Can I get a license for epilepsy?
In the Russian Federation, as in many countries, obtaining a driver’s license takes place in two stages: passing an exam and issuing a medical certificate of fitness for driving in a certain category of vehicles. It is realistic to pass the medical examination only in accordance with Order No. 302n. It also contains all types of diseases for which it is impossible to obtain a driver’s license. Is epilepsy included in this list of diseases?
In the Russian Federation, people with epilepsy are legally prohibited from driving vehicles regardless of category. But there is always a chance and exceptions to the rule.
Why are people with epilepsy prohibited from driving?
The driver, while driving, must:
- Be able to immediately perform the required maneuver;
- Fully control the body.
To reduce accidents, these health restrictions were invented.
What happens to a person during an attack:
- The normal functioning of the brain is impaired. For some, the attack is associated with fainting;
- The physical condition of a person is impaired, and he is not able to control his hands, feet and his body as a whole;
- Mental disorders;
- Dizziness, hallucinations;
- The function of the auditory and visual organs is impaired.
An epileptic seizure can lead to an emergency on the road and lead to the death of innocent people, road users. Therefore, citizens with this disease cannot be allowed to drive a car.
Drivers are divided into two categories: those who drive light vehicles and those who transport people in large vehicles. Demand from drivers of the second category is more stringent for medical contraindications.
Conditions for admission to driving of the first category of persons:
- Obtaining a medical certificate every 1-2 years;
- There is a certificate from a neurologist about admission to driving;
- Six months have passed since the last relapse;
- Sleep attacks;
- Seizures without dysfunction of the locomotor system and without loss of consciousness;
- If the drug is canceled, the driver is not allowed to drive the vehicle for 3 months. You can renew your rights subject to taking a course of medication;
- Treatment with surgery.
Conditions for admission to driving of the second category of persons:
- The last seizure of epilepsy was more than 10 years ago and in this period of time he did not need medical treatment;
- Seizures of epilepsy occur only in provoked situations and driving a car does not cause a negative impact on the human condition;
- A case of one attack that happened more than 5 years ago.
As a result, you can get a driver’s license with epilepsy. The decision is made by the neuropathologist with whom you are registered. In severe cases, a consultation of doctors is gathered to consider this issue.
A positive decision is made with some conditions and restrictions, which are indicated in the document on driving a vehicle.
Important! In order to obtain a permit to drive transport, you need a medical certificate of health status that is current at the moment.
The disease epilepsy is a strict contraindication to getting a driver’s license. And each case is considered individually by a medical commission, where the selected type of transport management categories plays an important role in decision-making. To obtain a license to drive a passenger car (work as a driver is excluded), conditions are milder than for a permit to drive other types of vehicle categories.
Epilepsy needs to be treated, and others need to be more attentive to the category of persons with this disease, because heartlessness can lead to the death of a person.
The laws restricting obtaining a driver’s license for people with epilepsy are different in each country. Currently, the risk of road traffic accidents in people with epilepsy is much higher than in other citizens. In this regard, driving for persons with epilepsy is officially prohibited in Russia.
Below is an extract from the international law on diseases that restrict driving a car
12. Epileptic seizures or other conditions manifested by sudden impairment of consciousness pose a serious danger, significantly increasing the risk of road traffic accidents when they occur among drivers.
Epilepsy is defined as two or more epileptic seizures occurring less than 5 years ago (if less than 5 years have passed since the last seizure). A provoked epileptic seizure is a seizure caused by a known provoking factor that can be avoided. (EN 26.8.2009 Official Journal of the European Union L 223/33.)
In the event of the first or isolated (single) epileptic seizure or episode of loss of consciousness, it is recommended to stop driving. It is necessary to draw up a specialist’s report indicating the period of restriction of rights to drive vehicles and recommendations for further supervision.
In all cases, the establishment of a specific epileptic syndrome and the type of seizures plays a fundamentally important role, which allows an adequate assessment of the safety associated with driving vehicles (including the risk of further seizures) and the appointment of adequate therapy. These activities must be performed by a neurologist.
EPILEPSY – GROUP 1
12.1. Drivers with epilepsy driving vehicles classified in group 1 must be supervised and undergo a periodic medical examination until the duration of remission ( unapproachable period) reaches 5 years.
