Drivers (Cars, Motorbikes, Coaches & HGV)

General Advice

  • Drivers who use insulin as part of their medication MUST test their blood sugars before they drive.
  • If your reading is less than 5.0mmol then grab a small snack before you set off and test yourself before you leave.
  • You should also test yourself every two hours during your journey, so make sure you have your diabetes travel pack with you.
  • If you have an accident during your journey you are likely to be asked to evidence that you took your blood reading so make sure you record it on paper or even better by using one of the many testers that now save reading/times on the device and/or your phone.
  • The most common reason for losing your licence is common occurrences of hypos, so making sure you have regular blood readings and careful insulin/carb control will keep you on the road!
  • Hypers can also be dangerous too as you can quickly become shaky, nauseous, get blurred vision and panicky.
  • If you treat your diabetes by diet alone then you can drive any class of vehicle without informing DVLA or your insurers.

Private Car/Motorbike Drivers

Generally, Type 2 diabetics do not need to let the DVLA (or their insurers) know that they have been diagnosed or even let them know as their treatment changes, just as long as that treatment is by medication and/or exercise/lifestyle.  You must let the DVLA know if;

  • your move to insulin in your treatment (temporarily or permanent) and your insulin treatment lasts (or will last) over 3 months
  • you had gestational diabetes (diabetes associated with pregnancy) and your insulin treatment lasts beyond 3 months after the birth
  • you get disabling hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) – or a medical professional has told you that you’re at risk of developing it.

Type 1 Diabetics must let DVLA know about their diagnosis, assuming it is treated with Insulin.

Your insurance company needs to be made aware of your diabetes when your licence changes as a result of a change in your health.  For example, when type 2 diabetics start taking insulin in their medication the DVLA will decide whether you can drive as normal, whether you can drive as normal but be assessed regularly, or if you have to stop driving.  Type 1 diabetics will tell the DVLA about their condition when they first apply for their driving licence.

The form to complete this assessment is available online, be careful when you are filling it out seek the advice of your diabetic specialist nurse if you are at all unsure about parts of the form. This is usually completed every 3 years and there is no charge for this as it is completed online by you.

Taxi Drivers

The general rules for car drivers above offer a good steer, though to gain and keep your Local Authority licence you will need to follow the specific process and policy local to you, there is no consistent approach taken across the UK.  The most important thing to be able to evidence to good blood sugar level control and now/very low levels of Hypo events.

HGV & Coach (Vocational) Drivers

Type 1 and type 2 diabetics must inform the DVLA.  Read leaflet INS186 if you want to apply for vocational entitlement to drive larger vehicles (C1, C1E, D1, DIE, C, CE, D or DE).  You are required to submit a form which outlines your medication and levels of control and hypos;

  • form VDIAB1SG if your diabetes is treated by sulphonylurea or glinide tablets
  • form VDIAB1GEN if your diabetes is treated by any other tablets or non-insulin injections
  • form VDIAB1I and send it to DVLA. The address is on the form.