated medical practitioners. The driving agency will then write and tell you whether or not your driving licence is formally withdrawn and, if so, for how long. They will also ask you to send your driving licence back. This is known as ‘revoking’ your driving licence.

Particular information on reporting seizures to DVA in Northern Ireland

How do I inform the driving agency that I have had a seizure?

If you currently have any of the medical conditions or disabilities listed on the DVA website, you will need to tell DVA about these. To do this you will need to complete a DL1 application form. Then forward it to DVA who will send you the appropriate medical questionnaires to complete. DL1 forms are available from main Post Office branches. MOT test centres and  DVA.  

If you receive a medical questionnaire as a result of telling DVA of a condition, you will need to arrange for your doctor to complete the form. Your questionnaire will include a consent form that must be signed. This allows DVA to make medical enquiries into your fitness to drive.

With your medical questionnaire you will also receive a GP claim form. If your GP wants paying for the completion of the medical questionnaire, they have to complete the claim form and return it to DVA.

DVA will pay the appropriate fee to your GP or specialist for the completion of your medical form on the first occasion only. Payment for duplicates will be your responsibility.

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We can provide references and information on the source material we use to write our epilepsy advice and information pages. Please contact our Epilepsy Helpline by email at helpline@epilepsy.org.uk.
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 58 comments or add yours

Comments

Hi,
I had a seizure in February 2013 I'm now half way through. I haven't sent my license in but the DVLA are aware as the doctor wrote to the DVLA and the DVLA wrote to me saying you need to fill this form in. I sent that back and they basically replied by saying I cannot drive. I did not read anywhere that I should send my license in. What is the best course of action as it is Essential that I drive again as my job entails driving to two places of work per day. Any help would be great thanks.

Submitted by Charles Russell on

Hi Charles

The driving rules and regulations can be difficult to understand, but I hope the information below will help.

In this section of our website, under the heading, If you decide not to send your licence back voluntarily it does explain about sending the driving licence back. If it is found that someone can’t drive because of epilepsy, to our understanding, the DVLA will ask them to send their licence back. I’m not sure why this was missing from your DVLA letter, when they said you can’t drive. However, to make the process easier for yourself when you reapply for your licence, it would be advisable to send it back now. You could put a covering letter with your licence saying you will reapply for your driving licence once you fulfill the driving law. You will be able to drive once you have received your driving licence from the DVLA and you are at least 12 months seizure free.  However, you can start the process of reapplying once you’ve been 10 months seizure free.

The current driving licence you hold is invalid. The date of renewal on this licence is around your birthday, when you are 70 years old. They will need your driving licence to change this renewal date. Your new licence will be valid for up to three years because of your diagnosis of epilepsy. Once you have been seizure free for 5 years you will again get your licence back with your original renewal date on it.

Rosanna

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Rosanna on

Hi iv just been diginosed with epilepsy iv surrender my liance to the dvla after my year is up would I have to retake my test?? Thankyou

Submitted by Stacey on

Hi Stacey

No, you won’t have to re-take your driving test.

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Kathy on

hi there..im at the 10months stage are just about to post my application..but im unclear on whats been written

''Also, sending your licence in voluntarily means that you can ask the driving agency to start processing your application from 10 months after your last seizure.

In this case, you are allowed to drive as long as:

•your doctor agrees that you meet the epilepsy driving regulations and
•you have checked and confirmed that the driving agency has received your driving licence application.''

does this mean ill be able to drive soon as my doctor has given me the all clear and the dvla have received my application? im a bit confused?

Submitted by charlie on

Hi Charlie

Just to clarify, from the information you have given, you can drive again, once you have been seizure-free for 12 months. And you don’t have to wait until you are in receipt of your driving licence.

Kathy

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Kathy on

Hi, I must say i am confused by the law.
My wife has had a seizure and told not to drive for six months. No diagnosis as yet. She has been told to inform the DVLA. Could you clarify if in first instance she should just A) write a letter B) fill in a specific DVLA form or C) surrender her licence voluntarily or D) all of the above.
Your advice re sending the licence back voluntarily seems to apply to one year driving bans but we are wondering what is the best course of action for a six month ban in driving. Many thanks

Submitted by Rick on

Hi Rick

Thank you for your message

The driving rules can be very confusing.

Because your wife has had a single or isolated seizure the driving rules say that she should stop driving and inform the driving agency.

Your wife should write to, or telephone, the driving agency, telling them the date of her most recent seizure.

Here is the link to the contact details for the driving agencies.

Because she has had an isolated seizure she you may be allowed to drive when she has been seizure free for at least six months, if her consultant thinks it is unlikely she will have another seizure and the driving agency is satisfied that as a driver she is not likely to be a source of danger to the public

If the DVLA need your wife’s licence they will write to her.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

If we can be of any more help please feel free to contact us again either by email or the epilepsy helpline freephone number 0808 800 5050

Kind regards

Vicky

Advice & Information Team

Submitted by Vicky on

Hi,
I am epileptic been seizure free for 6 years. I'm pregnant and after taking a GTT test (glucose tolerance test) I suffered a seizure. Do you think DVLA will look into this as a provoked or isolated incident. I've handed licence in. Driving is massive part of my life.

Thank you.

Submitted by Gemma on

Hi Gemma

Thank you for your message

Being unable to drive after all this time must be really frustrating. If you think the driving agency may class your seizure as provoked, (due to the circumstances of your GTT) you should first talk to your doctor. Your doctor 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 classed as provoked, they will look at your case individually. Based on a doctor’s advice, the driving agency will advise you when you can start driving again.

If we can be of any more help please feel free to contact us again either by email or the epilepsy helpline freephone number 0808 800 5050

Kind regards

Vicky

Advice & Information Officer

Submitted by Vicky on

I had fit/seizure 5 months ago due to alcohol withdrawal. I was treated in hospital and have been free of both since. I was told by the GP that I couldn't drive for six months, which I haven't and came on this site to see if there was anything I needed to do for after the six month. I wasn't aware I had to notify the DVLA (the doctor did say that if I drove during the 6 months I may invalidate my insurance if I didn't inform them first, which I didn't as I had no plans to drive) . What should I do now that I read this information? What applies to my case? Thanks

Submitted by David on

Hi David

It would be advisable to talk to the DVLA. They will explain what you need to do. It may be you will not be able to drive until the DVLA has looked into your situation. Unfortunately, this may take you past your six month seizure free date.

Regards

Diane Wallace

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane on

Hi my parter has had 2 grand mal seizures, one in June and another in August (2013) his neurologist informed him that he should stop driving for 12 months and to Inform dvla. He hasn't informed dvla as he thought his go would of done it not realising he was meant to. he has just stopped driving until he is seizure free for a year. If he informed dvla now, would they stop him from driving for a year from the date of his last seizure or the date he informed them??? He doesn't want to inform them if they are going to add an extra few months for the time he never informed them.

Submitted by Melissa on

Hi Melissa

Thank you for your question.

Your partner must inform the DVLA about his epilepsy diagnosis. If he doesn’t, he is breaking the law. Also, his current licence may not be valid and he may find his insurance will not cover him if you make a claim.

Your partner will not have to stop driving for another year. The DVLA will use the date of his last seizure, not when he informed them. The DVLA will confirm when he can drive again.

If he voluntarily surrenders his licence, he will get his new licence back sooner than someone who had their licence revoked.

Regards

Diane Wallace

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane on

Iv waited 21 year and a bit iv got 5months left till I can apply. I want to apply because I don't want to be stuck to busses all my life I want to have the experience of driving but I don't want to hurt someone or worse and that been on my concerus what the best to do

Submitted by hannah on

Hi I know someone who has epilepsy but is on medication and has been for 8 years without any problems / seizures, he recently changed jobs and has different working hours and unfortunately forgot to take his tablets for a couple of days therefore he had a seizure for about 2minutes but is fine now. Does he have to inform the DVLA even though he knows that his own stupidity caused it.

Thank you
Bev

Submitted by Bev Barry on

Hi Bev

This person does have to inform the DVLA. As explained on this page, he can voluntary surrender it or have it revoked. There is a new driving regulation he may wish to check out. It may be  relevant to him. It is for people who only ever have seizures when awake, but the seizure does NOT affect their consciousness . If this applies to him he may be able to still drive. But he must still contact the DVLA.

