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The DVLA’s new driving proposals - what they mean to you

Thursday 13 March 2014

TheDVLA is proposing to extend the licensing period for people who treat their diabetes with insulin. We look at what the proposals mean and answer some key questions about how they will affect people with diabetes.

What has the DVLA announced?

At the moment, people who treat their diabetes with insulin have to reapply for their licence at least every three years. The DVLA is proposing to change this for people who have a Group 1 licence (cars and motorbikes) to up to every 10 years.

How will the changes benefit people with diabetes?

As people with diabetes have to demonstrate their fitness to drive when they reapply for their licence, it is a process that can involve lengthy delays and the uncertainty can cause anxiety and distress. In the very worst cases their livelihoods can be put at great risk. Hopefully, extending the licence period delays will mean this happens less often.

When will the changes be introduced?

The DVLA is now consulting interested groups about the proposals. Following this, the idea is that the proposals will form part of the Government’s Deregulation Bill, which is expected to get Royal Assent by the autumn. The changes could be introduced as early as next year.

How can I respond to the DVLA’s consultation?

The consultation is not open to the public. But as an interested group, Diabetes UK will be responding. Please let us know what you think, to help make sure our response on the changes is informed by the people whose lives will be affected by them. You can email ourDiabetes Voicesteam to participate.

Will the DVLA’s proposals affect other rules on driving with diabetes?

The DVLA’s proposals will only affect people who treat their diabetes with insulin and have a Group 1 licence (cars and motorbikes). People with Group 2 licences (bus or lorry) will need to apply for their licence every year if treated with insulin or sulphynoreas. People with diabetes also have to notify the DVLA if they develop impaired hypo awareness, have more than one severe hypo in 12 months and if they have any changes or complications that affect their ability to drive.

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