A guide to driving regulations
For people who drive, once you have been diagnosed with narcolepsy you have to stop driving.
It’s the Law.
You should stop driving immediately and you should not start to drive again until the DVLA has reached a decision on your case. For a regular (group 1) driving licence you will usually be allowed to drive when your symptoms are well controlled but you will need to have a regular review for a number of years.
It is unusual for someone to be granted an LGV (HGV)/bus (group 2) licence if they have narcolepsy. Your case should be treated on an individual basis and it will depend on how well controlled your symptoms are.
If you don’t inform the DVLA you are breaking the law. You can face a fine of up to £1,000, you can have your license revoked and your insurance will be invalid.
What is the DVLA?
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is the organisation that licenses cars and drivers for driving on public roads in Great Britain. If you have a driving licence, by law it is your duty to tell the DVLA about any medical condition which may affect your ability to drive. This is a condition of holding a driving licence.
If you have a driving licence of any kind and are diagnosed with narcolepsy, the DVLA regulations say that you must stop driving. You are responsible for telling the DVLA and returning your licence to them.
What happens then?
The DVLA will carry out a review of you as an individual. This is called a Medical Standard of Fitness to Drive.
The ‘Medical Standards of Fitness to Drive’ are the regulations about medical conditions that everyone has to meet in order to hold a driving licence.
These standards are based on advice from expert Medical Advisory Panels, and comply with domestic (Great Britain) and European legislation. Only the medical advisers at the DVLA are able to decide whether or not someone meets the standards of fitness to drive.
An ‘at a glance guide to the Medical Standards of Fitness to Drive’ (for medical practitioners), and a ‘Customer service guide for drivers with medical conditions’ is available through the Directgov website. Visit the Directgov website to access these documents.
You will have to fill out a form and it will be helpful if that goes to the DVLA with a letter from your GP explaining the medication you are on. The Medical Advisory Panel could well contact your GP and you for further information.