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

Regards

Diane Wallace

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane on

Hi my son has applied for his 1st provisional driving licence but its all so confusing. He has epilepsy last seizure 1st feb 2013 dr has given the ok to apply. Have sent off forms along with medical form filled in & payment, payment hs cleared, id has come back but the dvla are still saying that they still have to write to dr to check medical before they issue licence. Please help how long does this take & why have they already took payment? Many thanks

Submitted by vanessa on

Hi Vanessa

As a general rule the DVLA say to allow 8 weeks. Sometimes it can be longer, if the DVLA need information for doctor

I would imagine they have taken payment as they are processing his licence.

The best people to give you a more definite answer to your questions would be 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.

Yours sincerely

Diane

Submitted by Diane on

Hi,

I have been seizure free for 14 months and just received my driving licence back. Two weeks ago I suffered another seizure and the blood tests hae revealed that there was a very low dosage of lamotrogine in my blood which my consultant has told me is a result of being 8 months pregnant. If I can get the levels restored to what they were pre pregnancy is it likely that DVLA will allow me to get my licence back in 6 months as we know that it was due to a reduction in drugs?

Submitted by Kelly Clarke on

Hi Kelly

It’s not the official interpretation of the driving and epilepsy rules. They are about you and the doctor making a considered decision to reduce epilepsy medicine.

I’m afraid it is unlikely the DVLA would think you fitted into that category. This is because they would be unlikely to consider the blood test results for lamotrigine levels to be useful enough on their own. And more importantly, they may consider your changing hormone levels to be too much of a seizure risk to have your licence back before 12 months.

I’m sorry this is not likely to be the response you wanted. But I wouldn’t want you get your hopes up without cause.

Cherry

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Cherry on

I was riding a motorbike on a provisional license and CBT when my absence seizures started again in 2011. I'm finally coming up to a year seizure free (and 3 months on stable meds) however I didn't inform the DVLA or send my license in and I was never contacted by them requesting my license. I just stopped driving and didn't think about it. My provisional expired anyway last year so is invalid. - What do I do? Do I still need to send it in? I want to reapply for a new provisional, would it be easier to just reapply for a normal one and fill in medical forms and send it in additionally? I didn't receive a letter so it hasn't been revoked - if you don't send it in, what happens?

Many thanks

Submitted by Lizzie on

Hi Lizzie

When you reapply for your provisional licence, it would be advisable to return your old licence. By completing the medical form, the DVLA can update your driving records.  The fact you are telling them now, rather than at the time of your diagnosis, shouldn’t have an effect on you getting your licence back. But it would be advisable to explain you haven’t driven in a covering letter.

For future reference, when your medical details change, it’s your responsibility to contact the DVLA. You will find information on ‘reporting seizures to the driving agency’ on our website should the situation ever happen again.

Regards

Diane Wallace

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane on

Hi, I had a nocturnal seizure 16 months ago and surrendered my licence. I waited 16 months to get my licence back and it is for three years. I had a further nocturnal seizure last week, do I have to surrender the licence again? its all very confusing and i am being told different things, thanks for your help, Judy

Submitted by judy copping on

Hi Judy

The answer to your question depends on what type of licence you got back.

If you got a licence based on having sleep seizures only, then as long as you only have sleep seizures in the future you do not need to inform the DVLA.

If you got your licence back on the basis of having been seizure-free for a year, you will have to stop driving and inform the DVLA. If you have only ever had sleep seizures, you will already be able to apply for a licence on that basis. It’s just that this may not be the licence you currently have.

I do hope that’s clear. But if it would be easier to talk through, please feel free to contact us again, on the Epilepsy Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. 

Cherry

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Cherry on

I had a seizure when I was 17, during a time that I was learning to drive, with a provisional license. Since then, I have had approx 5 seizures in the last 10 years - none at all since March 2011.

For the last few years, I have been living and working in France, and have not been on any medication at all, after I was advised to come off this back in 2011, when recovering from some surgery.

