Driving with Epilepsy


If you have a driving license and have a seizure you must tell the driving agency. In England, Scotland and Wales this would be the DVLA. In Ireland, this would be the RSA.

Unfortunately if you have a seizure you must stop driving, which understandably can have a big impact on your life.

Within the UK, for a normal Group 1 licence that covers cars, motorcycles and mopeds, if you are seizure free after one year you can reapply for your licence. If you have only had one seizure you still need to wait six months without having another seizure before reapplying for your licence.

For a Group 2 licence, which covers large goods vehicles, passenger carrying vehicles (like buses or minibuses with nine or more seats) and horse boxes, you will need to be seizure free for at least 10 years.

In Ireland, most people with epilepsy will have to be free of seizures for a year before they are eligible to drive again.

For a Group 1 license which covers cars, motorcycles and tractors, if you are seizure free for a year you can reapply for your license by completing a D501 form that you can get from your doctor. You will also have an annual review with your doctor until you are seizure free for 5 years.

There are some exceptions to the one-year rule for group 1 drivers:

  • If you have your first unprovoked seizure, you can drive again if your consultant is satisfied that you are medically fit, after a minimum of 6 months.
  • If you have seizures with consciousness or sleep seizures and their patterns have been established for one year you may be able to drive.

For a Group 2 license which covers large vans, heavy goods vehicles and buses, people with a history of epilepsy may hold a license if they are 10 years free from seizures without the use of medication. This may be reduced to 5 years if it was the first unprovoked seizure without the use of medication. If you have a provoked seizure you will need to see a doctor for a neurological assessment to determine if you are fit to drive again.

If you have awake seizures that do not affect consciousness, attention and the ability to act in any situation (including controlling a vehicle), nor cause any functional impairment OR, if you only have seizures while asleep, then you may be able to drive after one year even if you are still having seizures

These guidelines vary between different countries so if travelling make sure you are aware of local guidelines and laws.