Driver Medicals – The Facts

downloadIf you’re considering becoming a lorry driver then you will need to go through either a HGV medical or an LGV medical, which is the standard medical that’s required for most people that are looking to drive a lorry.

Medicals aren’t just required for lorry drivers, they relate to anybody who has a group 2 licence which includes driving buses and taxi’s. If you’re unsure what to expect when it comes to the medical then the following questions and answer’s will give you an overview of what is required.

What if I need glasses or contact lenses to pass the eyesight test?

DVLA changed the rules in 2013 so that, so long as your vision with glasses is okay, you don’t have to pass any particular test without your glasses or contact lenses. However, for no reason that we can see, DVLA still insist that the doctor tests your eyesight without your glasses or contact lenses. It doesn’t matter what the result says, but if the measurement isn’t done, DVLA will send the form back to you.

If you are coming for a taxi medical you don’t need to have your eyes tested without your glasses, so long as your vision is okay with your glasses on.

What if I have diabetes and use insulin?

New rules were issued in 2011 which allow diabetics on insulin to hold a DVLA group 2 licence. However, there are quite strict requirements. You need to get a statement every year from a diabetes consultant to say that you are taking care of your diabetes and are checking your blood sugar levels at least twice a day, and that you use a machine which remembers the last three months’ measurements. There are some other requirements including understanding about diabetes and signing a declaration yourself.

What if I have diabetes and take tablets to control it?

New stricter rules were issued in 2011 for diabetics on certain types of medicines, including tablets called sulphonylureas. The most well-known tablet in this family is gliclazide. The new rules say that you need to check your blood sugar levels at least twice a day and you need to get a medical statement from your doctor, as well as other requirements including understanding about diabetes and signing a declaration yourself.

What if I have had a heart attack?

You cannot get back to driving a lorry or bus for at least six weeks after a heart attack. You will need to have a treadmill test and you will need to be able to keep going for nine minutes on the treadmill test as well as satisfying other requirements during the test. You must not be continuing to suffer from angina.

What if I have epilepsy or have had a fit?

The medical standards for blackouts and fits is complicated and the rules depend on the exact type of episode. For a definite simple faint DVLA may well not take away your licence. For a full-blown epileptic fit, you would lose your licence for at least ten years. For other types of lost consciousness different rules apply. Please contact us for more information if this applies to you.

I have been suffering from anxiety or depression. Will that affect my entitlement to hold a DVLA group 2 licence?

DVLA divide anxiety and depression into two types; a minor category and a more serious category. The minor category is described as “Very minor short-lived illnesses of anxiety or depression without significant memory or concentration problems, agitation, behavioural disturbance, or suicidal thoughts.”
The more serious category is defined as “More severe anxiety states or depressive illnesses with significant memory or concentration problems, agitation, behavioural disturbance, or suicidal thoughts.”
For the minor category, the person does not need to tell DVLA and it does not affect the person’s entitlement to hold a licence provided that any medication is not causing any problems with driving.
For the more serious category, DVLA will generally suspend a person’s group 2 licence (or not give a licence to a new applicant) until the person has been well and stable for six months and until they are satisfied that medication is not causing any side-effects which would interfere with alertness or concentration.

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