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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've had a seizure. Do I need to stop driving?

If you hold a driving licence, and you have a seizure of any kind, you need to stop driving and tell the driving agency. This applies to both full and provisional licence holders. In England, Scotland and Wales you need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). In Northern Ireland you need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA).

There are just 2 exceptions to this. You don’t need to tell the driving agency and can keep 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 only have seizures that don’t affect your consciousness and
  • The seizure you have just had was the same type

Why should I stop driving and tell the driving agency?

It’s important to stop driving and tell the driving agency when you’ve had a seizure because:

  • There’s a risk you could have a seizure while driving. This could put you and others in danger, and you could be prosecuted
  • If you continue driving, you will be breaking the law and could be fined up to £1000
  • Your car insurance is unlikely to cover you

It is your responsibility to tell the driving agency. If you don’t do this and carry on driving, anyone could report you to the driving agency. 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.

How do I tell the driving agency that I’ve had a seizure and need to stop driving?

The driving agencies say that if you need to stop driving because of a medical condition, you should surrender your licence. This means voluntarily sending it back to them.

Before you send back your licence, it’s a good idea to take a photocopy of it, or take a note of your driving licence number. This information will be helpful if you reapply for your licence at a later date.

How to surrender your licence in England, Scotland and Wales

Fill in the form ‘Declaration of surrender for medical reasons’ and send it to the address on the form along with your licence. You can download the form from the government website, or call DVLA on 0300 790 6806 to request a copy.

How to surrender your driving licence in Northern Ireland

Post both parts of your licence to DVA, along with a covering letter explaining why you are surrendering it.

What’s the advantage of surrendering my licence?

If you surrender your licence you may be able to start driving again as soon as you meet the epilepsy and driving rules, even if you haven’t got your licence back. This is as long as:

  • You have applied to get your licence back and
  • The driving agency has received your application and
  • There are no other medical or legal reasons why you should not be driving

If you don’t surrender your licence, it’s likely the driving agency will take it away (revoke it). If your licence is revoked, when you reapply for your licence you won’t be allowed to drive again until the driving agency has completed their medical enquiries. You will also need to wait till you have received your licence in the post. This can take several weeks.

What if I don’t want to surrender my licence?

You can tell the driving agency about your seizures without surrendering your licence. If you choose to do this, the driving agency will make medical enquiries to see if you’re fit to drive. They will then decide if you can keep your driving licence, or if they will revoke it. You mustn’t drive until the driving agency has told you their decision.

Reporting your seizures without surrendering your licence in England, Scotland and Wales

You can report your seizures to DVLA by completing a medical questionnaire called an FEP1 form (for car and motorcycle licences) or an FEP1V form (for bus, coach or lorry licences). You can download these forms from the government website, or call DVLA on 0300 790 6806 to request them.

Alternatively, you can report your seizures to DVLA online. At the time of writing this option is only available for car and motorcycle licence-holders.

Reporting your seizures without surrendering your licence in Northern Ireland

You can report your seizures to DVA by phone on 0845 402 4000 or email. They will then send you a medical questionnaire to complete.

You’ll need to tell your motor insurance company too. See our page about insurance, travel costs and driving for work for more information.

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.


Epilepsy Action would like to thank Ed Foxell at DVLA for his contribution to this information. 

Ed Foxell has declared no conflict of interest.

This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.

  • Updated March 2017
    To be reviewed March 2018

Comments: read the 57 comments or add yours


I had ( i am 45years old ) a stroke (blood clot) in May 2014 and in April 2015, I had a first seizure on my left side which is the stroke affected arm. I remained awake but tired. My arm was shaking but my hand starting tingling to start off with and was in pain on left side of body. It wasnt another stroke as MRI is ok, I have have been given 25mg which will rise to 100mg.lamotrigine . I have surrended my driving licence but unsure what happens next.

Submitted by Mr K Kelvin on

Hello Mr Kelvin
It sounds like this has been a tough year for you.

The DVLA should contact you in the near future confirming your voluntary surrender of your licence. This is often in the form of a letter. It may be worth you contacting them to confirm that they have received your licence a little while after you return it. By confirming their receipt, you may be able to move more smoothly through the re-application process in future.

Driving rules can be quite complicated, so if you would like to talk about any of this information in person please feel free to call our helpline team on 0808 800 5050.

