Medical Issues

The medical conditions that will preclude you from driving a motorised vehicle and when you will need a medical report

Medical issues

Irish and EU legislation requires that a driver should advise their driver licensing authority of any long-term or permanent injury or illness that may affect their safe driving ability.

This section outlines the circumstances in which a medical report is required and the medical conditions that will preclude you from driving a motorised vehicle. It also contains guidelines “Sláinte agus Tiomáint; Medical Fitness to Drive Guidelines (PDF)” for medical practitioners to use when assessing or advising patients on fitness to drive.

When do I need a medical report?

Your driving licence application must be accompanied by a Medical Report Form (D501) if you:

  • Are applying for a driving licence in respect of a truck or bus, licence categories C, C1, CE, C1E, D, D1, DE or D1E (unless you have previously provided a medical report which is still valid)
  • Will be 70 years of age or more on the first day of the period for which the licence for any licence category is being granted
  • Suffer from any of the disabilities or diseases specified in the diseases and disabilities list.
  • Have ever suffered from alcoholism or epilepsy
  • Are a regular user of drugs or medication that would be likely to make your driving unsafe

The medical report must be completed by a registered medical practitioner and you must sign the declaration in his/her presence.

Medical guidelines “Sláinte agus Tiomáint; Medical Fitness to Drive Guidelines (PDF)”  for Group 1 licence categories AM, A, A1, A2, B, BE or W have recently been revised and updated taking into account legislative changes made in relation to the standards for eyesight, epilepsy and diabetes. The guidelines set out clear minimum medical requirements and all applicants for Group 1 licences presenting themselves for medical examination should be assessed on the basis of the minimum standards outlined.

Medical fitness guidelines for Group 2 drivers are currently being developed and will be made available in late 2013. Until then Group 2 drivers should continue to be assessed on the standards outlined in “Medical Aspects – A Guide for Medical Practitioners(PDF)”. 

Specified diseases and disabilities

  • Diabetes treated by insulin and or sulphonylurea tablets (ask your doctor whether you are on these or not). There is no need to tell us if it is managed by other tablets and or diet
  • Epilepsy
  • Stroke or TIAs(see *1) with any associated symptoms lasting longer than one month
  • Fits or blackouts
  • Any type of brain surgery, brain abscess or severe head injury involving in-patient treatment or brain tumour or spinal injury or spinal tumour
  • An implanted cardiac pacemaker
  • An implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD)(see *2)
  • Repeated attacks of sudden disabling dizziness
  • Any other chronic neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease,Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease
  • A serious problem with memory or periods of confusion
  • Persistent alcohol misuse or dependency
  • Persistent drug misuse or dependency
  • Serious psychiatric illness or mental health problems
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Sleep Apnoea syndrome
  • Narcolepsy
  • Any condition affecting your peripheral vision
  • Total loss of sight in one eye
  • Any condition affecting both eyes, or the remaining eye if you only have one eye (not including colour blindness or short or long sight)
  • A serious hearing deficiency
  • Any persisting problem with arm(s) or leg(s) which needs driving to be restricted to certain types of vehicle or those with adapted controls
  • Is your vehicle adapted because of a physical disability to enable you to drive?
  • Severe learning disability(see *3)

(*1) A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is an event, with stroke symptoms that lasts less than 24 hours before disappearing (sometimes called a mini-stroke). While TIAs generally do not cause permanent brain damage, they are a serious warning sign of stroke.
(*2) An Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) is an electronic device which monitors your heart continuously.The ICD is programmed to detect abnormally fast or slow heart rhythms.
(*3) If in doubt please consult your family doctor.

Note:

A person who is dependent on or regularly abuses psychotropic substances, ie, those that can induce mood changes or distorted perceptions, is barred from holding any learner permit or driving licence.

A person who suffers from serious arrhythmia which has at any stage resulted in loss of consciousness is particularly advised to consult his/her doctor before applying for a licence.

If you have any doubts about your physical or mental fitness to drive you should consult a doctor.

Content of medical report

The medical report must specifically refer to your eyesight, hearing, general physique and your general medical condition insofar as it is relevant to your ability to drive. This is the case regardless of whether the report is needed for age reasons or for illness/disability reasons. If you are downloading this form(PDF) then it must be printed back to back on one page.

Appeals

An appeals mechanism is available for drivers who have been refused a licence on medical grounds. The Driving Licence Authority will inform drivers of the appeals process when informing them of the licensing decision.