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Guide to Diabetes

Diabetes and driving

For information about recent changes to Diabetes and Driving please link to the the Diabetes UK website


There is no reason why you cannot be issued with or keep your driving licence if you have diabetes. However it does mean that there are certain points to consider to ensure that your driving is safe and hazard-free. For example, informing the dvla and your insurance company, managing hypoglycaemia and driving, your eyesight and restricted licenses. Download our New Safe driving and the DVLA leaflet 

Safe driving and DVLA leaflet

Your blood glucose should be above 5.5mmol/l before driving see Driving Safely

Informing the Driver Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA)DVLA logo

You must by Law notify the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) about your diabetes when you are diagnosed and if you are treated with Insulin or Tablets. You must tell them if you are already on tablets or insulin and are applying for a driving licence for the first time.

You DO NOT need to tell the DVLA about your diabetes if you are treated by diet alone but you must tell them if you start taking tablets or change from tablets to insulin treatment.

If your diabetes is treated with INSULIN you will not be able to hold a HGV, PSV OR LGV Vehicle Licence. However, legislation has been introduced to allow an application for the C1 licence needed to drive vans and small lorries (between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes) subject to individual assessment. Applications will need a general check up by their GP and an individual medical assessment by a consultant.

Medical legal requirements for driving

Group 2 drivers are required to notify DVLA if they have diabetes treated with tablets. If they are then started on exenatide, liraglutide or a gliptin they are only required to notify DVLA if this is in combination with a sulphonylurea.

The use of exenatide, liraglutide or gliptins currently carries no specific driving restrictions for Group 1 (car or motorcycle) licences. See DLVA website for more details


Telling the Driver Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA)

If you already hold a driving licence, write a letter to the DVLA telling them about your diabetes and your treatment giving detials of your tables or insuin or exenatide

If you are treated with insulin you will then be sent another form.

(“Diabetic 1”) asking for more information, the name and address of your GP or hospital doctor, and for your consent to approach them directly if necessary. People treated with tablets are not always sent this form. This does not mean you will be refused a licence but the DVLA must be sure you are safe to drive.


If you are treated with insulin, your licence will be issued for 1,2 or 3 years. Just before your licence expires you will receive a reminder to renew and maybe also another “Diabetic 1” form to complete with current information.

If you are treated with tablets you will be issued with a full licence, providing that you do not have any other medical condition which may prevent this. There is a charge for renewing this licence after 70 years of age, just as for anyone else in the UK.

You must inform the DVLA if any problem or diabetic complications develop which may affect your ability to drive safely If you have a had a heart attack the DVLA recommend that you should not drive for four weeks afterwards and you should notify your insurance company too.



More specific information can be found on the DVLA website

Applying for a licence DVLA : Driver

Postal Address:
Drivers Medical Unit , DVLA
Sandringham Park
Swansea SA7 0EE
Tel: 0870 2400 009

Informing your insurance company - car insurance

For your car insurance to be valid, you MUST inform your insurance company as soon as you are diagnosed with diabetes. If your insurance company asks about diabetes you must tell them that you have it.


They cannot however refuse cover or increase your premium unless they have evidence of increased risk. In most cases drivers with diabetes are no higher risk than any other driver. If however, your company wants to charge you a higher premium, ring around for a comparison or a better quote


Will other types of insurance be affected by my Diabetes?

If you held life assurance before you were diagnosed with diabetes, you do not need to declare it to your insurer for that policy. Diabetes may present problems for people looking for a new policy, including higher premiums due to the increased risk of poor health. The good news is that as your condition stablises. Choose your insurance company carefully to get the best deal.

Maybe the best thing is to find out what insurance policies you do have and then contact :
Diabetes UK- Financial Service for quotes that can take your diabetes into account but do not penalise you for it.

If you have a had a heart attack, the DVLA recommend that you should not drive for four weeks afeterwards and you should notify your insurance company too. 


Safe Driving and the DVLA information leaflet (2012) PDF 113KB

Information leaflet produced by the University hospitals of Leicester Diabetes Department Download Document