Epilepsy Action Advice & Information Team

Submitted by Karen, Epilepsy... on

I am returning to UK after 35 years. I have an EU driver's license. Seizure free for 13 years. Taking Lamotrigine. Must my UK doctor report me to DVLC?

Submitted by Sonja on

Hi Sonja

Thank you for your question. We can’t give you a definite answer, as we have not come across this situation before. The DVLA should be able to advise you. They have a webpage on Driving in Great Britain on a non-GB licence.

But we can say that you do meet the epilepsy driving regulation to hold a UK driving licence.


Diane Wallace
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane, Epilepsy... on

My girlfriend who is 69 just had a seizure for the first time in 22 years. Will she have to wait six months or a year before getting her licence back? She had two in a week 22 years ago ao she is disappointed that the medication failed her this time. Is she more or less liable to have another within the next ten years.

Submitted by Barry Lenton on

Hi, I hope I'm not getting ahead of myself but I'm having surgery to hopefully correct my epilepsy next week. If this is successful then in 12 months I should be able to re-apply for my driving licence after around 8 years. Can you tell me if I will have to retake my test or will it simply be a matter of re-applying for my licence providing I have been seizure free for 12 months following the surgery? Many thanks.

Submitted by Carl on

Hi Carl
Thank you for your question.

You will not have to take your driving test again. Although some people who haven’t driven for many years, may book some refresher lessons with a driving instructor.

Hope your surgery goes well.

Diane Wallace
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by 37204 on

Hi, Thanks for that. Fingers crossed the surgery is successful then! Carl.

Submitted by Carl on

Hello, for the last couple of months I have been having ' funny turns', lasting between 10-30 seconds where I am fully conscious and aware of what's happening. I feel I have glimpses into a 'parallel life', a bit like Deja vu. I saw a nurologist and he said he thinks it could 'seizures without alteration in consciousness', with no treatment (I have had an MRI scan but awaiting results) I have been advised to let the DVLA know. From reading info on your website I might be able to drive as I don't loose conciousness..... If this is the case what is the process for letting DVLA know? Will I need a gap from driving whilst it is sorted out?

Any advice welcomed! Thank you in advance

Submitted by sarah Clarke on

Hello Sarah
Thanks for your message. When you have any type of seizure you need to stop driving and let the DVLA know. You will need to stop driving while they make a decision. When you inform the DVLA, there are two forms you need to fill in. The first is the medical conditions form FEP1. On this form you will need to give a full description of what happens during your seizures. You will also need to complete the declaration of voluntary surrender form and return it with your licence. Once the DVLA has considered the information, they will let you know when you can start driving again. You will usually need to have had a 12 month pattern of seizures that don’t affect your consciousness.

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

Best wishes
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Grace, Epilepsy... on

I have had the exact same thing happen to me, diagnosed as focal epilepsy, I have applied for my licence again, medical questionnaires returned and the are assessing my application, I have spoke to DVA (NI) and they have told me i can drive during this process because my doctor has OK me to drive, however when it comes to insurance, they wont insure me with a physical driving licence but DVA have stated this wont happen for another few weeks, I wanted to find out what are the rules for getting insured, what is the point in saying yes you can drive while its processing but then no insurance company will accept it to allow me to drive, so confusing and frustrating, any information you have on this would be great. Thanks

Submitted by siobhan on

Hi Siobhan
As far as we’re aware, insurers can and do insure people who have been told by the driving agency that they are legally allowed to drive while they wait for their application to be processed. So if your insurer is refusing, you might want to contact them again and ask them explain their policy on this. You could quote the information from the DVA website which explains why you are legally allowed to drive while they assess your application.

Under the equality laws insurers are not allowed to treat you unfairly because of your epilepsy. We have more information about insurance and the equality laws. This includes advice on what to do if you think you’ve been treated unfairly by your insurer.

In the short term, if your insurer refuses to help, you could try shopping around to see if another company will insure you instead.

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Grace, Epilepsy... on

Hi I know everything about the seizures and the only thing I am confused about is if I can sit in the car with a learner driver as my partner wants to carry on driving as we was doing it before I started having the seizures and now I don't know if I am allowed

Submitted by Nicola on

I did not notified DVLA about my seizures however I stopped driving because of as a father of family I decided that this is too dangerous. I did not drive often anyway. My wife was a driver however under my policy as a named driver. First at all. I did not notice DVLA about it because of driving license is the only document confirming my ID and address.
Now. I'm 16months seizures free. What shall I do ? Doctor advised me that I can reapply for license (where I never notified DVLA).
What shall I do ?

