If your diabetes is treated by diet alone or diet and tablets, you do not need to inform the DVLA. However, the law requires you to inform the DVLA:
- If you have diabetes that is treated with insulin alone or insulin and tablets, by law, you must inform the DVLA as soon as possible after you have been diagnosed.
- If you have diabetes as well as another relevant condition or complication, such as retinopathy (eye problems) or peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage to legs or feet) – even if your diabetes is not treated with insulin.
- If you have problems with vision or require laser treatment or injections, for retinopathy in both eyes, or in the remaining eye, if you have sight in only one eye.
- If you have problems with vision in both eyes, or in the remaining eye if you have sight in one eye only. (By law, you must be able to read, with glasses or contact lenses if necessary, a car number plate in good light at 20.5 metres (67 feet) or 20 metres (65 feet) where narrower characters (50mm wide) are displayed).
- If you develop any problems with the circulation or sensation in your legs or feet which makes it necessary for you to drive certain types of vehicles only, for example, automatic vehicles or vehicles with a hand operated accelerator or brake. This must be shown on your driving licence.
- If there are changes in your medical condition, for example if your diabetes treatment changes to insulin.
- If you have more than one episode of severe hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) within 12 months, or if you or your carer feels that you are at high risk of developing severe hypoglycaemia. (Severe hypoglycaemia is now defined as requiring the assistance of another person.) It is a good idea to keep a note of the dates of these.
- If you develop impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia (difficulty in recognising the warning symptoms of low blood glucose levels). Your GP or diabetes consultant will be able to assess this.
- If you experience severe hypoglycaemia while driving. (Disabling hypoglycaemia is defined as requiring the assistance of another person).
- If an existing medical condition gets worse or you develop any other condition which may affect safe driving.
For more information please refer to ‘A guide to driving ordinary vehicles (Group 1) for Drivers with Diabetes treated by tablets and/or diet’ leaflet (INF188/2) (produced by the DVLA).
To tell DVLA that you have diabetes you will need to fill in a medical questionnaire DIAB1. You can download this questionnaire from www.direct.gov.uk. If you do not have access to the internet you can get a questionnaire by calling DVLA’s Customer Enquiry Group on 0300 790 6806, open 8.00am–5.30pm Mon–Fri. Saturday 8.00am–1.00pm.