Driving with Epilepsy
If you have epilepsy or seizures you may be eligible to hold a learner’s permit or driver’s licence for private vehicles as long as your seizures are well-controlled. There are a number of seizure types that offer no real danger with regard to impact on driving ability – given appropriate medical management and you can demonstrate compliance. You should discuss this with your doctor.
Generally, to get your licence the following applies:
- You must have been free of seizures for the specified period (see Medical Standards)
- You must continue to take anti-epileptic medication regularly as prescribed
- You should get adequate sleep and not drive if sleep-deprived
- You may need to abstain from alcohol and other drugs
It is a legal requirement that you notify your state driving authority that you have epilepsy. You are responsible for making sure you are well enough to drive safely – by keeping good seizure control and complying with medical treatment. If you are issued with a conditional licence you are expected to comply with any enforced driving restrictions.
You will need to report any “breakthrough” seizures to your doctor. This may result in temporarily losing your license, but your doctor will be able to make changes to your treatment. Some people fear telling their doctor about seizures because it will mean losing their license, but driving when seizures aren’t fully controlled can result in serious accidents and you may end up in serious legal trouble if you cause an accident, injury or death. Insurance will also be invalidated.
There are much stricter guidelines for commercial vehicles.