Doctors haven’t diagnosed me with epilepsy but DVLA tell me I have it, can they do this?

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I’m 21 I’ve had three seizures in my life time.

One in November 2016 I stoped driving , then got all clear from the hospital  in August with no diagnosis. I then applied to get my licenseback. 

Then whilst my application was still with the DVLA  I had another seizure in October 2017 and then again  in December. Doctors were still unable to given me a diagnosis because they are unsure what the cause was. 

After these two seizures I knew my previous application for my license would then be rejected. Which it has been however in the rejection letter the DVLA then state word for word “it is clear that you suffer with epilepsy”  however I have never had any diagnosis or mention of epilepsy from a doctor so are they allowed to say this? 

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  • Posted

    Hi Hannah,

    Ask your doctor to refer you to see a Neurologist. They can check your brain activity in a number of ways, e.g. an EEG, MRI Scan, etc. At least you would know more about what you have suffered from.

    Does anyone in your family suffer from any type of seizure?

    Whom actually said you are suffering from Epilepsy initially?

    I suffer from seizures, some are Epileptic however you can also suffer from Functional Episodes which to any onlooker would see the same symptoms in either case.

    The difference between Epilepsy and Functional Episodes is to do with brain activity.

    Epilepsy (2 variations) can be controlled with medication if they become more common. With Epilepsy you have electrical pulses playing havoc all over the brain, which can be monitored with an electroencephalogram (EEG) test, and a recording of brain activity can be made.

    With Functional Episodes it is totally different, no EEG test will pick up any electrical activity from the brain. There is also 28 variations, yet you will suffer minor to major tremors causing your body to spasm, just like an Epileptic seizure. Only you will know the difference because while you are in this type of seizure, you can see and hear everything around you - but, you cannot respond back in anyway, you can't talk, or control any part of your body. 

    I was 22 when I had my first seizure, but it was under very different circumstances and left me with a progressive disorder. Epilepsy and Functional Episodes I suffer from both, and I take over 40 tablets a day.

    I hope this helps you, or someone else can shed more light on your seizures.



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    • Posted

      I’m currently under a neurologist and because all my tests have been clear  they were unable to diagnose me.  

      So I DO NOT have a diagnosis of epilepsy.

      But the DVLA sent me a letter starting  “it is clearly you have epilepsy” even though I do not have that diagnosis.

      how can  the DVLA with no medical qualifications state this in a letter?

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    • Posted

      Hi Hannah,

      I know the DVLA can withdraw your Driving Licence if you have seizures within the past 12 months, but without any proof, I cannot see how they can make this decision.

      This quote is from the Epilepsy UK website.


      I'm allowed to drive again. How do I get my driving licence back?

      You can reapply for your licence up to 8 weeks before the date you meet the legal standard for driving. For most people, this date will be 12 months after their last seizure, but this might be different depending on the type of seizures you have. See our page about the group 1 driving rules or group 2 driving rules to check.

      Before you reapply, check with your doctor that they agree you’re fit to drive again. If they think you meet the epilepsy driving rules, you can then start the process of reapplying.

      To reapply, you’ll need to fill in a driving licence application form and a medical questionnaire. There are different forms depending on whether you’re applying for a group 1 or group 2 licence, and which driving agency you are applying to. Both are available on the DVLA website.

      End of quote

      Hope this helps.


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  • Posted

    Asked general question on this issue. Was told you need to be seizure free one year. Assuming that is what your doctor would need to give ok, but don't have clue what procedure would be.

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  • Posted

    Hi I would go to your dr and discuss this then ask for a letter stating that you do not have epilepsy and send a copy to the DVLA. It is better not to drive than be involved in a road accident!

    Take care..

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