Applying for a licence
Road Traffic (Licensing of Drivers) Regulations
The Road Traffic (Licensing of Drivers) Regulations 1999 set out the revised conditions under which a person with epilepsy can obtain a driving licence. In addition, there were amendments to these regulations in November 2004.
In the case of an applicant for a licence to drive a vehicle of any category, who suffers or has suffered in the past from epilepsy:
(a) Fitness to drive may be certified for a limited period in relation to vehicles of category A1, A, B, EB, M or where the applicant has not suffered any epileptic attack during the twelve month period preceding the date of medical examination.
(b) An applicant who suffers or has suffered in the past from epilepsy will not be certified in relation to vehicles of category C1, C, D1, D, EC1, EC, ED1, or ED (lorries, buses and heavy goods vehicles).
The amendments to the Road Traffic (Licensing of Drivers) Regulations 2004 became effective in November, 2004. These amendments are in relation to fitness to drive cars, light vans and motorcycles for people with certain specific seizure types set out below.
Simple partial seizures:
Please note there are no changes to the section (b) above where licences for lorries, buses and heavy goods vehicles, will still not be granted.
Applying for a licence
Do I need to obtain a medical report?
Note: For those who may now be eligible to drive under the new amendments regarding sleep seizures, provoked seizures and simple partial seizures, Medical Certification may only be supplied by a consultant neurologist.
Existing licence holders
Following a diagnosis of epilepsy it would be irresponsible, illegal and potentially dangerous for yourself and others to continue driving. You should be able to resume driving after one year if you remain free of seizures during that period. Your doctor should be in a position to advise you in accordance with the new regulations.
By seeking the quote before declaring epilepsy you will at least know by how much you are being loaded.
There is a considerable risk to not revealing your condition. Failure to disclose epilepsy could mean that in the event of an accident, your policy could be null and void. Extra loading may be a small price to pay in the long run.
If you have difficulty obtaining a quotation, the Insurance Information Service of the Insurance Federation can help to arrange cover for you under the Declined Cases Agreement. You must be refused by three different companies before the Insurance Federation will take up your case. The Insurance Federation will need to know the exact order in which you approached the companies and details of any insurance cover you may have had. Also the Irish Insurance Federation of Ireland, 39 Molesworth St, Dublin provide an information service for the public on all insurance matters.
ERM Financial Services, 7 St. James Terrace, Malahide, Co Dublin, 01-8454361. provide a range of insurance products for Epilepsy Ireland members including life, personal accident and travel cover. If you have difficulties obtaining any insurance product on account of your epilepsy then it is advisable to contact them for assistance.
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