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.
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.
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.
It is your responsibility
It is your responsibility to stop driving and tell the driving agency if you have had a seizure. If you don’t, you are breaking the law. Also, your current licence may not be valid and you may find your insurance will not cover you if you make a claim.
Other people may tell the driving agency
Although 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.
You should write to, or telephone, the driving agency, telling them the date of your most recent seizure.
You may choose to send your licence back voluntarily to the driving agency, with your letter. If you do, it’s a good idea to either take a photocopy of your licence, or to make a note of your licence number. This information will be helpful if you reapply for your licence at a later date.
If you decide to send your licence back voluntarily
If you decide to send your driving licence back voluntarily, you don’t have to do anything further at this stage. But remember, you can no longer legally drive.
The advantage of sending your licence back voluntarily is that when you meet the epilepsy driving regulations again, you can start driving. This is even if you don’t have your driving licence back. 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.
If you decide not to send your licence back voluntarily
The driving agency will send you a form to complete and ask your permission to contact your doctor(s) 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 licence is formally withdrawn and, if so, for how long. They will also ask you to send your licence back. This is known as ‘revoking’ your licence.
If your 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 licence.
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 and DVA.
Epilepsy Action would like to thank staff at DVLA and DVA for their contribution to this information.
The DVLA and DVA have no conflict of interest.
This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.
Updated June 2013To be reviewed June 2015