Medical fitness to drive
The Department of Infrastructure’s Licensing Section promotes road safety by deciding whether drivers who have medical conditions are fit to drive safely.
To do this we rely on the assistance of the medical profession who, with the consent of the driver, advise the licensing team.
You have a legal responsibility to inform your insurance provider of a medical condition that may affect your fitness to drive.
If you are involved in an accident and it is found that your health condition was a contributing factor, you may be prosecuted and your vehicle insurance may not be valid.
What we need from you
If you already hold a driving licence and you develop a medical condition that may affect your ability to drive safely, the law requires you to tell us.
The following is a list of the conditions you need to tell us about:
- If you have lost or damaged a limb or have a condition which has restricted your movement, power or sensation.
- If a limb disability mentioned on previous applications has become worse.
- If you have diabetes that is treated by insulin.
- If you have an eye problem that may cause problems when driving, for example, glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration.
- If you suffer from epilepsy or sudden attacks of giddiness or fainting.
- If you have been treated for drug addiction within the last 3 years.
- If you have been fitted with a cardiac pacemaker.
- If you have been advised by a doctor not to drive.
- If you have any other disability which could affect your fitness to drive either now or in the future.
- If you have a condition which affects thought processing skills, for example dementia, brain injury, stroke or neurological conditions such as parkinsons, multiple sclerosis or motor neurone disease.
- You must also let us know if an existing medical condition gets worse. Your GP will be able to give you advice on whether you should drive while medical enquiries are being made.
If you are completing an application for a driving licence
You must fill in the medical declaration on the form. Whilst we are considering your
application, the law allows you to drive as long as you:
- have a current licence;
- are not disqualified;
- have not been advised by your doctor to stop driving; or
- have not been, and would not be, refused a licence for medical reasons.
If you are applying for a provisional licence you must complete the medical declaration form.
What happens next – stage 1
- We will normally ask you to fill in a Supplementary Medical Information form (see downloadable documents) to give us more details about your condition. You can get this from any Post Office or the Highways Division’s reception at the Sea Terminal Building, Douglas.
- We will also ask your permission for the Licensing Office to contact your doctor for any medical information we need. You can provide your consent by signing the consent on the Supplementary Medical Information form.
This should be returned to the Vehicle Licensing Office (see below).
What happens next – stage 2
- When possible, we will make a decision based on the information you provide.
- If we need more information we may contact your doctor or consultant (or both) who may wish to see you.
- We may arrange for you to be examined by an Isle of Man medical practitioner, occupational therapist or an eye specialist
- In more complex medical conditions you may be required to be assessed at a UK Mobility Centre.
- We may ask you to take an on road driving assessment or driving test.
What happens next – stage 3
When the Licensing Office has all the information required we will make a decision about your licence.
The decisions we make
- You may be able to keep your licence or get a new one.
- We may give you a driving licence for a period of one, two or three years if your medical fitness to drive needs to be reviewed.
- We may give you a driving licence which states that special controls need to be fitted to the vehicles you drive.
- We may withdraw your licence or turn down your application. We will only do this if our enquiries confirm that, as a result of your medical condition, you are not fit to drive.
If we had to take this course of action we will explain why we made this decision.
We will tell you if you can re-apply for your licence and when. We will also send
you a letter which will explain your right to appeal to the courts.
How are the medical standards on fitness to drive set?
- Standards for safe driving are set by the Road Traffic Act 1985 and the current Driving Licences and Tests Regulations. There are some differences to the UK legislation.
- There are higher standards in place for professional drivers of lorries and buses (because of the size and weight of the vehicle and also the length of time drivers may spend at the wheel).
- The Department also uses the UK medical standards for driving as best practice and these standards are set out in a booklet ‘At a Glance Guide to the current Medical Standards of Fitness to Drive’.
Our standards of service
- We will provide a polite and efficient service.
- We aim to complete our enquiries quickly. The time we take to deal with your case will depend on your medical condition and the information we need.
- If we need to carry out further investigations, we aim to complete these within 60 working days.
- When we have all the information we need we aim to make a decision within 1 week and inform you in writing.
- We will keep information that you and your doctors provide secure and confidential and we will only use it for the purposes declared in our notification to the Office of the Data Protection Supervisor. The Data Protection Act 2002 gives you the right to request access or obtain copies of your personal data, subject to certain exemptions and if you wish to exercise this right then please contact the Data Protection Officer at the address below.
How you can help us
You can help us improve our service in the following way:
- Fill in all forms clearly, in black ink and use CAPITAL LETTERS.
- Fill in all the relevant parts of the forms.
- Give us as much detail as possible about your medical condition.
- If we send you a Supplementary Medical Information form to fill in give us full details (name, address, email address and fax number) of your doctors. This includes all doctors who may be treating you.
- Quote your medical case number (this will be on any letter we have sent you), your driver number or your full name and date of birth when you contact us.
- Tell us about any change in your medical condition.
If you require any further information about medical fitness to drive contact:
Department of Infrastructure
Finance and Governance Division
Vehicle Test Centre
+44 1624 686843