Group 1 driving standards

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  • Group 1 licences, also known as ‘ordinary driving licences’, are to drive cars, motorcycles and mopeds. 
  • There are driving standards depending on the type of cardiomyopathy you have, any other conditions or symptoms you have, and on whether you have an implanted device or not.

Standards depending on type of cardiomyopathy

Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy

  • If you don’t have symptoms you don’t need to stop driving or tell the DVLA.
  • If you have symptoms that do or could incapacitate you, you must stop driving and tell the DVLA. You may be able to start driving again once the symptoms are controlled.

Dilated cardiomyopathy

  • If you don’t have symptoms you don’t need to stop driving or tell the DVLA. 
  • If you have any symptoms, you must meet the standards for these symptoms (see below).
  • Information from DVLA (opens new window)

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

  • If you don’t have symptoms you don’t need to stop driving or tell the DVLA.
  • If you have any symptoms, you must meet the standards for these symptoms (see below).
  • Information from DVLA (opens new window) 

Standards depending on other conditions or symptoms

Arrhythmia

  • If your arrhythmia affects your ability to drive (for example, if you have symptoms, or it
    has caused, or might cause, incapacity) you must stop driving and tell the DVLA.
  • Usually you will be able to start driving again once the arrhythmia has been controlled for four weeks. You can report this online or by completing form H1.
  • Information from DVLA (opens new window)

Heart failure

  • If you don’t have symptoms you can continue to drive and don’t need to tell the DVLA. 
  • If you have symptoms you can continue to drive as long as they don’t distract you from driving.
  • If your symptoms distract you from driving, you must stop driving. You don’t need to tell the DVLA but you must ask your doctor’s advice before driving again.
  • Information from DVLA (opens new window)

Left bundle branch block

Standards depending on devices

Atrial defibrillator

Cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) with pacemaker

  • You must stop driving and tell the DVLA.
  • You may start driving again one week after implantation if you have no symptoms that are likely to affect your driving. The DVLA will send you a questionnaire and pacemaker declaration form to sign.

Cardiac resynchronisation therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D)

  • You must stop driving and tell the DVLA. 
  • You must not drive for one or six months (from the date of implantation) depending on why your device was implanted.
  • Your doctor should tell you for how long you need to stop driving (one or six months). 
  • You may be able to drive again as long as you meet the criteria for ICDs.

ICDs (for ventricular arrhythmia)

  • You must stop driving and tell the DVLA.
  • The standards for driving depend on whether you are incapacitated by your condition/symptoms or not. 
  • You may be able to start driving again six months after implantation if you have: no further symptoms, no shock from your device and no anti-tachycardia pacing because of symptoms in the last six months, as long as your condition and device are regularly reviewed.
  • If you get a shock from your device, you must stop driving and tell the DVLA. You may be able to start driving six months after the date of shock as long as it didn’t happen due to an incapacitating episode and you haven’t had any further symptoms.
  • If you had an inappropriate shock, you may be able to start driving one month after the date of the shock if your doctor confirms that it was inappropriate, and as long as the cause of the shock is treated or removed.
  • If you need to tell the DVLA, can do this online or by filling in form DEFIB1. You will have to sign the form to show you agree to comply with the terms of the defibrillator declaration (on the form).
  •  If your ICD battery is changed you will need to stop driving for one week after surgery. You don’t need to tell the DVLA.
  • Information from DVLA (opens new window)

Left ventricular assist device (LVAD)

  • If you have an LVAD you must stop driving and tell the DVLA.
  • You may be able to start driving again after three months from implantation depending on an
    assessment by your healthcare professional.

Pacemaker

  • You need to tell the DVLA if you have a pacemaker.
  • When it is first implanted (or the battery is replaced) you will need to stop driving. You should be able to drive again after one week (as long as you have no other condition that would prevent you driving).
  • You can tell the DVLA either online or by downloading form H1. You will have to sign the form to show you agree to comply with the terms of the pacemaker declaration.
  • Information from DVLA (opens new window)

Forms

Form H1

This is the form to tell the DVLA about any heart condition that has to be reported. It is used to notify them if you have arrhythmias or palpitations, or a pacemaker. It also covers uncontrolled/poorly controlled angina, and aortic aneurysms.
See the full list of conditions (opens new window) that you need to tell the DVLA about and form H1 (opens new window)

Form DEFIB1

This is the form to tell the DVLA if you have an ICD or CRT-D. 
See the form DEFIB1 (opens new window)

Read the standards for group 2 licences.

© Cardiomyopathy UK April 2017