I am now back living in the UK, 28yrs old, and not having had even a hint of a seizure for over 3 years. I want to apply to learn to drive again, having never held a license in the first place.

Never having passed my test all those years ago, I find myself in the situation of filling out another application form for a license. I'm unclear whether I should advise that I have epilepsy or not, as this was never advised to the DVLA when it arose when I was 17, as I have never has a license to surrender in the first place. I haven't been on medication for over 3 yrs, and having just moved back to the UK after some time away, have no real medical records for the interim period here - I'm not even registered with a doctor at present.

Do I need to declare this or not? I don't have any medical history of annual check ups etc for the last 3-4yrs, having been abroad, so I'm a little unclear as to what sort of attestation a doctor would even be able to provide if indeed this was required at all...

Submitted by Chris on

Dear Chris

The epilepsy and driving laws say that as long as you have been seizure-free for 12 months or more, you will meet the requirements.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Register with a family doctor
  • Tick the box for yes you have epilepsy. This is because it is possible for seizures to return even after a number of years.
  • Write a covering letter explaining your situation

Make sure you answer ALL the questions though, even if you are unsure how. This is because if you don’t, they will just send it back and the whole process will take much longer. And make sure your covering letter is clearly linked to your form.

I hope it ends up going smoothly for you.

Cherry

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Jude@epilepsyaction on

Hi . In nov 2011 I had 1 seizure no cause at all. Surrendered my license to dvla who did not let me have it back till may 2013 , have now got a one year license which is out of date as of last week. Re applied for driving licence in March this year filled in questionnaire and so has doctor who supports me. It's ridiculous how long this is taking . Have had no seizures since that one so how come it is taking so long to sort out ? I have been told by the dvla that I can still drive whilst enquires are going on but what if the police stop me ?

Submitted by MELISSA on

Hi Melissa

Thank you for question. This is a question we are often asked. If the DVLA has said you can drive, this information will be on their system. So if you are stopped by the police, when they check with the DVLA, they will see you have been told you can drive whilst waiting for your licence to arrive.

Regards

Diane Wallace

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane on

I've been learning to drive on and off for a year now however back in march I started having seizures, and yesterday it was confitmed I hsve epilepsy. Does anyone know if I need to surender my provisional as my neuroligist wasnt sure, just said I needed to br seizure free for a year and cant seem to find right info on dvla website

Submitted by Jessica on

Hi  Jessica

Thanks for your message. I know you must be eager to drive, but the regulations for your provisional licence are the same as for a full driving licence. For now, you will need to stop driving and complete the declaration of voluntary surrender form and return it to the DVLA with your provisional driving licence.

You will be able to continue with your driving lessons when you meet the driving rules that apply to the types of seizures you have. For example, if you have seizures when you are awake that affect your consciousness, you will have to wait until you have been seizure-free for at least 12 months. However, if you only ever have seizures when you are asleep or you only ever have seizures that don’t affect your consciousness,  you will be allowed to drive when you have had a pattern of that type of seizure only for at least 12 months, even if you’re still having them.

You can check when you will be allowed to drive on the rules for group 1 driving licences page. 

If you would like us to help further, please let us know what type of seizure you have. This includes whether they happen when  you are awake or asleep and whether or not they affect your consciousness.

Sacha

Advice & Information Team

Submitted by Sacha-Epilepsy ... on

I haven't driven since 1998, and had a one-off seizure in 2005 (no repeats since) - I didn't tell the DVLA at the time (as I didn't think of myself as a driver) - now I want to start driving again (it will help finding a new job if I'm made redundant) but I'm scared that I've accidentally committed a crime - are they likely to be sympathetic, and if so, will I be able to drive or will there be a delay (I was hoping to practice driving again soon).

Submitted by Mr E. on

Hi Mr E.

Thanks for your message. If you have a driving licence, even though your last seizure was in 2005, you should notify the DVLA. As you have been seizure free for several years, it’s likely you will be permitted to drive again soon. But, there could be a delay, as the DVLA does take some time to review all applications.

