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Government plans to extend licensing period for drivers with diabetes

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The Government plans to extend the licensing period for drivers who treat their diabetes with insulin to up to 10 years.

The notification has been made as part of a Government amendment to the Deregulation Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, and follows the Driving Licensing Agency (DVLA) recommendation that it should extend the licensing period for people with diabetes.

Could become law this year

Under the current system, people who treat their diabetes with insulin and a have Group 1 Licence (cars and motorbikes) have to reapply at least every three years.

Diabetes UK has welcomed the new move, which could become law later this year, as too many people with diabetes face lengthy delays and disruptions when applying for their licence. This can cause anxiety and uncertainty about whether they will lose their licence or even possibly their livelihoods.

"Good news for people with diabetes"

Barbara Young, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, said: “Today’s announcement is really good news for people with diabetes because it has the potential to end the unnecessary disruption and delays that thousands of them face when applying for their driving licence.

“People with diabetes tell us that these delays and disruptions are a real problem and we have even seen extreme examples where people have lost their jobs as a result of it.

“We would like to thank our supporters who responded to the DVLA consultation and helped send a powerful message to the Government that this change is needed so that we get the balance right between making sure the roads are safe at the same time as ensuring the rules are fair for people with diabetes. We now want to see the amendment become law and be fully implemented so that people with diabetes get a fairer deal when driving.”

People with Group 2 licences (bus or lorry) need to apply for their licence every year if treated with insulin or Sulphonylureas.

People with diabetes will also still have to notify the DVLA if they develop impaired hypo awareness, have more than one severe hypo in 12 months or if they have any changes or complications that affect their ability to drive.

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