The diagnosis of epilepsy is an indication for limiting the rights to drive vehicles and requires a notification to be sent to the authorities responsible for issuing driving licenses.
12.2. Provoked epileptic seizures: in the event of provoked epileptic seizures associated with known provoking factors, the likelihood of which while driving a vehicle is excluded, a driver’s license applicant may be recognized as fit for driving on an individual basis, depending on the opinion of a neurologist (the assessment should be carried out taking into account other important sections of Annex III (for example, in cases of alcoholism and other comorbidities).
12.3. First or single unprovoked epileptic seizure: when the first unprovoked seizure occurs, the driver’s license is given to the driver’s license applicant after 6 months. unapproachable period, subject to a detailed medical examination. Legislators in specific countries may allow drivers with additional factors that indicate a favorable prognosis to start driving more quickly.
12.4. Episodes of loss of consciousness of a different etiology: episodes of loss of consciousness should be assessed depending on the existence of the risk of their recurrence while driving.
12.5. Epilepsy: Drivers or license applicants may be considered fit to drive a vehicle after an unassailable period of 1 year.
12.6. Sleep-only epileptic seizures: Drivers or driver’s license seekers who have never had an epileptic seizure other than sleep-only epileptic seizures may be considered fit to drive if the seizure pattern persists for a period of at least the length of the unapproachable period required to obtain a driving license for patients with epilepsy. If an epileptic seizure occurs during wakefulness, the duration of the unapproachable period required to obtain a driver’s license is 1 year (see the section “Epilepsy”).
12.7. Epileptic seizures that do not affect consciousness and motor activity: driving license applicants or drivers who have never had an epileptic seizure, except for seizures that do not lead to impaired consciousness and do not cause functional impairment, may be considered fit to drive a car if this seizure the pattern persists for a period of time, the duration of which is not less than the duration of the unapproachable period required to obtain the rights to drive vehicles for patients with epilepsy. In the event of any other type of epileptic seizure, the unapproachable period required to obtain a driver’s license is 1 year (see the “Epilepsy” section).
12.8. Epileptic seizures that occurred against the background of changes in therapy and provoked by a decrease in doses of antiepileptic drugs: the patient is recommended to stop driving for the period of withdrawal of antiepileptic therapy and within 6 months. after stopping treatment. Epileptic seizures that have arisen against the background of a change or cancellation of antiepileptic therapy, performed as prescribed by a doctor, require refusal to drive for 3 months. subject to the resumption of previous, previously effective therapy.
12.9. After surgical treatment of epilepsy: see the section on Epilepsy.
EPILEPSY – GROUP 2
12.10. A driver’s license applicant must be in remission of the required duration without taking antiepileptic drugs. Regular medical examination and observation is necessary. Required criteria, identified during neurological examination: absence of serious brain damage and absence of epileptiform activity on the electroencephalogram (EEG). After the onset of an acute episode, an EEG and a detailed neurological examination are necessary. (EN L 223/34 Official Journal of the European Union 26.8.2009)
12.11. Induced epileptic seizures: in the event of provoked epileptic seizures associated with known provoking factors, the likelihood of which during driving is excluded, a driver’s license applicant may be recognized as fit to drive on an individual basis, based on the opinion of a neurologist. After the onset of an acute episode, an EEG and a detailed neurological examination are necessary.
If a structural brain injury associated with an increased risk of epileptic seizures is identified, drivers are not allowed to drive category 2 vehicles until the risk of epilepsy has been reduced to ≤ 2% per year. The assessment should take into account other important sections of Annex III I (for example, in cases of alcohol consumption).
12.12. First or single unprovoked epileptic seizure: when the first unprovoked seizure occurs, a permit to drive is given after 5 years of an unapproachable period without antiepileptic therapy, subject to a detailed neurological examination. Legislators in specific countries may allow drivers with factors that indicate a favorable prognosis to start driving more quickly.
12.13. Episodes of loss of consciousness of a different etiology: episodes of loss of consciousness should be assessed depending on the existence of the risk of their recurrence while driving. The risk of recurrence should be ≤ 2% per year.
12.14. Epilepsy: A 10-year remission is required without antiepileptic drugs. Legislators in specific countries may allow drivers with factors that indicate a favorable prognosis to start driving faster. The latter also applies to cases of “juvenile epilepsy”.