Also on the previous insurance policy my wife had an incident (non fault). Is that changing anything ?

Thanks, Mark

Submitted by Marc on

Hi Mark
That’s great that you have been seizure free for over a year and can now look at driving again.

You’ll need to write to the DVLA explaining the situation. They are usually more interested in whether you are driving legally now more than what you were doing in the past.

But your driving licence and car insurance stopped being valid when you had your first seizure. So you will need to contact the DVLA. This is because you will need a new licence based on the fact that you have been seizure free for at least 12 months.

I’m afraid I don’t know what impact your wife’s incident would have on your car insurance.

I hope that’s useful.

Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by 37204 on

Hi Mark,

I noticed your predicament. My sons had a similar scenario - fits in 2014 and have not driven since. They did not hand in their driving licensees. Both want to start driving again and we don't quite know what to do.

How did you resolve your issue and do you have any advice based on that experience?

Submitted by Steven Jones on

Hi Marc
Thank you for your post.

From experience, it’s generally not a problem that you hadn’t already notified the DVLA. In most cases, it’s the fact you haven’t driven and you are now updating your licence that counts. To get your information updated with the DVLA you will need to complete the medical conditions form FEP1. Or you can write to, or telephone, the driving agency. You will also need to complete the declaration of voluntary surrender . You will need to also return your driving 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.)

When the DVLA have the information they need, they will tell you when you can drive again. They will also send you a new driving licence.

Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Sacha on

I had a seizure 3 weeks ago whilst flying to barbados. I have never had a seizure before and as a nurse i have spoke to some doctors at work who say that it's quite common to have a seizure whilst flying due to pressure changes etc. My GP has referred me to a neurologist and told me to inform the dvla so how long would i not be able to drive for please.

Submitted by linda Harrison on

Hi Linda
The driving regulations can be confusing as there are different regulations for different situations.

When you can drive again will depend on the neurologist’s diagnosis. There are different regulations for a one off seizure, a provoked seizure or epilepsy.

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

Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane, Epilepsy... on

My ex partner has just got his licence back after claiming he's had no seizures for a year. I have personally whitnessed him having seizures in the last year and am very worried for my child's and other peoples safety. I know he will take my child in the car even when I ask him not to. He has managed to lie to his doctor as his seizures were so often (sometimes six a night) he would ask that nobody ring an ambulance for him. How do I go about this without looking like just a spiteful ex girlfriend? My friends agree with me that it would be very irresponsible for me not to try and get this sorted. Thank you

Submitted by Lisa n on

Hello Lisa
This sounds like a difficult situation to find yourself in.

When someone contacts us to ask about driving we try to talk through the reasons why they need to stop driving and tell the DVLA. It is important for a person to stop driving when they have a seizure because:

  • A seizure could affect their ability to drive safely
  • If they continue to drive, they will be breaking the law and could face prosecution
  • Their car insurance will not cover them
  • Their licence will be invalid

If you haven’t already, you could make your ex-partner aware that if he doesn’t tell the DVLA they could fine him up to £1,000. He could also be prosecuted if he has an accident.

If this is not possible, and your ex-partner will still not stop driving, anyone can report their concerns over a person's fitness to drive to the DVLA. This could be yourself as a member of the public, or a professional. The details of the person who made the report are not passed on to the person.

Epilepsy Action Advice & Information Team

Submitted by Karen, Epilepsy... on

I have been having dizzy spells and memory loss over a five year period, been to neurology and Dr said he would prefer me to stop driving whilst they investigate what is wrong. I am not sure if I need to surrender my licence just yet or inform the dvla. I won't be driving at all till I know what is wrong but if it is not epilepsy it seems daft to surrender it just yet. What is best ?

Submitted by Andrew L on

Hi Andrew

To our understanding you can wait until after your investigations are completed and the doctor has a clear understanding of what is happening.

The main thing is you are following your doctor’s orders and not driving. Once the doctor said you couldn’t drive, your licence and insurance became invalid.

When the doctor makes a diagnosis, talk to them again about your driving. If it’s a condition that could affect your ability to drive safety, you must contact the DVLA.