For now, assuming you have a driving licence, you will need complete the declaration of voluntary surrender form and return it to the DVLA with your driving licence. You can download the form here: www.gov.uk/giving-up-your-driving-licence

To learn more about the driving rules and epilepsy you could visit our driving section: www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/driving

Sacha

Advice & Information Team

Submitted by Sacha-Epilepsy ... on

Hi, When my 3 year restricted licence comes up for review will the DVLA ask my neurologist if ii am fit to drive? Then will my neurologist write to my gp, or will the neurologist just clear me for driving?

Thanks

Submitted by chris on

Hi Chris

For a renewal the DVLA may well contact both your neurologist and your GP. Hope that helps.

Cherry

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Cherry-Epilepsy... on

Hi,

I reported a seizure to the DVLA in June, but since speaking to my neurologist it is now apparent that it was not a seizure at all. I am going through various tests, i.e. MRI and EEG, but so far they seem to think it was caused by a vitamin D deficiency. Would I be able to get my license back before the 6 months are up?

Submitted by Rebekah on

Dear Rebekah

Thank you for your post.

If what happened for you was not a seizure then it would be best for you to contact the DVLA and get them to assess your situation on an individual basis.
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@Epilepsy... on

I had one episode of loss of consciousness with seizure markers. However, I had all the tests - mri, ct, lumbar punctures etc and they came back normal. My consultant wants me to stop driving for 6 months. However when I got my referrral It was a month later. He said that I can drive 6 months after my episode. Does this mean I am banned from driving?? I've asked for a second opinion as it hasn't happened again and they haven't put me on medication and haven't given me a follow up. Plus the guidelines say that I can apply for my driving license (if I were to surrdender this) 8 weeks before which means decemeber..
I'm so confused. My consultant says that I have to notify them but if I don't physically drive for the next 6 months do I still have to surrdender my license?

Submitted by Bea on

Hi Bea

It can be quite confusing, but your consultant is correct. If you have a suspected seizure at any time, the law says you must stop driving and inform the driving agency. We have been informed that this includes surrendering your licence along with the completing the FEP1 form. Not doing this would mean you would be driving illegally, which can have its own serious consequences.

Your seizure type and history determines when you will be permitted to re-apply for your licence. If your seizure is 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.

Once you meet the criteria you will be issued with a new driving licence, as your old one will be invalid. This is an additional reason to notify the driving agency as soon as possible.

I hope that helps, and that you are able to drive again without much delay.

Sacha

Advice & Information Team

Submitted by Sacha-Epilepsy ... on

Hi
Does anyone have any experience of recetly reapplying for their licence and the time it took? My partner is 1 year seizure free and sent his licence application form together with medical questionnaire in early July. We've heard nothing since and when he contacted the DVLA ysterday, after 7 weeks they've not even looked at his application. Can anyone give any advice on their recent experiences with the DVLA?

Thanks in advance

Vicky

Submitted by Vicky Taylor on

My 19 year old daughter is applying for her provisional licence. She had epileptic seizures when she was a child, between the age of 5 and 7 approximately. She has been seizure free for the last 12 years or so. Do I need to inform the DVLA about her childhood seizures when applying? If I do need to inform them, I don't have the relevant dates, consultant's names at hand. All I know is she was treated at a particular hospital.can you please let me know what I should do? Than you.

Submitted by Mohammed Amin Ravat on

Hi Mohammed

Your daughter doesn’t need any of those details. She will just need to tick the box that says she has epilepsy. The DVLA will then send a medical form. This will be her opportunity to make it clear that she hasn’t had a seizure since the age of 7. Hope all goes well for her.

Cherry

Advice and Information team

Submitted by Cherry-Epilepsy... on

I have been completely seizure free for over 11 years now and driving for 7. I am currently 20 weeks pregnant and had a couple of aura type moments where I have been conscious but sort of on pause for a second. Mentioned this at my recent consultation and was told that I have to inform dvla and give up driving but not sure for how long. Dr says that it's probably due to my metabolism during the pregnancy and is uping my meds slightly to cpmpensate. Will the dvla need my licence for as long as a year or even 6 months as I think this is excessive under the circumstances?

