Six health conditions drivers must declare to the DVLA

The DVLA requires drivers to inform it of certain illnesses – and they aren’t always obvious

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If you suffer from certain illnesses or health conditions that could affect your ability to drive, you’re required by the DVLA to inform them.

While some might be quite obvious, like vision limitations, the DVLA has a comprehensive list of health conditions on its website that may or may not need to be declared. If you have a particular medical condition that must be declared to the DVLA, you could face a £1,000 fine if you don’t declare it. Not only that, but your insurance could be invalid and you could be prosecuted in the event of an accident.

There are various forms that you may need to fill in, depending on your condition. All of the information is available on the government’s web portal. You should also speak to your car insurance provider or check your policy to see if you need to declare your condition to them as well.

Car hire comparison site StressFreeCarRental has scoured the full list of conditions to find the less obvious ones you should know about.


If you have diabetes that is treated by insulin, and the insulin treatments last more than three months, you must inform the DVLA. This also applies to gestational diabetes, or if you are at risk of low blood sugar, known as hypoglycaemia.

If your diabetes is not managed by tablets or non-insulin injections, you may need to inform the DVLA. Speak to your doctor or nurse to find out more.


While most people associate vertigo with being at height, this is specifically known as ‘height vertigo’. Regular vertigo sufferers can get attacks anywhere, making it feel like the world around them is spinning.

If you suffer from sudden, disabling, or recurrent vertigo, you must tell the DVLA.

Déjà vu

This is something mostly written off as an odd feeling that you’ve been somewhere before, but it can be much more serious.

The DVLA must be informed if you suffer from seizures or epilepsy that cause déjà vu. Speak to your doctor if you’re not sure whether you may need to declare your condition.

Sleep apnoea

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a condition that causes the throat to relax and narrow during sleep, which can cause difficulty breathing. It’s one of a number of sleeping disorders that the DVLA must be told about, including narcolepsy and cataplexy.

Obviously, any kind of sleepiness is directly detrimental to driving and you shoul dnot drive if you are feeling drowsy. However, if you have any sleep condition (or are taking medication) that causes excessive sleepiness for at least three months, you need to inform the DVLA.


Labyrinthitis has nothing to do with mazes, it’s actually an inner ear condition that causes dizziness, nausea and loss of hearing. The DVLA classifies this as similar to vertigo in terms of how it may affect your driving.

Since all of these things could affect your ability to drive, you must inform the DVLA if you have labyrinthitis.

Heart palpitations

This condition results in the sufferer becoming more aware of their heartbeat, which may feel like it’s pounding or fluttering, or perhaps beating irregularly. While the NHS says they are usually not a sign of something serious, the DVLA requires you to declare if you regularly suffer from them.

Some other heart conditions need to be declared, while others (like heart murmur) don’t. Again, talk to your doctor about how your driving could be affected and whether you need to inform the DVLA.

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Darren Cassey
Darren Cassey
Articles by Darren Cassey are provided for The Car Expert by PA Media (formerly the Press Association). They include test drives of the latest new cars and features on various aspects of automotive life.

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