Driving & Epilepsy Advice

This information is a summary of the information available on the DVLA website regarding driving after a first seizure and/or with a diagnosis of epilepsy.

The DVLA are continuously reviewing their documentation, so we always advise checking with them directly.

Please note,

  • You must tell the DVLA if you’ve had any epileptic seizures or blackouts.
  • You must stop driving straight away.
  • You must also tell your insurance company of any DVLA medical notifications.
  • If you do not tell the DVLA, you may be fined and your insurance may be invalidated

Unfortunately, there are no clear cut or immediate decisions regarding the ability to drive if you begin to suffer from epilepsy as a result of your Cavernoma. 

There are some actions that must be taken immediately;

  • You must tell DVLA if you’ve been diagnosed with Cavernoma.
  • If advised by your doctor, or if you’ve had a seizure, you must stop driving straight away (see our Epilepsy page for further guidance).

Ultimately being honest with the DVLA and informing them quickly of your circumstance is likely to make your position clearer and more manageable in the future.

Typically you will be without your licence for at least 6 to 12 months, depending on your seizure type and doctors opinion. 

When you inform the DVLA of your epileptic seizures or blackouts, we recommend that you voluntarily hand in your licence, rather than having the DVLA revoke your licence at a later date. 

We understand the various difficulties that giving up your licence  immediately may cause, but it is for your safety, and the safety of any passengers and other road users that it is important to comply with this request. 

Help is available for those that find themselves in a difficult position without their licence.  You can find help and advice via the Access to Work scheme or the CAUK helpline

It is worth noting that you may be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t tell DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving. You may also be prosecuted if you are involved in an accident as a result. 

Table of Contents

How do I inform the DVLA of my seizures?

You can use the DVLA website to report your condition onlineAlternatively, you can fill in this form FEP1 and send it to the DVLA.

We recommend that you voluntarily hand your licence in with this form. 

When you may reapply for your licence depends on several factors. These may include:

  1. Type of seizure 
  2. Frequency of seizures 
  3. Current/or future treatment plans

General rules for different seizure types

The DVLA website provides guidance for the likelihood and timeline of regaining a licence for specific seizure types.  These guidelines are summarised below

Note: There are further rules and complications if you are also applying for a licence to drive buses, lorries or coaches. Please see the DVLA website for this information

If you’ve had epileptic seizures while awake and lost consciousness

Your licence will be taken away.

You may reapply if you haven’t had a seizure for at least a year.

If you had a seizure because your doctor changed or reduced your anti-epilepsy medication, you can reapply when:

  • the seizure was more than 6 months ago
  • you’ve been back on your previous medication for 6 months
  • 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 taken away. 

You can reapply when both of the following are true:

  • you haven’t had a seizure for 6 months
  • DVLA’s medical advisers decide there isn’t a high risk you’ll have another seizure

Medical advisers will base their decision on information you and your doctors send them. If they need to carry out an investigation, they’ll let you know.

Otherwise, you can reapply after one year of being seizure free.

If you’ve had seizures while asleep and awake

Your licence will be taken away and it is unlikely that the DVLA will grant you a licence in this circumstance. 

You may still qualify for a licence if the only seizures 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. 

Until you hear from them you must stop driving.

If you've only had seizures while asleep

You may still qualify for a licence if it’s been 12 months or more since your first seizure. 

The DVLA will let you know 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 seizures that don’t affect your consciousness

You may still qualify for a licence if the only type of seizure you’ve had is one where:

  • you were fully conscious and aware of what was happening around you
  • you were able to move and did not lose control of your movements
  • Your first seizure was 12 months ago or more.

The DVLA will let you know whether or not you qualify after you’ve filled in the form.

Until you hear from them you must stop driving.

How do I reapply?

The DVLA will send you a letter when your licence is surrendered or revoked, or if your application for a driving licence is refused.

The letter will tell you if there is a period of time you need to wait before getting a new licence.

You may reapply 8 weeks before the end of this period.

Car or motorcycle licence

To reapply, fill in both the appropriate medical form for your condition and the D1 application form and send them to DVLA.

  1. Visit the DVLA Website 
  2. Select your medical condition to find the right form.
  3. Order a D1 pack, which has everything you need to make an application.
  4. Check with your doctor that you meet the medical standards for driving before reapplying for your licence.

You may need to send evidence of your fitness to drive. The letter from the DVLA will tell you if this is the case.

D1 packs are also available from Post Office branches.

Bus, coach or lorry licence

For a Bus, coach or lorry licence you need a different form please see the DVLA website for details

Can I drive while re-applying for my licence?

Understanding whether or not you can drive while you in the process of renewing your licence can be confusing. 

There are different rules for when you may drive again depending on if your licence was voluntarily surrendered, or if it was revoked/refused for medical reasons.

Licences revoked or refused for medical reasons

You may reapply for your licence when your doctor says you meet the medical standards for driving.

You must not drive while the reapplication is in progress.

Voluntarily surrendered licences

There are some circumstances in which you may drive whilst your reapplication in in progress. You can find the full list of conditions here.

We recommend voluntarily surrendering your licence.