Driving involves a complex series of tasks that require many aspects of brain activity and physical coordination which can be affected after a stroke. Some restrictions will apply to all stroke patients before driving.
Drivers are not allowed to drive for at least one month after a Stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attack.
After a month if they are considered fit to drive by their doctor and hold a full driving licence, they may resume driving. All drivers must notify their insurance company about the stroke or TIA. Some insurance companies will ask for a doctor’s report on fitness to drive.
If they are still not considered fit to drive by their doctor after one month, they must notify the DVLA and they cannot drive. Their insurance cover would not be valid during this period so it is in effect illegal. This does not mean their drivers licence has been revoked but further assessment may be required over time as they recover.
If they drive heavy goods vehicles or buses as part of their work, the DVLA rules are much stricter. They must notify DVLA and the licence will be revoked for at least 12 months after stroke or TIA. Further testing and assessment will be required and an additional medical assessment called the Exercise Tolerance Test for cardiovascular fitness before this type of licence can be issued.
- CHSS Factsheet: Driving after stroke [.pdf]. This fact sheet gives details of what to do at different stages after stroke.
- The DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) also produce a booklet: Customer Service Guide for Drivers with Medical Conditions INF94
- CHSS factsheet: Sympathetic Insurance Companies [.pdf]