Submitted by Polly on

Hi Polly

Thanks for your question. Driving is a major issue for a lot of people with epilepsy, as not being allowed to drive can have such a large impact. It can seem excessive, but the regulations are place for your own safety as well as that of the public. And, if you think about this, it’s also to prevent harm coming to your unborn baby.                                                                                                                 

It sounds like your doctor has determined that your ‘aura type moments’ are a type of seizure. This means you have to stop driving and notify the DVLA. The most likely case is that you will need to be seizure free for one year before you could re-apply for your licence.

This can be difficult to accept and adjust to. It might help to remember it’s for the safety of your baby, as well as others. Also, you will be able to get free bus travel and possibly some additional help with transport while you are not allowed to drive.

I hope that helps.

Sacha

Advice & Information Team

Submitted by Sacha-Epilepsy ... on

Hi, I was seizure free for ten years and then unfortunately had a fit in 02/13. I surrendered my driving license straight away. I then had another fit in 12/13. I have now been fit free for 1 year and I have submitted my application to renew my license which the DVLA has acknowledged. They have sent a letter saying that I may be able to drive between now and when my application had been finalised. They say that they cannot tell me whether I can drive...only me or my gp can make that decision. I am confident that my application won't be rejected and had been fit free for 1 yr. Do I still have to ask the GP? the letter days 'if you are unsure speak to your doctors'. But I am sure that my consultant will ok me to drive.

Also in terms of insurance policies then they ask 'how long has you held a license for' do I ask 9 years from when I passed my driving test or 0 years because I had a 14 month gap.

Thanks
Gemma

Submitted by Gemma smith on

Hi Gemma

The information we have doesn’t say which doctor needs to be in agreement that you can drive, but you will need to make sure one of them does. And, as you have had the DVLA letter acknowledging your application, once you have a doctor agree, you will be able to drive.

In terms of insurance, you will need to tell your insurance company that you have not been driving recently, but had previously held a licence for 9 years. Your previous licence will be invalid now but your new licence will entitle you to drive for one, two or three years. Once you have been seizure free for five years, you will be eligible for a ‘til 70 licence’.

Enjoy your driving!

Kathy, Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Kathy@Epilepsy ... on

I last had a seizure in December 2013, I surrendered my licence and took my car off the road. I sent my forms away after 10 months and recieved a medical questionnaire to fill in. My doctor also recieved the forms and has since sent them to the dvla. I contacted them last week and they informed me that my licence was in a que with the medical team and that they will contact me. I'm losing hope and just want to get back to normal :( any ideas how long this process takes?

Submitted by LJ on

Hi LJ

The waiting process is really frustrating isn’t it. And all we know about the DVLA process is that it is taking a long time at the moment.

But it is entirely possible you can start driving again now.

This is based on the information that you sent your licence back voluntarily and you have been seizure free for 12 months.

So as long as your doctor agrees that you are fit to drive, and you have checked and confirmed that the driving agency has received your driving licence application, you can start driving again.

I’m guessing that will be good news!

Cherry, Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Cherry@Epilepsy... on

I had a seizure in Jan 14, one in Feb 14 and then again in May 14. My Dr told me that I would have to wait a year to be seizure free before I can drive again. I took my car off the road from day one in Jan 14 and haven't driven since. At my last consultants visit she told me that it was not epilepsy but down to stress and doesn't think it will ever happen again because of changes that i have made. I was told that my Dr's had contact DVLA to let them know. I've since found out that no, it is me that is supposed to tell them. I'm in a quandry know, do I now tell them nearly 8 months after my last seizure. Will they think unfavourably of me because I have left it this long and will this affect me getting my licence back? I see that you can re-aaply for your licence 10 months out but they may not have processed my original application. Could you please tell me what my best course of action would be. Its not epilepsy that i have, just thought i shoudl mention that too.

Submitted by Michael Chambers on

Hi Michael

If there is a change in your health that would affect your ability to drive safely, it is your responsibility to tell the DVLA. But don’t worry about the fact you haven’t informed them. The main thing now is to update the DVLA about your health situation.

You need to complete a declaration of surrender for medical reasons form. You can download this at gov.uk/government/publications/declaration-of-voluntary-surrender or you can get the form from your local Post Office. Making them aware on this form or with a covering letter that you did stop driving although you didn’t surrender your licence.