Epilepsy Action advice and information team

Submitted by Diane@Epilepsy ... on

Thank you for the reply, I have stopped driving straight away, although the stress generated to try and get to work now (I work in a town miles from home) is going to be absolutely sky-high.
If diagnosed with petit mal which has been mentioned as a possible can it be controlled so I can drive again ? Sorry for daft questions but ceasing driving for good is pretty much a career ender for me.

Submitted by Andrew L on

Hi Andrew
There are different driving regulations for different seizure types.

If you have to stop driving due to epilepsy, your employer should look at any possible reasonable adjustments to help. For example, can you use taxis, other public transport, could they give you work that’s within easy reach, flexible working hours to help with your traveling to work, could you be office based (if there is a position or work available)?

You could also contact Access to work, to see if they can help in anyway. Access to Work might pay towards any added expenses in the workplace to meet your needs. You can get further information from your local Jobcentre Plus. Their telephone number will be in your Phone Book.

It must seem difficult when you have been used to having a car. To help whilst you can’t drive, if you are diagnosed with epilepsy you are entitled to a free bus pass as well as the Disabled Rail Card. I realise it doesn’t take away the difficulty of using public transport. Many people do find ways of getting around when they’ve looked at all their local options. I hope this applies to you.

I’d just like to add, that if you do get diagnosed with epilepsy there’s a good chance that your seizures can be controlled with the right treatment.

Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane, Epilepsy... on

My friend had a seizure due to an abscess behind his eye, he then had an operation to drain off the abscess, this was successful, does he need to surrender his licence he has not yet been advised not to drive by anyone from the hospital, the seizure was down to the abcess, if he informs the dvla how soon could he get his licence back, also should he wait for the gp to advise or just go ahead and surrender his licence ,he does not want to ut himself and others at risk so has stopped driving , when will the 10 month rule apply ? Is it from surrender date or seizure date.

Submitted by Billy on

Hi, I had 2 seizures around 12 & 14 years ago, had all the tests done & was told I don't have epilepsy. About 3 years ago I had another one after being badly injured (I think it was due to shock) but the doctor told me not to drive (which I didn't really care about at the time because I don't like driving & hadn't done any for years) as I've now had 3 seizures it counts as epilepsy. She gave me a referral to make an appointment with the specialist but I gave up trying to book it after a couple of months because I kept getting told there were no appointments available.

I never contacted DVLA to give up my license (I didn't realise I had to until I just read this site). I am moving abroad in a couple of weeks for a few months for work & I just found out I need to drive as there is no public transport, what are my options?

a) Talk to my DR & ask her if I can drive now. I see this as being a potential problem, she could say no or insist I see a specialist (something I don't have time for), or she could even report me to DVLA.

b) Don't say anything. I will be driving in a different country so who is going to know.

I think the seriousness of that last seizure was blown out of proportion & feel like I am perfectly fine to drive if I wasn't I wouldn't even consider doing it. My DR is not very good at listening though so I don't trust her opinion on it, I think she will err on the side of caution to cover herself.

What should I do?

Submitted by Anna on


If you haven’t had a seizure for over 12 months then you do meet the epilepsy and driving laws.

 But your problem is that you don’t have a valid driving licence and your insurance won’t cover you. This is because if you have any type of change or loss of consciousness you need to contact DVLA.

When someone informs DVLA they have had seizures and they later apply for their licence back, they get a licence based on being 12 months seizure free. This is the type of licence you need now. 

In order for DVLA to be sure you meet the epilepsy and driving laws, they will need to investigate. So if you haven’t seen a specialist they will need to contact your family doctor. And if your family doctor referred you to a specialist and you didn’t go, DVLA may see that as a problem.

I understand this will not be the information you want to hear. And that it is likely to cause problems for you. But I do need to tell you what the law is.

I really hope you are able to resolve the situation in a way that is safe and manageable.


