Driving and Medical Conditions

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Group 1

  • Inform DVLA if aneurysm is bigger than 6cm
  • licence will be subject to anual review
  • they may be allowed to drive if medical review (BP etc) is ok
  • if an AAA is bigger than 6.5cm they can’t drive

Group 2

  • disqualified if AAA>5.5cm – may be possible to requalify if certain conditions met

Alcohol / Drug Misuse

Group 1

DVLA must be informed

  • Don’t drive for until free of problems for 6 months for the following drugs:
    • persistent alcohol misuse
    • misuse of cannabis
    • misuse of amphetamines
    • ecstacy
    • psychoactive drugs (whatever that means – presumably hallucinogens – they’re all psychoactive!)
  • Don’t drive until free of problems for 1 year for the following drugs:
    • Heroine
    • Alcohol
    • Morphine
    • Methadone

Acute Coronary Syndrome

Group 1

No need to tell DVLA

Following Coronary Angioplasty:

  • Stop driving for 1 week if procedure successful
  • Stop driving for 3 weeks if procedure unsuccessful


No need to tell DVLA

  • Stop Driving if symptoms occur while at the wheel, at rest or from emotion


No need to tell DVLA unless symptoms are distracting or disabling

  • Cease driving if it’s likely to cause incapacity
  • Can resume driving if symptoms have been controlled for 4 weeks or more
  • Cease driving for 2 days or more after successful catheter ablation

CABG and Heart Valve Surgery

No need to tell the DVLA

  • Stop driving for 4 weeks after a CABG/Valve surgery

Heart Failure

No need to tell DVLA

  • Can continue driving unless symptoms are distracting


  • Can continue driving

Stroke / TIA

Only need to inform DVLA if neurological deficit persists for over a month

  • Can resume driving after at least a month


DVLA does need to be informed

  • stop driving for a week

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

No need to tell DVLA

  • Stop driving for at least a week



Need to tell DVLA if:

  • Insulin required for 3months or more
  • visual or circulatory problems develop
  • more than one episode of disabling hypoglycaemia develop within preceeding 12 months
  • high risk of developing disabling hypoglycaemia


  • Diabetics can continue to drive unless 2 or more episodes of hypoglycaemia in preceding 12 months which required assistance of another person or impaired awareness of hypoglycaemiua
  • can resume driving when control / awareness achieved
  • Drivers who use insulin:
    • check blood glucose not more than 2 hours prior to a journey
    • check their blood glucose every 2 hours during journey
    • if BM is </=4mmol/L they should stop driving and not resume until has been normal for 45mins


Chronic Neurological Conditions – eg Parkinson’s, MS

The DVLA DOES need to be informed

  • They might be able to drive if medical assessment confirms that driving performance is not impaired.


DVLA DOES need to be informed

  • Seizure while awake: stop driving for at least 1 year
  • Seizure while awake but first attack / solitary fit / specialist assessment can’t identify an abnormality stop for 6 months
  • Epileptic attack while asleep: Stop driving at least 1 year – can be licensed if the attack occurred more than 3 years previously
  • While treatment is being withdrawn – stop driving until 6 months after cessation of treatment

Group 2

  • need to be seizure free for 10 years



DVLA DOES need to be informed

  • if person has poor short term memory / disorientation / lack of insight or judgment – unlikely to be able to drive

Mania or Hypomania

DVLA DOES need to be informed

  • Stop driving during illness
  • following an episode a person can drive if they’ve remained stable for at least 3months
  • If they have had 4 or more episodes of mood swing during the previous year they need to stop driving for 6 months

Acute Psychotic Disorder

DVLA does need to be informed

  • Stop driving during episode
  • Can drive after 3 months of being stable if necessary criteria are met

Chronic Psychotic Disorders

DVLA does need to be informed

  • Stop until
    • stable behaviour for three months
    • adequate treatment adherence
    • no adverse effects of medication
    • favourable specialist report

Visual Disorders

DVLA does need to be informed

  • Stop driving if:
    • can not read in good light (with glasses if worn)
    • can not read a vehicle number plate from 20m
    • visual acuity is less than 6/12


Mneumonics for remembering time off driving:

  • 1 week for Pacemaker / Sucessful PCI
    • 1 = Ale
    • Think of a pacemaker in a race holding a flagpole with one hand on it has a “1hour” flag and below that is a “PCI” flag, in the other hand he has a pint of ale
  • 3 weeks for failed PCI
    • 3 = ham
    • A rather crap cardiologist is pulling a ham out of a femoral artery – he’s failed to do the PCI and somehow pulled out a ham instead
  • 4 weeks for Arrhymia / CABG / Valve
    • 4 = whore
    • Think of a whole showing her breasts – so you can sees she’s got a sternotomy scar which makes you think of both a CABG and a valve, she’s also showing her inside thigh which has a badly done ECG tattoo – reminding you of arrhythmia
    • The whore is winking – identifying TIA&Stroke (facial asymetery)  as 4 weeks – neurological
  • 3 months (12 weeks) stable for psychiatric conditions
    • 12 = line, Ben = pysche conditions
    • Ben putting washing on a line
  • 6 months (26 weeks) for soft drugs, pysche conditions if 4 or more episodes, epilepsy withdrawal, epilepsy first fit/unable to find cause
    • 26 = nob
    • Ben with nobs on hands and feet = 4 nobs psyche
    • A nob smoking a spliff (soft drugs) that has just withdrawn (epilepsy withdrawal) and is shaking (epilesy first fit)
  • 1 year (52 weeks) for hard drugs, alcohol, epilepsy fits at attacks night/day, 
    • 52 = fan
    • Eyeball Paul doing a line of coke (hard drugs) from the blade of a fan
    • he’s got a shotglass of vodka by his eye (alcohol)
    • and he’s shaking (epilepsy)