There are two groups of licence holders and the medical standards differ according to each group:
- Group 1 includes motorcars and motorcycles.
- Group 2 includes large lorries (category C) and buses (category D).
The medical standards for Group 2 are much higher than those for Group 1 because of the size and weight of the vehicle.
Driving large goods vehicles (LGVs) and passenger carrying vehicles (PCVs) – Group 2 licence
People whose diabetes are treated by diet alone or by tablets are normally allowed to hold Group 2 licenses, which includes LGVs and PCVs, provided they are otherwise in good health and have passed the relevant driving test. (Until 1991 these were known as heavy goods vehicles [HGV] and public service vehicles [PSV].)
If you are treated with medication that may cause hypoglycaemia
If you hold a Group 2 licence and you treat your diabetes with any tablet from the sulphonylurea or prandial glucose regulator groups you must notify the DVLA as these increase the risk of hypoglycaemia.
If you are on any other diabetes treatment, including non-insulin injections, it may not cause hypoglycaemia when taken on its own. But when used in combination with any of the tablets listed below, then the risk of hypoglycaemia is increased and so the DVLA must be informed:
||Generic (proper) name
||Brand (trade) name|
||Diamicron/ Diamicron MR|
|Prandial glucose regulator
After being notified the DVLA/DVA would, with your consent, seek further information from your healthcare team. Therefore, each case will be considered individually.
Note: the use of exenatide or gliptins on their own currently carries no specific driving restrictions for Group 1 (car or motorcycle) licences.
If you are treated with insulin
From 15 November 2011, the DVLA have removed the ban for people on insulin driving Group 2 vehicles (larger vehicles, and some passenger-carrying vehicles). People with diabetes treated with insulin can now undergo individual independent medical assessment annually to assess their fitness to drive these vehicles.
To apply for a licence for these larger vehicles you will need to meet the following criteria:
There has not been any severe hypoglycaemic event in the previous 12 months (this is defined as ‘requiring assistance of another person’).
You have full hypoglycaemic awareness.
You can show adequate control of your diabetes by regular blood glucose monitoring, at least twice daily and at times relevant to driving*.
You can demonstrate an understanding of the risks of hypoglycaemia.
There are no other debarring complications of diabetes.
*If you have insulin-treated diabetes, you will need to have used a blood glucose meter with a memory function to measure and record blood glucose levels for at least three months prior to submitting your application. See the DVLA's letter on memory meters (PDF, 77KB) for further information.
Recent letters and a Guide from the DVLA set out the details:
DVLA Second letter (September 2011) – PDF, 89KB
DVLA Third letter (October 2011) – PDF, 84KB
DVLA Guide booklet for Group 2 licence – PDF, 240KB
Taxis and private hire vehicles
The Department for Transport recommends that the Group 2 medical standards should also be applied by local authorities to drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles. However, responsibility for determining the standards lies with the Transport for London in the Metropolitan area and the Local Authority in all other areas.
In Northern Ireland the ban on people who are treated with insulin on driving taxis will now be lifted due to the changes to the Group 2 driving licence rules. It is expected that this will happen by the Summer 2012.
Reviewed May 2012