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Non-insulin diabetes mellitus and driving

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Regarding group 1 entitlement:

Diabetes treated by medication other than insulin

  • managed by tablets carrying hypoglycaemia risk
    • Group 1
      • Including sulphonylureas and glinides
        • may drive and need not notify the DVLA, provided:
          • no more than 1 episode of severe hypoglycaemia while awake in the last 12 months and the most recent episode occurred more than 3 months ago
          • should practise appropriate glucose monitoring at times relevant to driving
          • under regular review
        • it is appropriate to offer self monitoring of blood glucose at times relevant to driving to enable the detection of hypoglycaemia
        • if the above requirements and those set out in INF188/2 are met, the DVLA need not be informed. The DVLA must be notified if clinical information indicates the agency may need to undertake medical enquiries

  • managed by other medication, including non-insulin injectables
    • excluding sulphonylureas and glinides
      • Group 1
  • may drive and need not notify the DVLA, provided the requirements set out in INF188/2 are met and the driver is under regular medical review.
  • may drive but must notify the DVLA if clinical information indicates the agency may need to undertake medical enquiries

Diabetes managed by diet/lifestyle alone

  • Group 1
    • may drive and need not notify the DVLA. Must not drive and must notify the DVLA if, for example
      • relevant disqualifying complications develop such as diabetic retinopathy affecting visual acuity or visual fields
      • insulin treatment is required

Other specific diabetes related problems where the DVLA needs to be informed:

  • if a patient develops any problems with the circulation or sensation in his/her legs or feet which make it necessary for him/her to drive certain types of vehicles only, for example automatic vehicles or vehicle a hand operated accelerator or brake. This must be noted on his/her driving licence
  • hypoglycaemia
    • if more than one episode of disabling hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) within 12 months, or if at high risk of developing disabling hypoglycaemia
      • Group 1 drivers - episodes of hypoglycaemia occurring during established sleep are no longer considered relevant for licensing purposes unless there are concerns regarding their hypoglycaemia awareness (1)
    • if develop impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia
    • if suffer disabling hypoglycaemia while driving

For more details and up to date guidance may be obtained from the publication "At a Glance Guide to the Current Medical Standards of Fitness to Drive" and the website www.dvla.gov.uk.

Reference:


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