What medical conditions do the DVLA need to know about?

Posted on: 19 September 2018

The Driving and Vehicle Leasing Agency (DVLA) need to make sure people are safe to drive on the roads. Because of this, they need to know about any medical conditions that might affect your driving.

It’s worth remembering that the DVLA constantly revise these medical conditions and the terms that they’ll offer a license under.

Why do I need to tell the DVLA?

If you don’t tell them about a particular condition that could affect your driving, you could be fined up to £1,000. Plus, it might mean your insurance is invalid.

If you’re not sure if your condition could affect your driving, have a look at Medical rules for drivers on their website to learn more about why they need to know about certain conditions.

What do I need to tell the DVLA?

If you do have a medical condition, the DVLA won’t necessarily restrict your license. You’d need to tell them if you’ve had, or do have any of the following medical conditions:

  • Epilepsy
  • Fits or blackout
  • Repeated attacks of sudden disabling giddiness
  • Diabetes
  • A pacemaker
  • A cardiac defibrillator (ICD)
  • Angina (heart pain)
  • Persistent alcohol misuse or dependency
  • Persistent drug misuse or dependency
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Narcolepsy or sleep apnoea syndrom
  • Strokes, and recurring stroke symptoms, ‘mini-strokes’ or TIAs (Transient Ichaemic Attacks)
  • Any brain surgery, severe head injuries or brain tumours
  • Any other chronic neurological condition
  • Serious memory problems or episodes of confusion
  • Severe learning disabilities
  • Serious psychiatric illness or mental ill-health
  • If you’re able to see out of only one eye.
  • Conditions affecting both of your eyes, (not including short or long sight or colour blindness)
  • Conditions that affect your peripheral vision (the surrounding area you can see when looking directly ahead)
  • Any limb problems where your driving’s been restricted to certain cars, or those with adapted controls.

How do I tell the DVLA?

In a few simple steps, let the DVLA know about any medical condition:

  • Visit the Health conditions and driving section of gov.co.uk
  • Select your condition from the list for more information
  • The information tells you if you need to let the DVLA know
  • If you do need to tell the DVLA, you can do it online or there’s a form which you can download, fill in and send in the post.

EYE 7E5T

The DVLA are running a campaign encouraging motorists to take the ‘number plate test’. All drivers must meet minimum eyesight standards while driving –including being able to read a number plate from 20 metres.

Dr Wyn Parry, DVLA’s Senior Doctor, said: ‘The number plate test is a simple and effective way for people to check their eyesight meets the required standards for driving. The easiest and quickest way to do this is to work out what 20 metres looks like at the roadside - this is typically about the length of 5 cars parked next to each other - and then test yourself on whether you can clearly read the number plate. It’s an easy check to perform any time of day at the roadside and takes just a couple of seconds.

Having good eyesight is essential for safe driving, so it’s really important for drivers to have regular eye tests. Eyesight can naturally deteriorate over time so anyone concerned about their eyesight should visit their optician - don’t wait for your next check-up.’