Epilepsy Action Advice and Information team


Submitted by Cherry, Epileps... on

Hi, my wife suffers from epilepsy but has been seizure free since Nov 2009 and been driving since 2011. Unfortunately last weekend on Sunday morning she suffered a seizure and initially we had no idea why, but discovered that on Saturday evening she forgot to take a dose of her usual medication (she takes 2 tablets twice a day). This is the first time that she has ever done this and couldn't believe that she'd forgotten but having two children under 2 and one only 5 months old it's perfectly understandable how this could happen. The problem we now face is whether she can drive or not. We visited our GP early this week and discussed the matter and she said she needed to check up on things and then get back to us with some advice, but yesterday she rang and the only advice she offered was that she didn't know what to do and my wife should contact the DVLA. My assumption would be that the DVLA would want a medical opinion as to whether my wife is fit to drive anyway so surely they would to contact the GP for their advice in these circumstances? My question is really this, what should we do next? Having a young family we are not willing to take any risks with her condition and she hasn't driven since in the absence of any advice but there is a simple explanation for this seizure and when taking the medication she is currently on, the epilepsy is under control so I would think she is fit to drive. Clearly there is the risk of her not being able to drive for 12 months which makes our lives a lot more difficult but I want to make sure that we follow the correct process whilst giving her the fairest chance of maintaining the opportunity to drive when we consider her condition to be no greater a risk than it has been for the previous 6 years and 8 months in which she has remained clear of seizures. I'd appreciate it is someone could offer me some advice on this.
Many thanks.

Submitted by Mike on

Hi Mike

It will be difficult, especially as you have a young family, but it’s important that your wife surrenders her licence to the DVLA. If she uses the DLA forms listed below she will get the opportunity to explain what has happened. The DVLA will look at her individual situation. There are two forms she needs to complete:

It’s possible she may not be able to drive for 12 months. But if she voluntary surrenders her licence that has advantages when it’s time to reapply for her licence. I’m sorry that this is not what you want to hear, but it is actually the law. Here is some information about concessionary travel fares.

If we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact us again, You can contact our helpline team 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.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by todd at Epileps... on

2 weeks ago while at work I had a suspected seizure. At 35 this is not something I have ever experienced before. Body went stiff, stopped breathing and heart also stopped fortunately I work in an environment where there are several first aid trained personnel about. I got taken off to hospital by ambulance where they took lots of blood tests and then left me sat there for 9 hours with not much information. Due to another medical condition I current take fairly high dosages of Tramadhol but other than acting as a pain killer do not have any effect on any other functions. At the time of the suspected seizure I had been going through a prolonged period of extreme stress both at work and home.
After the time I was sat at the hospital the doctor called me in and said my blood tests seemed fine and they were making me an appointment with a neurologist and advised me not to drive. I then had an appointment with my GP 2 days later who could not find any appointment made by the hospital so instead made an appointment which I'm still waiting for and haven't driven since.
My question is, will there be any scenario where I don't lose my driving license for a period other than this current wait for a neurologist?
As I work horrible hours and most nights finish between 5-6am, and often have cover at other venues my car is vital to my job.
Any advice you can offer would be greatly received

Kind Regards

Submitted by Dave on

Hello Dave

This sounds like a difficult situation to find yourself in. This must have been scary for you.  

It is possible for a person to have a single seizure in their lifetime, yet not have epilepsy. It is good to hear that your GP has referred you to a specialist doctor. The most important thing at the moment is to try to find a cause for what has happened. The specialist doctor may do some tests to give them useful information about what may have happened. We have more information about how epilepsy is diagnosed on our website.

The length of time a person must stop driving will depend on the cause of the seizure. For a person who is diagnosed with epilepsy, this is often 12 months, although there are different rules for different causes. The driving agency will ask both yourself and your doctor for more information about what happened. This will help them to make a decision about how long you should stop driving for.

You may find it helpful to tell the specialist doctor that you take Tramadol when you meet. This is because seizures are listed in the British National Formulary (BNF:71) as a possible side effects of taking Tramadol. By making the specialist doctor aware of this, you make sure that it is also explored as a possible cause for what has happened.  

I hear your worries about your employment. Whilst you are not able to drive, you may be able to get support from an Access to Work grant. This may be able to support you for the extra costs of staying in work such as transport costs.

I hope this information is useful for you. If you would like to talk about any of this, or 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.

Epilepsy Action Advice & Information Team

Submitted by Karen, Epilepsy... on

Can you advise me what reason there may be for driving licence not to be returned after 12 month seizure free and no other medical conditions apply.

Submitted by Kevin on

Hi Kevin


As well as meeting the driving regulations for epilepsy and seizure control, the DVLA also take into account:

  • 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 your licence has been refused, you could ask the DVLA to explain why. 

