DVLA publishes guidance for drivers with epilepsy

12.00 | 15 July 2014 | | 2 comments

The DVLA has published guidance for drivers who have experienced an epileptic seizure.

The DVLA says it “is keen to support people to get back driving, but also has a responsibility to maintain UK road safety”.

The Medical Standards relating to driving with epilepsy are very detailed. The new DVLA guidance covers the main facts and directs people to where they can find more information to help them understand how the standards apply to them.

The guidance explains that car drivers and motorcycle riders will usually be granted a three-year licence as long as they have not had an epileptic attack in the last 12 months, and they comply with the advice of their doctor or consultant concerning treatment and check-ups.

Once a driver/rider has been seizure free for five years, they will usually be issued a licence valid until aged 70 years.

For a first unprovoked epileptic seizure, drivers/riders must take six months off driving, unless there is high risk of further seizures in which case this is extended to 12 months.

Lorry and bus drivers will be issued with a driving licence if they remain seizure free for 10 years without taking any anti epilepsy medication. The duration of the licence will depend on the individual medical details of the driver.

After a first unprovoked epileptic seizure, lorry and bus drivers must take five years off driving and undergo an assessment by a neurologist. The driver should have taken no anti-epilepsy medication throughout the five-year period.

In all cases, DVLA must be informed of any seizure.


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    People that have photo sensitive epilepsy whose seizures are not 100% under control should not be driving at all. Sunlight flashing through trees or between buildings is a normal part of driving and could cause them to have a wreak hurting or killing themselves or someone else.

    Chris Arceneaux Indiana
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    One of the dangers is photo sensitive epilepsy . I have often on motorcycle websites pointed out this danger when out and about in bright sunlight with bare trees or high fence where the sun shines through and as you drive or ride past it gives a flashing or strobing effect. Can be very disconcerting sometimes to others who don’t have such a problem but obviously could be the trigger of an attack. Sunlight can be a killer.

    bob craven Lancs
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