After a stroke or TIA, restrictions apply to those wishing to drive:
- You cannot drive for one month (cars and motorcycles).
- You usually don’t need to inform the DVLA (DVA in Northern Ireland) at this stage.
- After one month you may be able to drive again, as long as your doctor agrees it is safe for you to do so. If your doctor deems you not safe and you are still having ongoing physical/visual or cognitive issues, then you must inform the DVLA.
- If you have had brain surgery as part of treatment for the stroke you must inform the DVLA.
For further information
Please see the stroke association website by clicking here or contact the Driver and Vehicle licensing agency (DVLA).
- If you have a licence to drive a large goods vehicle (LGV) or a passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) you must tell the DVLA immediately that you have had a stroke. You are not allowed to drive this type of vehicle for one year. After this time you may be able to resume driving, but this will depend on how well you have recovered and also on the results of medical reports and tests.
- Tractor or moped drivers (with a category F or P licence) need to follow the same rules as car users.
- If you drive a taxi, your local authority (or in London the Public Carriage Office) will decide on the medical standards you must meet to return to driving. It is currently best practice for the same rules for drivers of PCVs to be applied to taxi drivers.
- If you drive a police, ambulance or health service vehicle, the individual police force, NHS trust, primary care trust or local health body may require you to meet additional medical standards.
Driving restrictions after a stroke causing a visual deficit
The DVLA/DVA state that you cannot drive with double vision, blurred vision below a certain level or visual field loss, particularly one which interferes with central vision.
It is important to have a proper assessment of your visual problems so that you receive an accurate diagnosis. You can be referred by you GP/ Consultant.
You will be required to undergo a formal driving assessment prior to returning to driving to ensure you are safe to do so (please see centres below).
You must inform the DVLA if you have a visual field deficit and ensure you meet the National DVLA standards.
You must not drive and inform the DVLA if you have Diplopia.
Driving assessment centres
(Assessment includes visual screening, medical, reaction test and cognitive assessment):
Driving & Mobility Centre
West of England
The Vassall Centre
Tel: 01179 659353
Cornwall Mobility Centre
(Outreach centre at Exeter Mobility Centre, Lister Close Exeter, EX2 4DU)
Royal Cornwall Hospital
Tel: 01872 254920
(Outreach centre at Fernedown, Dorset)
Tel: 023 8055 4100
Please contact the individual centres for the cost and referral process.
Please click here for further information provided by the stroke association:
F37 – Visual problems after stroke – F37 VISUAL PROBLEMS AFTER STROKE – Stroke Association
Driving restrictions following brain injury
You must inform the licensing authorities DVLA if you have suffered a brain injury.
- As a general rule if you have had a “significant head injury” drivers with an ordinary car or motorcycle (group 1) licence should cease driving for 6-12 months depending on factors such as post-traumatic amnesia, seizures and clinical recovery – please discuss this with your consultant or GP.
- Other forms of acquired head injury have slightly different rules but if there are lasting impairments which affect ability to drive, your licence is likely to be removed for a period of time – however because every brain injury is different each case will need to be considered on an individual basis therefore please discuss with your consultant or GP.
- Do not drive until you have spoken to you GP, Consultant or DVLA.
Please click here to read Headway “driving after brain injury” or contact the Driver and Vehicle licensing agency (DVLA).
Driving restrictions following diagnosis of a brain tumour
Once you have been diagnosed with a brain tumour you are required to inform the DVLA by law – They will inform you of what you need to do. Until you have got advice from the DVLA you should not drive.
For further information please contact:
The DVLA Drivers Medical Group:
Call: 0300 790 6806 (Monday to Friday 8am–5pm and Saturday 8am–1pm)
The DVLA helpline:
Call: 0300 790 6801 / Text phone and Minicom: 0300 123 1278
(Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm and 9:30am–5pm on the second Wednesday of each month.)
Other useful links: