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British Heart Foundation
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ICD and driving restrictions

I have had an ICD fitted and I have been told (unofficially) that I won't be able to drive for six months. I have informed the DVLA who are sending me a form that has to be filled out by my doctor and returned to them, who will confirm any driving restrictions that apply.

There is something coming up in five months that I really need to be able to drive to. Does anyone know if the six months is an unalterable figure, or if there is any leeway allowed?

9 Replies

6 weeks I couldn'drive for



A quick read indicates a required 6 months but there may be exceptions if you look in more detail



The DVLA web site is a good place to start. If you have never had a 'blackout' / arrhythmia that caused you to faint or collapse. Then the DVLA will advise you can not drive for one month from having your ICD fitted. If, like my partner, you have had an arrhythmia which precipitated the implanting of an ICD then you can not drive for six months; he had a cardiac arrest and an S-ICD implanted. If you have any shock treatment delivered by your ICD, then I am afraid, it is two years from the date of your last treatment shock. Your cardiologist will have to certify that you are fit to drive when you reapply for your licence.

This is the web link:


I hope it is helpful. Good luck.



Thanks for your reply. That's what I thought.


Hope it is only a month for you. If we can offer any other help let us know. Having an ICD implant is bad enough without the driving restrictions.


I had arrhythmia that precipated a blackout, so it does look like six months, sadly.


Hi, if you've had the ICD fitted as a precaution then it's a month & you shouldn't have to hand in your licence. If you've had it fitted because of an episode, or if the ICD shocks you it's 6 months & you have to send your licence back & reapply for it. I wouldnt wait the 6 months to start the reapplication as it can take time to sort out x


Hi Ninetothesky i appreciate that 6 months is frustratingly long... I was only a month.... and learnt to use the public transport that I had never used before. In some ways it was more effort... but in other ways it opened my eyes that sometimes public transport can be better. Bus to town meant no parking the car.... and the bus was cheaper!

It's important at this time to look differently about how to get about... so you don't feel "stuck in" and isolated. You may have a partner or friends who can drive you around... but for me it was the independence of being able to get about when I wanted to that was important to me.

For your upcoming event... could you check trains and buses to see if you can get there a different way? It's also important for us to do the things that get is out and about and have plans and things to look forward to.

Even though I can now drive ... and used to drive all over the country with my job... now when o go up north to visit my parents.. .. I jump on a train, so much less stress and I arrive rested and chilled.

All the very Karen

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Thanks for your good advice. I am fortunate that I live near the centre of town, so on a day to day basis, it doesn't affect me very much. It's just for the odd long journey that I will have to look into public transport.


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