Driving after stroke

You are not allowed to drive for a month after a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA). Some people have to stop driving for longer, or will not be able to drive again. You should always get individual advice from your doctor about your stroke and any other health conditions that affect your driving.

It is always recommended to seek personalised guidance from your doctor regarding your stroke and any other medical conditions that might impact your ability to drive. Additionally, if you are concerned that your driving capabilities may have been affected by the stroke, consulting with a driving assessment centre can provide you with tailored advice.

Read the below to find out more, and check on our website at stroke.org.uk/driving for more information.

Key points

  • You must not drive for a calendar month after a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

  • It is your responsibility to tell the DVLA (DVA in Northern Ireland) about any medical condition that affects your driving.

  • If you have a licence to drive a large goods vehicle (LGV) or passenger carrying vehicle (PCV), you must tell the DVLA about your stroke or TIA straight away.

  • Car and motorbike drivers don’t usually need to tell the DVLA about a stroke in the first month, but there are some exceptions.

  • If you have a car or motorbike licence, and you can drive safely, you may be able to start driving again after a month. But it depends on what type of stroke you had, and other health conditions like epilepsy.

Why can’t I drive after a stroke?

Driving is a complex task using many different skills, all of which may be affected by a stroke. All drivers must be able to:

  1. Control the vehicle
  2. Respond to the road, traffic and other external cues.
  3. Remember and follow the rules of the road

Emotional and practical impact

Not being allowed to drive can be a shock. You might feel worried about losing your independence. At the Stroke Association, people often ask us about driving, and we know how important it is.

  • You can call our Helpline at 0303 3033 100 for practical guidance and someone to speak to.
  • Contact Driving Mobility, the UK body for driving assessment centres and mobility centres. They can help you find individual advice about driving after stroke. Visit drivingmobility.org.uk.

Information guide

Where to get help and information from the Stroke Association

Helpline
Call us on 0303 3033 100,from a textphone 1800 0303 3033 100
Email: helpline@stroke.org.uk
Our Helpline offers information and support for anyone affected by stroke, including family, friends and carers.

Other sources of help and information

Blue Badge Scheme

Blue badge applications are processed by your local council. You can apply online using the links above. Or you can contact your local council to apply by telephone or post.

British Insurance Brokers' Association
Consumer helpline: 0370 950 1790
An organisation that can help you find insurance brokers in your local area.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) England, Scotland and Wales
Drivers' medical enquiries: 0300 790 6806

Disabled Motoring UK
Phone: 01508 489 449
Email: info@drivingmobility.org.uk
A network of centres that offer information and assessment to drivers with disabilities. Contact them to find out where your nearest mobility centre is located and for more information about the services that the centres provide.

Disabled person’s railcard (England, Wales, Scotland)
Phone: 0345 605 0525
This offers a third off rail fares for eligible disabled people in England, Scotland and Wales.

Motability
Phone: 0300 456 4566
The Motability scheme enables people with disabilities to hire cars, powered wheelchairs or scooters.

National Association for Bikers with a Disability
Phone: 0844 415 4849
Email: office@thenabd.org.uk
A charity providing information, support and grants to help disabled people enjoy independent motorcycling.

National Federation of Shopmobility UK
Phone: 01933 229 644
Email: shopmobility@bhta.com
The federation can tell you if there is a Shopmobility scheme near you.

NIDirect Motoring (Northern Ireland)
Phone: 0300 200 7861
Email: dva@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

Regional Driving Assessment Centre
Phone: 0300 300 2240
Email: info@rdac.co.uk
An independent charity dedicated to helping people who are or would like to be drivers or passengers in their own vehicle in order to be independent.

RiDC (the Research Institute for Consumer Affairs)
Phone: 020 7427 2460
Email: mail@ridc.org.uk
This charity provides free, practical and unbiased reports for disabled consumers, including guides to mobility motoring and public transport.

Translink
Phone: 02890 666 630
Runs a travel scheme called SmartPass that offers concessions for older people and those claiming Disability Living Allowance in Northern Ireland.

Transport for London (TfL)
Phone: 0343 222 1234
Email: tflaccessibility@tfl.gov.uk
TfL provides information on assisted travel in London, large print and audio versions of their tube maps, maps with details of the step-free stations and a Getting Around London guide.

Transport for Scotland
Phone: 0141 272 7100
Email: info@transport.gov.scot
Runs the National Entitlement Card scheme, offering free bus travel for older and disabled people in Scotland.

Disclaimer: The Stroke Association provides the details of other organisations and apps for information only. Inclusion on My Stroke Guide does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement.