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Diabetes and your driving licence

There are certain conditions for people with diabetes to meet when applying or renewing a driving licence. We have been campaigning for years to ensure there are no unnecessary restrictions when people with diabetes get behind the wheel. 

Here is the information you need to ensure you’re best prepared to keep hold of your licence. If you require further information, go directly to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (often know as theDVLA) or theDVAin Northern Ireland. Or you can call ourHelplinefor advice on renewing your licence if you're not sure.

Group 1 driver (cars and motorbikes)

  • If you are on insulin, you must tell the DVLA (in the UK) or DVA (Northern Ireland).
  • Your licence will then be renewed every one, two, or three years.
  • Any changes to your condition or treatment which occur between renewals (e.g complications which might affect your ability to drive safely) should be reported when they happen.
  • You must report to the DVLA (DVA) if you have had two or more episodes of severe hypoglycaemia within the last 12 months whilst awake (where you were completely dependent on another person to treat your hypo).
  • You develop impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia (where you are unable to recognise the hypo when it starts).
  • You experience a disabling hypo whilst driving.
  • Drivers who are under medical supervision by a doctor do not need to notify if insulin is used for a temporary period only (less than three months, or for gestational diabetes less than three months after delivery) unless they have problems with hypos/severe hypos/hypo unawareness.

If you are a Group 1 driver on non-insulin medication for diabetes you do not need to notify unless one or more of these affect you. 

  • You have had two or more episodes of severe hypoglycaemia within the last 12 months whilst awake (where you were completely dependent on another person to treat your hypo).
  • You develop impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia (where you are unable to recognise the hypo when it starts).
  • You experience a disabling hypo whilst driving.
  • You have other medical conditions or changes to existing medical conditions which could affect your ability to drive safely. Examples are: problems with vision (e.g. laser treatment/injections), circulation, or sensation (e.g. peripheral neuropathy).

Hypo-related problems are most likely to happen on sulphonylurea or glinide tablets. If you are unsure whether your medication could cause hypos check with your diabetes care team.

Group 2 driver (bus or lorry)

  • You must tell the DVLA if you have diabetes for which you take any type of medication.
  • If you have insulin treatment you will undergo an independent medical assessment every year. This also applies to holders of C1 licence which may previously have been included on your standard car/motorbike licence.
  • You should monitor your blood glucose levels regularly and store results on a memory meter, if you take insulin.
  • You will need to provide three months of continuous meter readings at your assessment, if you take insulin.
  • You should report any severe hypoglycaemia or loss of awareness of hypoglycaemia to the DVLA.
  • Any changes to your condition or treatment (e.g complications which might affect your ability to drive safely) should be reported.
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