If you believe their decision is wrong, you can write to them asking for a review of your case. You will need to explain why you believe their decision is wrong and send with your letter, a letter of support from your GP or epilepsy specialist. If your request isn’t successful, and you believe the driving agency is acting unlawfully, you can make a formal appeal.

If we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact our helpline team directly. You can email helpline@epilepsy.org.uk or phone the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. 




Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

I had my first ever siezure back in November and the seizure was in my sleep, I stoped driving. I was given epilepsy medication before even having tests done or a diagnosis. I then had an MRI and EEG which are clear and don't have epilepsy, but I'm still on medication for some reason.

I would like to know clearly how long I will have to wait before I will be able to have my licence back and I will be able to drive? The rules for my circumstances are not clear.

Submitted by Hannah on


It may be that DVLA will decide you have had an isolated seizure. This would mean you could possibly reapply for your licence after 6 months. But this decision would be made after talking to your consultant.

The fact that your consultant has put you on epilepsy medicine suggests that they think it is possible you will have further seizures. If there is a reason for this, then DVLA would probably need you to be seizure free for 12 months.

So you need to speak to your consultant. You’ll need to know if they think this could be an isolated seizure. If so, why are you on epilepsy medicine. And if they think you are at risk of further seizures, what are they basing this decision on. 

I hope that makes sense. But 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. 



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on


Any help / guidance is greatly appreciated.

I've very recently been diagnosed as having Temporal Lobe Epilepsy with Simple Partial Seizures by a Neurologist. Basically, I experience a feeling of deja vu along with a slight feeling of nerves/dread in my stomach. The feeling last approximately 5-10 seconds and then disappears. I've experienced this for almost 4 years but never thought to visit the doctors as it never affected my consciousness, alertness, ability to act/think/speak or do.

I experienced these 'feelings' throughout the 4 year period, including during driving lessons and my control of the vehicle was never compromised. Nobody even knows when I'm having these 'seizures' unless I mention then. My neurologist has stated that in his opinion, I am fit to drive but I need to mention my diagnosis to the DVLA.


For seizures not affecting consciousness/alertness (i.e. DVLA's "permitted seizures") the DVLA state:

For some types of awake seizure, you may be able to drive under a Group 1 licence after one year even if you are still having seizures. This is only if all of the following apply to you:

• you stay fully conscious during your seizures;

• your seizures do not stop you doing anything; and

• you have only ever had this type of seizure and have never had a seizure that affects your consciousness, attention and ability to act in any situation.

-- Does the 'ONE YEAR' mean one year from diagnosis or one year from the first seizure / experience, please? Thanks for any help!!

Submitted by Jre on


Thank you for your questions.

The answer to your first question is yes. If you have seizures that don’t affect your consciousness, 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 seizure.


Regarding when will the one year pattern start, it’s the date of your first known suspected seizure, not from your diagnosis.

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.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

My husband very recently had a seizure and has been advised that he cannot drive for six months. Will he still be able to accompany me as a learner driver during this time????? Someone asked this earlier on the forum but i could not see an answer. Also what do i tell the insurers? Please advise as otherwise followup hospital appointments will be a 30 mile round trip bus journey....

Submitted by Liz on

Hi Liz

Anyone supervising a learner driver needs to hold a current valid driving licence. As your husband isn’t allowed to hold a driving licence at the moment, legally he isn’t allowed to supervise you. 

If your husband is currently named on the car insurance, he will need to tell the insurer that he’s had to give up his driving licence. Many car insurance companies offer learner driver insurance, so you could get the car insured in your name. 

I can understand you’re worried about getting to hospital appointments. Do you have any friends or family who could either give your husband a lift, or alternatively sit in the car with you to supervise you driving? The government website explains who can supervise you. If the cost of getting to hospital is worrying you, you might be able to get help through the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme

If your husband is diagnosed with epilepsy, he may be entitled to a free bus pass from his local council. 


Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on


I am a HGV driver and had a seizure last week (whilst awake). I have never experienced this before , i was taken by ambulance to a hospital where they did blood tests and a CT scan which came back fine. I am currently waiting to see a neurologist.

My questions are:
1) I drive HGV for a living so if all test from the neurologist are clear can I continue driving or do I have to surrender my licence regardless?
2) if I do have to surrender my HGV licence, what support can I access as I have only ever done driving jobs. I heard that I may be able to get free travel around London is this correct?

