Driving and disability
Having a medical condition or disability does not necessarily mean you cannot or will not be allowed to drive. You must tell the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) if you have, or have ever had, a medical condition or impairment that may affect your driving.
Medical conditions, disabilities and driving
If you hold a current driving licence and have a 'notifiable' medical condition or disability, you must tell DVA right away. You should not wait until your licence is due for renewal. You must also tell DVA if your medical condition or disability has become worse since your licence was issued or if you develop a new medical condition or disability.
Sometimes the best option can be to surrender your licence and re-apply for its restoration at a later date.
'Notifiable' medical conditions and disabilities include epilepsy, strokes and other neurological conditions, mental health problems, physical disabilities and visual impairments.
The research charity RICA publishes booklets aimed at motorists with particular needs, including
- motoring after amputation
- receiving a brain injury
- having a stroke
- motoring with arthritis
- cerebral palsy
- multiple sclerosis
- restricted growth
- Mobility (RICA website)
New drivers and the provisional driving licence
Before you can learn to drive a car, moped or motorcycle, you must apply for a provisional driving licence. If you have a notifiable medical condition or disability you must declare it on the application form.
DVA aims to deliver your provisional driving licence to you within three weeks of receiving your application. It might take longer if they have to check on your health or personal details.
Blue Badge Scheme
If you have been issued with a blue badge for your car, then you can use it here. There is no need to display a time clock when you use your Blue Badge in Northern Ireland.
Remember that a Blue Badge does not grant you permission to park anywhere. You still have to obey the rules of the road and should not park where it would endanger, inconvenience or obstruct pedestrians or other road users.
Speed limits in Northern Ireland are in miles per hour (mph). In general, the speed limits are 30 mph in towns and 70 mph on motorways and dual carriageways, unless the signs say something different.
The national speed limit of 60 mph applies on most other roads, where signed. Roads will, however, have their speed limits displayed on signs on the road.
Some areas have other speed limits and these are shown in mph as you enter the area.
More information on speeds limits and the Highway Code can be found at the following link:
The Inclusive Mobility Transport Advisory Committee (Imtac) has a factsheet for car users:
Disabled Motoring UK
Disabled Motoring UK is a charity for drivers with disabilities, passengers and Blue Badge holders.