DVLA monitoring requirements for diabetic drivers

A lorry driver

The NPC published this evidence summary to clarify the position regarding driving and diabetes.  In addition to existing publications, the summary was based on direct correspondence between the NPC and the UK Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA).  It includes a summary of the position and Q&A section for health professionals.

Clinical question:

In drivers with diabetes, what are the DVLA blood glucose monitoring requirements?

The evidence:

Drivers of all vehicles need to ensure that they are not at risk of hypoglycaemia at the wheel.  Therefore, people with impaired hypoglycaemia awareness must not drive.

Other people with diabetes are subject to certain requirements.

For drivers of cars and motorcycles:

  • people using insulin  must perform appropriate self-monitoring.
  • people using oral agents likely to cause hypoglycemia (sulphonylurea or glinide) may need to monitor blood glucose regularly and at times relevant to driving, subject to medical review.

For drivers of buses and lorries:

  • people using insulin or oral agents likely to cause hypoglycaemic must monitor blood glucose twice daily and at times relevant to driving.

People whose diabetes is managed by other oral agents or diet and exercise alone are not required to self-monitor.

Appraisal hints

These are legal requirements for driving.  Patients should be directed to the category of advice that is appropriate to them.  There are specific recommendations to guide testing and prevention of hypoglycaemia.


National Prescribing Centre. What are the DVLA blood glucose monitoring requirements for people with diabetes? 19th March 2012.



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I am an information scientist with an interest in making knowledge from systematic research more accessible to people who need it. This means you. I've been attempting this in the area of Evidence-Based Health Care since 1995. So far the results have been mixed. For some reason we expected busy clinicians to search databases and appraise papers instead of seeing patients. We also expected publishers to make the research freely available to the people who paid for it.. Ha! Hence The National Elf service.

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