Reapplying for my driving licence - advice - Epilepsy Action

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Reapplying for my driving licence - advice


Hi all,

I voluntarily surrendered my licence due to temporal lobe epilepsy last July.

Can anyone with previous experience advise how this works - because I am now 'under control' of my meds and I surrendered voluntarily does that allow me to reapply any sooner?

I know there is a general rule of being seizure free for 12 months but I am not sure whether this applies when my licence was not 'taken away' (DVLA's words not mine!).

I am just so eager to start driving again!!!!

Thanks in advance folks.

10 Replies


In general, once you are seizure free for a year from the date of your most recent seizure, you can re-apply for your licence. As you surrendered your licence voluntarily, the DVLA allows you to re-apply to drive 8 weeks before you’ve been seizure free for a year. We have more details about the driving rules and epilepsy on our website, which might help:

Best wishes


Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team


Thanks for the comments.

I have a review with my neurologist in a month so I can discuss this further. I have been seizure free ever since taking my medication 9 months ago so feel very confident it is under control and so does my doctor.

Sacha - do you mean that you can start the paperwork 8 weeks before 12 months seizure free date, or you could potentially start driving again then? Sorry I am very new to all this stuff and still quite overwhelmed by all the do's and dont's!

Many thanks

EpilepsyAction1Administrator in reply to RD_RAB_2874

Hi RD_RAB_2874

To confirm, you cannot drive before you are twelve months seizure free. You can start the process of applying for your licence back 8 weeks before but you cannot drive.

If you haven’t received your licence back when you reach your 12 months, you can start driving under section 88 of the road traffic act. This is provided that:

• your doctor agrees that you meet the epilepsy driving regulations and

• you have checked and confirmed that the driving agency has received your driving licence application.



Hi Sacha,

After having an MRI, EEG etc the neuroroligst cannot definitively class me as epileptic as I did not have any seizure activity on record or testing.

Because of this, I presume my record may show I have similar symptoms to that of epilepsy but it not 100% diagnosed.

So in this case, would this be a loop around driving sooner? If they aren't 100% sure what I'm having are seizures I mean...

I've been having the medication as advised and haven't had a single similar seizure type attack.

I'm just so desperate to start driving again and know I am safe.

I was hoping to get my driving license back on the basis of an isolated seizure as I had been seizure free for six years, then had a tiny absence. My GP has said he won't sign the forms until it's 12 months, what happened in your case?


Hi, not sure of the legal side where you are based. I had a seizure when driving at the age of 17, and still 40 years later refuse to drive, whether I am or not seizure free. A seizure can happen at any time, but I still won't risk it for the safety of others. Good luck if you decide to drive and all the best.



The final decision is down to the DVLA, but it’s unlikely they would allow you to drive again until you have been 12 months seizure-free. They will base their decision on whether or not you are at risk of having further seizures in the future. I can understand it must be frustrating waiting to be allowed to drive again. But if you were to start driving again before the DVLA gave you the all clear you would be breaking the law.

It’s worth bearing in mind that you can have a clear MRI and EEG and still have epilepsy. The MRI is to check if there is something in the brain that could cause epilepsy, but for lots of people doctors can’t find a cause. The EEG will only show the electrical activity that’s happening in the brain at the time of the test. It doesn’t show what has happened in the past or what could happen in the future.

Best wishes


Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Hi gemgemsxxx,

In the end I got mine back after 11 months - once I got to May (9 months) I submitted my application with as much paperwork as I had, wrote to and phoned the DVLA every week, sent through GP and neurologist's letters of approval. I am lucky as both were very kind about the whole thing. Initially the DVLA had such a big backlog of applications (I reckon it was prime season for new drivers being over summer) so they said it may take until November (so 15 months) to get around to processing it so I was super chuffed!

That's so annoying to have a seizure after 6 years - are you on meds for it? I fear having another one as I never want to go without driving again!

All I can say is, be persistent, if you have to give up your licence - surrender it rather than do the whole report thing as it's so much quicker to pick it back up on the other side. The DVLA are generally really nice so can keep you up to date.

I really hope you get it back soon. Keep me posted :-) x


I had one alcohol related seizure and i have voluntarily surrendered my driving licence. I have not been prescribed any anti seizure medication and no longer drink alcohol.

Can you advise how long i will have to wait to apply to have my licence returned. I can provide professional confirmation of the above. Thank you.

I just came back from the Dr.He said I can drive after being siezure free for more than 3 months ,in california.He has perscribed Keppra to me and say's I should have no prob gettingy license back. Hope this helps!!

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