Thank you

Submitted by Tracy on

Hi Tracy

It must have been a shock having a seizure out of the blue.  Having one seizure doesn’t necessarily mean you have epilepsy. Anyone can have a one-off seizure. Epilepsy is usually only diagnosed if someone has had more than one seizure, and doctors think it is likely they could have more.

However, you must stop driving and inform the DVLA about your seizure. When the specialist makes a diagnosis you can check what the driving regulations are for that condition.

On our website we have the driving regulations for an isolated seizure and epilepsy. You will also see there are different regulations for a HGV licence and a car licence.

If you are diagnosed with epilepsy, you can apply for a bus pass and rail card whilst you are unable to drive.

Unfortunately you will need to make a career change for the foreseeable future. On the work section of our website we have information on looking for work that could be of help to you. You may also find the government information on finding a job helpful.  

For advice on your financial situation you could contact Turn2us or your local Citizens Advice. They both can help you check you receive the financial help you are entitled to.

Website: turn2us.org.uk

Helpline: 0808 802 2000

Citizens Advice

Telephone advice in England: 0344 111 444

Telephone advice in Wales: 0344 77 20 20

Find your local Citizens Advice Bureau in Scotland

Find your local Citizens Advice Bureau in Northern Ireland

Website: citizensadvice.org.uk

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.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team


Submitted by Diane-Epilepsy ... on

Hello Diane

Thank you for your reply I found it really useful especially the list of places I can turn to for support and advice. I really appreciate the effort you made to provide such a thorough response

Kind regards


Submitted by Tracy on

Dear Epilepsy Action Helpline,

Any advice would be greatly appreciated - thank you.

My son will be applying for his Provisional Driving Licence next year; a number of EEGs in the past showed mild abnormalities, but were inconclusive. His final EEG, however, was normal as well as his MRI scan. My son has experienced episodes of deja vu for approximately 3 - 4 years, which he, now, ignores and has recently been informed he does not have epilepsy. As a diagnosis has been excluded, I would be grateful if you would advise as to whether my son would need to disclose his previous episodes of deja vu to the DVLA, or would it be sufficient for our GP to support his application, or possibly a Neurologist, by providing a statement of support ?

Thank you for all your help.

Kind Regards,


Submitted by Nao on


The DVLA says you only need to tell them about deja vu if it’s related to seizures or epilepsy. If your son’s neurologist says his episodes of deja vu are not seizures and are not related to epilepsy, then he won’t need to inform the DVLA when applying for his provisional licence. There’s also no need for him to get a letter of support from his GP or neurologist.

Best wishes

Grace, Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Grace@Epilepsy ... on

I suffer from epilepsy I only have seizures at night but the other day I have one in the daytime
I’ve already had my driving license revoked from a blackout I had 2/3 month ago meaning I can’t drive anyway for 12months
How do I stand driving wise on this

Submitted by Richard simons on

Hello Richard

Driving rules can be complicated so it is good you are checking this out. The driving rules say that a person who has had seizures both when they are awake and asleep can drive again when;

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

This applies from the date of your last seizure, so this is likely to  be 12 months from your most recent seizure.


Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Karen-Epilepsy ... on

My son who is 16 ¾ years old had rugby accident on the 15th October 2017. Shortly (within an hour) after the accident he had a single fit (seizure). It was discovered he had fractured his skull. He has since recovered completely with no ill effects within 4 weeks & back at school as normal, even playing non-contact sports. But he is currently on Levetiracetam Accord (1000mg per day).
After the visit to the consultant yesterday, he will be coming off the medication gradually. Reducing 250mg every two weeks.
As I understand he doesn’t have epilepsy, the doctors believe the fit was related to the injury because the fit was within a short period of time.
He currently has a provisional deriving licence, ready for 1st December when he is 17 year.
I am a little confused with the guidelines on the DVLA website? Regarding Seizures /fits on the applicability regarding my son. Would I need to surrender his licence?

Submitted by Neil Doyle on

Hi Neil

Your son’s situation falls into something of a grey area within the epilepsy and driving laws. No wonder the information is confusing.

Because your son has had a seizure he may need to wait 6 months from October to reapply for his licence. However as the consultant has been so specific about the seizure, it may well be worth contacting DVLA. They may look on it as a provoked seizure: https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/driving/can-i-drive. As you can see, one of the possible definitions of this is a seizure within a week of a head injury.

You could check if they feel, on discussion with his consultant that it may be possible for him to start driving again sooner.

