This page tells you about your right to drive, and about the implications having cancer has on your driving licence and your motor insurance. There is information about
The fact that you have cancer does not in itself make any difference to getting or keeping a driving licence, if you have one already. But it is up to the Driver and Vehicle Licence Agency (DVLA), to take a view on whether you are medically fit to hold a licence. They can put restrictions on licences to take account of conditions which have an impact on your fitness to drive.
For illnesses that get gradually worse, or those that come and go, the DVLA can issue a time restricted licence. This will be valid for 1, 2 or 3 years. You can renew it after getting a medical report. This licence is still a full driving licence. So your insurance company won't be able to use your time restricted license as an excuse for putting your premiums up, increasing your excess or refusing you cover.
Insurers can still take account of DVLA restrictions on the type of vehicle you are licensed to drive and insure you to drive only in circumstances for which you have a valid driving licence. They can temporarily put the price up or increase your policy excess while you are getting used to a new disability or condition, as long as there is evidence that you are an increased risk during this period.
Insurance companies are able to charge more to reflect the increased cost of providing a service. If an individual vehicle has been specially adapted to meet your needs, the insurance company is able to increase their charges to offset the increased cost of any repairs that may be needed.
The AA advise that you have a 'duty of disclosure' to your insurance company. This means you must tell your insurance company about any diagnosis as soon as possible. If you don't, you may have trouble making a claim later.
The DVLA in Swansea produce an information leaflet (form D100: What you need to know about driving licences), which you can get from the Post Office. Or you can download it from the DVLA website. This explains what you have to do to notify them of a change in your health. You will have to complete a questionnaire, which you can obtain from the DVLA, or download from the Government's information website. You can find their contact details below.
Once you have returned the completed form, a reply should not usually take more than 3 weeks, unless they need to contact your doctor or get more information. In this case, most people should get a decision within 90 working days.
The DVLA specify a list of conditions that you have to tell them about if you hold a driving licence or are applying for one
- Fits or blackouts
- Repeated attacks of sudden, disabling giddiness
- Diabetes controlled by insulin
- A pacemaker or defibrillator device (ICD) fitted
- Persistent alcohol or drug misuse or dependency
- Parkinson's disease
- Narcolepsy (involuntary and suddenly falling asleep) or sleep apnoea syndrome
- Stroke, with symptoms that last for more than 1 month, or repeated mini strokes (transient ischaemic attacks, TIAs)
- Any type of brain surgery, brain tumour or severe head injury needing inpatient treatment at hospital
- Any other long term neurological condition (for example multiple sclerosis or motor neurone disease)
- A serious problem with memory or confusion
- Severe learning disability
- Serious psychiatric illness or mental ill health
- Total loss of sight in one eye
- Any condition which affects BOTH eyes, or your only sighted eye (there is no need to declare short sight, long sight or colour blindness)
- Any condition affecting your visual field (the whole area you can see when you look straight ahead)
- Any continuing or permanent difficulty which means your driving is restricted to certain types of vehicle or those with adapted controls
If you drive, or intend to drive, larger vehicles, minibuses or buses, you also need to inform the DVLA if you have
- Angina, any other heart conditions or heart operations
- Diabetes controlled by tablets
- Visual problems affecting EITHER eye
- Any stroke or mini stroke
In most cases, you will not be able to drive larger vehicles if there is a chance you could have an epileptic seizure (a fit), or if you have diabetes controlled by insulin.
If you already have a licence, you should contact the DVLA about any of the above medical conditions at
Drivers Medical Group
Phone: 0300 790 6806 (if you are a car or motorcycle licence holder)
0300 790 6807 (if you hold a bus or lorry licence)
Opening hours Mon-Fri 8.00am-5.30pm, and Sat 8.00am-1.00pm
You can also download the medical questionnaires from the Government's website at www.direct.gov.uk.
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