As a motorist it is easy to fall foul of the myriad of regulations that you have to adhere to so as to maintain holding a valid driving licence. However one of the most important aspects of those regulations is your medical fitness to be behind the wheel.
Non-disclosure of anything on the DVLA's list of notifiable medical conditions could see you hit with a fine of up to £1,000, and you may also be prosecuted if you’re involved in an accident as a result.
The DVLA states that drivers must tell them about seven notifiable conditions, these are anything that could affect your ability to drive safely.
Current legislation dictates that 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:
You need to inform the DVLA if your insulin treatment lasts (or will last) over 3 months, if you have gestational diabetes (diabetes associated with pregnancy) and your insulin treatment lasts over 3 months after the birth, or you get disabling hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) - or a medical professional has told you that you’re at risk of developing it
If you suffer from fainting (syncope) or loss of consciousness, you must ask your doctor if your blackouts, fainting or loss of consciousness affect your driving, if they do you must inform the DVLA
This includes atrial fibrillation and pacemakers
You must inform the DVLA if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. You must also consult your doctor to determine whether obstructive sleep apnoea will affect your driving
You must inform the DVLA if you’ve had any epileptic attacks, seizures, fits or blackouts, and must stop driving immediately.
Your licence may be taken away and when you can reapply depends on the type of attack that you have had.
If you’ve had epileptic attacks while awake and lost consciousness, your licence will be taken away. You can reapply if you haven’t had an attack for at least a year.
If you suffered a seizure because your doctor changed or reduced your anti-epilepsy medicine, you can reapply for your driving licence after a 6 month period has passed after the seizure, you’ve been back on your previous medication for 6 months and you haven’t had another seizure in that time.
If you’ve had a one-off seizure while awake and lost consciousness, your licence will be revoked. You can reapply when you haven’t had an attack for 6 months and the DVLA’s medical advisers decide there isn’t a high risk you’ll have another seizure. Both of these criteria have to be fulfilled before your licence will be reinstated
Medical advisers will base their decision on information which both you and your doctors send them. If they need to carry out an investigation they will inform you, otherwise you can reapply after a year.
If you’ve had attacks while asleep and awake, you may still qualify for a licence if the only attacks you’ve had in the past 3 years have been while you were asleep.
The DVLA will let you know whether or not you qualify after you’ve filled in the form, however until you hear from them you must stop driving.
If you’ve only had attacks while asleep, again, you may still qualify for a licence if it’s been 12 months or more since your first attack.
Again, the DVLA will inform you as to whether or not you qualify after you’ve filled in the form. Until you hear from them you must stop driving.
If you’ve had attacks or seizures that don’t affect your consciousness or driving, you may still qualify for a licence if these are the only type of attack you’ve ever had and the first one was 12 months ago.
Again, as previously stated, the DVLA will let you know whether or not you need to give up your licence after you’ve filled in the form. Until you hear from them you must stop driving.
You need to tell 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 person is concerned about your ability to drive.
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. You must however, tell 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.
Medical criteria becomes more stringent for those with vocational licences, such as HGV and PCV classifications, as well as taxi licensing, with regular medicals required
once an individual reaches a set age.
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