A minor complication is that DVLA may feel he would be best fulfilling their guidance about withdrawing from epilepsy medicines: https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/driving/changing-and-withdrawing-medicines

My feeling is that this is less likely, because he has not had a diagnosis of epilepsy. But you will definitely need to check this with DVLA. 

I hope that helps a bit.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

Hi, I recently had a seizure out of the blue whilst I was asleep and had to go to hospital the next morning. They said I had low blood sugar and salt levels and gave me a sodium drip. I have also been referred to neorology and am currently waiting for an MRI scan so currently still investigating the cause of this seizure.

My main issue is that I started a new job only 6 weeks ago that I have to commute to, which I've now had to take almost an entire week off due to the after effects of that seizure. My doctors have told me to stop driving immediately which I have done and luckily I have the advantage of being able to commute via train but I am not sure when I'm supposed to notify DVLA. Is it right away or when I have a proper diagnosis? Also how does this affect my insurance policy? I have my partner as a named driver on my insurance, he is still a learner but is due to have his test in January and if he passes will he be allowed to drive my car or is my whole insurance policy now invalid?

I just don't want to lose my car and if I know my partner is driving it while I can't then that would be a huge stress off my mind!

Submitted by Megan on

Hi Megan

You will need to surrender your licence. But some people chose to wait until the results of the test and a more definite diagnosis. It is possible DVLA will see this as an isolated seizure. If that is the case you would only need to stop driving for 6 months.

It’s good you’re able to commute. Do you know you would be entitled to a free bus pass and a Disabled Persons Railcard?

As your licence is no longer valid, your insurance won’t be either. You will need to ring your car insurance company to check what to do about your partner.

I hope that helps.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

I have surrendered my licence after one nocturnal fit. I saw the neurologist and explained I had de ja vu /impeding doom feelings while awake which I've had at least 30 years without loss of conscious. Did I need to surrender the license

Submitted by Marie on

If you have any alteration of consciousness you need to surrender your licence. If the neurologist thinks this is likely to be seizure activity then you will need meet the epilepsy and driving laws before you reapply for your licence. If your nocturnal seizure involved loss on consciousness you would need to be seizure free for 12 months before you could reapply for your licence.

If you have never had a seizure involving  alteration of consciousness you may meet the epilepsy and driving laws already. You would need to talk to DVLA about this.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

Hi, i have had a seizure in October due to stopping diazepam which turned out to be a bad batch and caused a seizure, I'm not on any medication for it and do not have epilepsy, i have now received a letter from dvla and not sure what to do as the questionnaire is all about epilepsy, can you please give me advice on what to do and how long will my license be taken from me as i know now I'm seizure free

Submitted by Ian Downie on


DVLA will need to know about any episodes whether they are part of epilepsy or not. You could always do your best on the form but also include a covering letter explaining things you couldn’t in the form. Or you could ring DVLA and get their advice. The Drivers Medical Enquiries phone number is 0300 790 6806.

I hope that’s helpful.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

My husband has been diagnised with sleep epilepsy. He has had his driving license returned which civers him to drive a tractor ( his job) Currently the NFU and health and safety people (not sure uf its NFU health and saftey or uk) are being difficult about insuring him re; driving tractors, forklifts, welding. I feel we need some advice with the law.
I have read on here once you have been told you have a pattern of a type of epilepsy you longer need to notify dvla which with the last sezuire we did not as the application for license had gone in however ee dud notify his consultant who along with hus recomendations notified them of hus last seizure.

Submitted by June Fox on

Thanks for your message.

The answer to your question will depend partly on what type of licence your husband now has.

If he has a licence based on having sleep seizures only then he doesn’t need to notify DVLA of further sleep seizures.

If he has a licence based on being 12 months seizure free then he needed to tell DVLA about the seizure he had after the application had gone in, as he would no longer have been 12 months seizure free.

Consultants do not always get the driving rules right. And it would be necessary to report a seizure yourself rather than through the consultant.

If your husband does have a legitimate licence then if DVLA considers him fit to drive a car, it should not be a problem for him to drive a tractor. If his seizures are still only in his sleep then there should not be a risk to him driving a tractor on private land. He does not need a licence for this. But he would need his employer to do an individual risk assessment

It has been necessary to put a lot of ‘ifs’ in this response. If it would be easier to talk about this, do feel free to give us a call on our Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on