A guide for car or motorcycle drivers with diabetes treated by tablets, diet or both

The role of the Medical Section within Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) is to promote road safety by establishing whether drivers who have medical conditions can satisfy the medical standards of fitness required for safe driving.

What do you need to report?

Drivers don't need to tell DVA if their diabetes is treated by tablets, diet or both and they are free of the complications listed below. Some people with diabetes develop associated problems that may affect their driving.

By law you must tell DVA if any of the following apply:

  • you need treatment with insulin
  • you need laser treatment to both eyes or in the remaining eye if you only have sight in one eye
  • you have problems with vision in both eyes, or in the remaining eye if you only have sight in one eye (by law you must be able to read, with glasses or contact lenses if necessary, a car number plate in good light at 20.5 metres (67 feet) or 20 metres (65 feet) where narrower characters - 50mm wide - are displayed)
  • you develop any problems with the circulation, or sensation in your legs or feet which makes it necessary for you to drive certain types of vehicles, for example; automatic vehicles or vehicles with a hand-operated accelerator or brake - this must be shown on your driving licence
  • you suffer more than one episode of disabling hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) within 12 months, or if you or your carer feels that you are at high risk of developing disabling hypoglycaemia
  • you develop impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia
  • you suffer disabling hypoglycaemia at the wheel
  • an existing medical condition gets worse or you develop any other condition that may affect your safe driving

If you need to notify DVA about your condition you can contact DVA:

  • phone: 0300 200 7861 (lines are open Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm)
  • email: dva@doeni.gov.uk

Surrendering your licence

If you have been advised by your doctor that you shouldn’t be driving, you may voluntarily surrender your licence and reapply for its return in the future when you have the support of your doctor(s).

GP fees

DVA will pay the appropriate fee to your GP (doctor) for the completion of medical form(s) on the first occasion only. Payment for duplicates will be your responsibility.

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