People with Epilepsy can drive under certain conditions. Rules and regulations are determined by Austroads Australia.
The document Assessing Fitness to Drive (epilepsy section) details the medical standards for licensing.
The table below (reproduced from this document) details the key points. This is up to date as of 16 September 2016. This table contains information for Private Driving Licensing. Commercial Licensing have more stringent requirements.
All licence holders should be advised of the following general principles for safety when driving.
- The patient must continue to take anti-epileptic medication regularly when and as prescribed.
- The patient should ensure they have had adequate sleep and not drive if they are sleep deprived.
- The patient should avoid circumstances, or the use of substances (e.g. alcohol), that are known to increase the risk of seizures.
It is good medical practice for any person with epilepsy to be reviewed periodically.
(Drivers of cars, light rigid vehicles or motorcycles unless carrying public passengers or bulk dangerous goods.
All cases (default standard)
Exceptions may be considered (refer to detailed document)
A person is not fit to hold an unconditional licence:
A conditional licence may be considered by the driver licensing authority subject to at least annual review*, taking into account information provided by the treating doctor as to whether the following criteria are met:
* If a driver undergoing treatment for epilepsy has experienced an extended seizure free period (more than 10 years) the driver licensing authority may consider reduced review requirements based on independent specialist advice.
** Shorter seizure-free periods may be considered by the driver licensing authority if the person’s situation matches one of those in the remainder of the table (refer to the: Medical Standards for Licensing - Seizures and epilepsy table page 89 ).
Driver Licensing Authority contacts for general enquiries at Austroads.
For more information please see:
- Epilepsy Society of Australia: Fitness to Drive Fact Sheet
- Epilepsy Action: Seizure Smart – Driving
- Austroads: Assessing Fitness to Drive (epilepsy section)
The information provided on this page has been written by members of the PENNSW Website Editorial Committee.
This page was first published in March 2012 and last modified on 16th September 2016.