Getting Behind The Wheel
Wheather you drive for fun, convenience or work, diabetes does not mean you have to give up driving – but it does mean that you have to be well prepared and well controlled. There are, however, some important legal and health issues you should know about.
This guide will help highlight some of the key issues you may face and will give you a few tips to keep you safer on the road and hazard-free.
If you have diabetes and intend to drive, the law requires you to do the following:
Inform the DVLA
- If you have had diabetes for a while and are now applying for a license
- If your diabetes is being treated with insulin or tablets (treatment of diet alone does not need to be declared)
- If your treatment changes you you begin having insulin or tablets
- If you develop diabetes-related problems that may affect your ability to drive safely
- If your doctor has advised you against driving on account of your diabetes
Inform your insurance
- If asked about illness or diabetes (failure to do so will invalidate your insurance cover in the event of a claim)
If you ride a motorcycle the same rules apply
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has an obligation to make sure the roads are safe for people to use.
To do this, the DVLA ask a series of questions when you apply for a license and may decide to seek medical advice from your doctor (This does not mean you will be refused a license)
If your diabetes is well controlled there should not be any objection to you holding a valid driving license, so read on to find out more and how to apply.
Vehicle License Application Form
Answer YES to the question relating to diabetes and provide details the following:
- Insulin – You will be sent another form called a ‘Diabetic 1’. It will request your GP’s details and will ask your consent to approach your doctor.
- Tablets/Diet – You will be sent a letter explaining that you must inform the DVLA of changes to your treatment or any diabetes complications you may develop.
The DVLA issues 2 types of driving licenses depending on the individual’s circumstances.
Valid for one, two or three years. If you are treated with insulin you will be issued one of these. They are renewed free of charge and you will receive a reminder through the post just before it is due to expire.
Till 70 Licenses
Valid until your 70 years of age. If your treated with diet alone you will receive one of these. so long as your diabetes does not develop complications or your treatment changes, this license will only meed renewing when you are 70 years old. Then, like everyone else over 70, you will be switched to a restricted license and charged a fee.
If you are treated with tablets you could receive either type, depending on the DVLA’s assessment of your case.
It is usual for your doctor to provide an overview of how well you are doing based on your individual circumstances and blood glucose control. This gives the DVLA guidance when assessing you ability to drive.
Be clear and open with your doctor when discussing your diabetes experiences. That way, they can offer advice and treatnent to keep you on top.
After all, the better your control, the more chance you will have of getting a license and the safer you woll be on the rosd – for you and other road users.