Declaring health conditions

If you’ve developed a medical condition or disability that could affect your driving, you must tell the DVLA, even if you’re not yet due to renew your licence. This also applies if your condition has worsened since your licence was issued.

Many people worry that they’ll be forced to stop driving, but this is not necessarily the case. It’s a legal obligation for you to declare certain conditions.

If you have an accident where your health condition may have been a factor and you haven’t declared it, you could be prosecuted and your insurance might not cover you.

Which conditions should I declare

Some of the medical conditions that you must declare are:

  • dementia
  • diabetes – if it’s insulin-treated
  • Parkinson’s
  • epilepsy
  • any chronic neurological condition, such as multiple sclerosis
  • any condition that affects both eyes, or total loss of sight in one eye.

Other health conditions may need to be declared, depending on what kind of licence you have and how the condition affects you.

Check the GOV UK website for a full list of medical conditions and disabilities you must declare

For example, you may need to declare if you’ve had a stroke or have cancer, depending on how it affects you.

What happens next?

After you’ve told the DVLA, it may:

  • make a decision based on the information you provide
  • contact your GP or consultant (with your permission) or arrange for a local doctor or specialist to examine you
  • ask you to take a driving assessment or eyesight test.

Having a medical condition doesn’t always mean that you will lose your licence.

You should be able to continue driving if your condition doesn’t affect your ability to drive safely. Or else you may need some help to adjust or make adaptations to your car.

Sometimes the DVLA will issue you with a driving licence for 1, 2 or 3 years and then review things again in the future.

The DVLA can also give you a licence that shows you need to fit special controls to your vehicle to help you to drive with your disability. Unfortunately, it can also tell you to stop driving, if you’re not fit to drive.

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For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 6565