Driving with epilepsy

By Tom Bentley
on September 20, 2018 3:12:24 PM BST

Driving with epilepsy

By Tom Bentley
on September 20, 2018 3:12:24 PM BST

In the UK 600,000 people have epilepsy, that’s one in every 100 people. Having epilepsy at any age has consequences on a person’s life, from education to driving. Anyone could have epilepsy it isn’t confined to people of a certain age.

To drive in the UK, you must inform the DVLA about your medical condition or possibly be fined up to £1000 and even be prosecuted if you’re involved in an accident as a result of having a seizure while driving.

If you already have a driving licence and have a seizure it is your responsibility to return your licence to the DVLA, which results in having to wait at least a year before you can reapply to get it back. The process is lengthy as the DVLA must check you’re medically fit to drive again, so it's recommended to reapply 8 weeks before you’re allowed to reapply for your licence.

It’s your responsibility to tell your insurance company you have epilepsy, they can cancel your policy if you have not informed them of your condition.

Some factor that can cause a seizure include:

  • Tiredness;
  • Illness;
  • Driving for long hours without taking regular breaks.

In their lifetime up to 10% of people worldwide have had one seizure.

If someone is medically disqualified from driving due to their epilepsy or even a one-off seizure, they are entitled to apply for a concessionary travel card. This can be attained by contacting your local Passenger Transport Executive and asking for the details of how to apply.

If you are unsure of when you can apply for a driving licence there is a tool on the epilepsy action page which will help through a series of question although that is only a guide and if you have question it would be better to ring the DVLA directly.

Did you know? 

Saint Valentine is the patron saint of people with epilepsy.

Epilepsy affect 65 million people around the world.


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