Diabetes And Driving (Comes with problems)

For those people suffering from diabetes and hold a current UK driving license are you aware that you need to inform the DVLA (Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency) if you suffer from diabetes. This is also true of people applying for their first license. However, having said that it only applies to people who need to control their diabetes by either tablets or insulin. If your diabetes is controlled by diet alone then there is no need to inform the agency

On informing the DVLA (Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency) you will receive a form from them asking you for details about your diabetes and to include the name of the doctor treating the problem. Also, on the form will be a place where you must sign authorizing your doctor to disclose to the agency details about your condition. There is usually no difficulty in obtaining a license. However, there would be conditions for some individuals:

  1. If your diabetes is treatable by tablets then there would be no problem obtaining a license without restrictions, providing you inform the agency if there is a change in your treatment or if you develop further problems with your diabetes
  2. If your diabetes is controlled by the taking of insulin your license will be restricted to a 3 year period instead of the usual 70 years of age, which is the current length of time for most people in the UK. The discrimination applied to insulin based diabetes is because of the risk of the sudden onset of severe hypoglycaemia which will result in loss of consciousness if it remains untreated.

I have a friend with diabetes she developed it some years down the line and she carries with her in her car what she terms as her repair kit. The kit contains a little food as well as glucose tablets, although it has been some years since she felt a hypo coming on she says its there should one come over her while driving.

  1. The rule of thumb is that the only individuals who may have trouble in obtaining a driving license are those people that have a history of severe hypos causing unconsciousness, having said that once the condition of suffering severe hypos is under control then these individuals may apply re-apply with confidence for a license.
  2. Insurance is another headache… Failure to inform your insurance company of your diabetes could make any claim you make invalid. Having informed them you will normally receive a form which your doctor will need to fill in and sign. These forms can be at best rather long-winded asking questions that sometimes are totally irrelevant, your doctor is not obliged to fill this form in, however, they do need to be filled in and you will probably find you will be charged by your doctor for is cooperation.


Those individuals on insulin are not generally allowed to hold a PSV (passenger Service Vehicle) or an LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) License. The term was changed from HGV (Heavy Goods License) to LGV as not all countries in Europe had a word that meant heavy… I am not too sure about this next point…… I do believe that if you develop type 1 diabetes (insulin Dependant) you would not be allowed to keep your PSV or LGV license. It would be worth checking out if you hold one of these licenses and go on to develop type 1 diabetes.

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