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Driving and epilepsy - quick guide

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Driving and epilepsy - interactive quick guide

The DVLA is currently prioritising applications for key workers and HGV drivers. They are not able to deal with postal applications if you are reapplying for a driving licence following a medical condition. Their call centre is only taking calls from key workers.

Use our interactive guide below to the driving regulations for people with epilepsy in the UK to find out how the driving regulations apply to you. (For people who meet the DVLA's definitions of epilepsy and for Group 1 licences only)

 

When did you have your last seizure?

What type of seizures do you have?

*Asleep seizures - these are seizures that happen when you are asleep, while you are falling asleep, or as you are waking up from sleep. They are sometimes called 'nocturnal seizures' as they usually happen at night, but the term may also apply if you sleep in the daytime as part of your normal routine (for example, if you do shift work). The term does not say what type of seizures happen, only when they happen.

**Awake seizures - these are seizures that happen when you are awake. They include seizures that affect your consciousness, and seizures that do no affect consciousness, if they start when you are awake. ‘Awake’ just means you are not asleep when the seizure starts. The term does not say what type of seizures happen, only when they happen.

Have you ever had awake seizures*?

*Awake seizures - these are seizures that happen when you are awake. They include seizures that affect your consciousness, and seizures that do not affect consciousness, if they start when you are awake. ‘Awake’ just means you are not asleep when the seizure starts. The term does not say what type of seizures happen, only when they happen.

Do your seizures affect your consciousness or ability to act (including controlling a vehicle)?

This includes seizures where you are partly conscious, you are confused or you don't remember the seizure. When we talk about being conscious or having the ability to act, it means you are fully aware and able to act during your seizures.

Have you ever had seizures that have affected your consciousness or ability to act (either now or in the past)?

Questions around driving regulations

What If I had my last seizure 1 year ago or longer? Can I apply for a new licence?

If you had your last seizure 1 year ago or longer you are able to apply for a new licence.

Please note: to be able to drive you must also meet all normal driving requirements (for example, the standards for vision)

In all cases, you need to tell the driving agency (DVLA, or DVA in Northern Ireland) about your situation, and they will need to confirm that you can either drive, or if you need to reapply for your licence, before you can start driving.

If your situation changes (for example, if you have been seizure-free and you have a seizure) you may need to answer the quiz again.

What if I have asleep seizures only, and have never had an awake seizure before?

If you have asleep seizures only, and have never had an awake seizure before, then you can drive after having asleep seizures for 1 year, even if you are still having asleep seizures (as long as you do not have any awake seizures). This is with or without medication. If you have an awake seizure you must stop driving and tell the driving agency.

Please note: To be able to drive you must also meet all normal driving requirements (for example, the standards for vision)

In all cases, you need to tell the driving agency about your situation, and they will need to confirm that you can either drive, or if you need to reapply for your licence, before you can start driving.

If your situation changes (for example, if you have been seizure-free and you have a seizure) you may need to answer the quiz again.

What If I have asleep seizures only, but I have had awake seizures before?

If you have asleep seizures only, but you have had awake seizures before, you can drive after having asleep seizures for 3 years, even if you are still having asleep seizures (as long as you do not have any awake seizures, and have not had any in the last 3 years). This is with or without medication. If you have an awake seizure you must stop driving and tell the driving agency.

Please note: To be able to drive you must also meet all normal driving requirements (for example, the standards for vision)

In all cases, you need to tell the driving agency about your situation, and they will need to confirm that you can either drive, or if you need to reapply for your licence, before you can start driving.

If your situation changes (for example, if you have been seizure-free and you have a seizure) you may need to answer the quiz again.

What if I have seizures, but they do not affect my consciousness or ability to act?

If you have seizures which do not affect your ability to act you can drive after having these seizures for 1 year, even if you are still having these seizures (as long as you do not have any other seizure types).

This is with or without medication. If you have a seizure of any other type you must stop driving and tell the driving agency.

What if I have seizures now which affect my consciousness or ability to act (including controlling a vehicle)?

If you have seizures which affect your consciousness or ability to act (including controlling a vehicle) you must be free of seizures for 1 year before you can drive (with or without medication).

If you have a seizure you must stop driving and tell the DVLA.

What if I don't have seizures which affect my consciousness or ability to act (including controlling a vehicle), but I have had seizures in the past which have affect my consciousness or ability to act?

If you don't have seizures which affect your consciousness or ability to act (including controlling a vehicle), but you have had seizures in the past which have affect your consciousness or ability to act, you must be free of all types of seizures for 1 year before you can drive (with or without medication). If you have a seizure you must stop driving and tell the driving agency.

Driving an epilepsy - interactive guide

Download our interactive guide to driving regulations

Download our interactive guide to driving regulations or download our quick guide factsheet.

Download the interactive PDF

Download the factsheet

Information produced: December 2019