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How health affects driving

As a motorist you could be fined up to £1,000 if you do not tell the DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving. You may also be prosecuted if you’re involved in an accident as a result.

The DVLA says drivers must tell them about seven ‘notifiable conditions’ - these are anything that could affect your ability to drive safely.

You must let the DVLA know if you develop a ‘notifiable’ medical condition or disability or a condition or disability has got worse since you got your licence.

Under the law, you must give up your licence if either your doctor tells you to stop driving for three months or more or you do not meet the required standards for driving because of your medical condition.

The seven ‘notifiable conditions’ are:

  • Diabetes or taking insulin: Tell the DVLA if your insulin treatment lasts for more than three months, you had gestational diabetes and you needed treatment three months after birth or you get disabling hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar);
  • Blackouts, fainting (syncope), loss of consciousness: Ask your doctor if your blackouts, fainting (syncope) or loss of consciousness affect your driving. If they do you must tell the DVLA;
  • Heart conditions including atrial fibrillation and pacemakers;
  • Sleep apnoea: Tell the DVLA if you have obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. You can consult your doctor on whether obstructive sleep apnoea will affect your driving;
  • Epilepsy: You must tell DVLA if you’ve had any epileptic attacks, seizures, fits or blackouts. You must stop driving straight away. Your licence may be taken away and when you can reapply for it depends on the type of attack you had. If it is a one-off incident you can reapply after six months if you haven’t had another attack and DVLA’s medical advisers decide there isn’t a high risk you’ll have another seizure;
  • Stroke: Inform the DVLA if you’re still having problems one month after the stroke, if you have had more than one stroke, if you need brain surgery or if a medical professional is concerned about your ability to drive;
  • Glaucoma: You don’t need to tell DVLA if you’re diagnosed with glaucoma in one eye and your other eye has a normal field of vision. But you must inform DVLA if your glaucoma affects one eye and either of the following also apply: you have a medical condition in your other eye or you can’t meet the visual standards for driving. You must tell DVLA if your glaucoma affects both eyes.

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