The DVLA will tell you when you can start driving again.

Regards

Diane Wallace
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane, Epilepsy... on

I have been fit free for 6 years I have to renew my licence the dvla are asking my doctor to take a blood test can you tell me why

Submitted by Chris on

Hi Chris

This isn’t normal practice for someone renewing their licence due to epilepsy. You could ask the DVLA or your GP the reason for this test.

If you don’t mind, I’d be interested to know what they say. You can contact me by email helpline@epilepsy.org.uk or the Epilepsy Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. 

Regards

Diane Wallace
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane, Epilepsy... on

I had a fit over a year ago and another just over 6 months ago, I haven't yet applied for a provisional licence. I had tests done to which the doctors couldn't find anything wrong and thought they were isolated events and nothing more was done. They told me I could start to learn to drive 6 months after my last fit, which it now is. Do I still need to declare it when applying for my provisional licence? I am not planning to start learning to drive, I am just using it for ID as my 18th is coming up.

Submitted by Jessica on

Hi Jessica

Yes you will need to declare this to the DVLA. And I’m not sure they will agree with your doctor about two seizures six months apart being isolated.

They are more likely to say you have to be seizure free for a year before applying for your provisional licence.

ID can be a problem though. Some people find the Citizen Card can be useful.

Hope that helps.

Cherry
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Cherry, Epileps... on

Hi, my daughter who has a provisional licence and had been having driving lessons, suffered a fit two months ago, she subsequently had another fit 2 hours later. CT and MRI scan clear, saw Neurologist yesterday who confirmed it was a provoked seizure, as leading up to the fit she had a nasty viral infection and migraine. On recommendation from the Neurologist she has been given levetiracetam 250mg to take every evening for the next three years as due to her age and being a migraine sufferer this should lessen the chance of it happening again. He also said she could resume her driving lessons 6 months from the date of seizure. Her driving school informed us we didn't need to inform DVLA and she could just resume her lessons end of July. On reading advice from the DVLA website it contradicts what they are telling us. Can you please clarify, should she be surrendering her licence before reapplying for it 2 months before she's allowed to drive again? Thank you.

Submitted by Marie on

Hi Marie

You were right to question that advice. Even if the doctor defines the seizures as provoked, I am afraid it is unlikely the DVLA will. Here is our information on driving and provoked seizures: https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/driving/driving-licences-group-1-rules#rule6

They are much more likely to say that your daughter will need to be 12 months seizure free before she can reapply for her licence.

I would strongly recommend her returning her licence now. Partly because this instruction is written on your licence or provisional licence as what you should do if you have any change in your medical circumstance. And partly because if she hands her licence in voluntarily, then she can start the process of reapplying for it 10 months after being seizure free. https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/driving/applying-for-your-licence#first

 

I hope this helps.

Cherry

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Cherry Epilepsy... on

I my question is I was diagnosed with sleep epilepsy and have been fit free for 3 years, but 2 weeks ago due to a bad nights sleep and sleep deprivation i had a seziure at about 6:20 am. Do I now have to stop driving again for 1 year or should I wait till I see the consultant at the end of April. As I have stopped driving for now but it is a pain getting to my place of work due to my shift patterns and no one living near me to give me a lift. Any help would be appreciated

Thanks
Luke

Submitted by Luke on

Hi Luke,

There are two important questions to ask here:

Have you been given a driving licence on the understanding that you only have sleep seizures?

Were you asleep when you had your most recent seizure?

If the answer is yes to both you would still be allowed to drive. Even if a seizure happens during the day, if you were asleep at the time it still counts as a sleep seizure.

If the answer to either of those questions is no, then the law says you need to stop driving straight away and tell the DVLA. You would then need to be seizure free for a year before you can drive again. The DVLA rules for people who have sleep seizures are quite complicated, but you might find our driving information helps.

If the DVLA says you can’t drive, you may be entitled to a free bus pass or cheaper train travel. You may also be entitled to help from the Access to Work scheme.

I hope this information helps. If you want to talk through anything feel free to contact us again on the Epilepsy Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. 

Grace
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Grace@Epilepsy ... on

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