The UK Government has announced plans to extend the current 3 year restricted license to 10 years for drivers with insulin treated diabetes.
The changes, which could be applied as early as this year, are part of amendments to the Deregulation Bill. The DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) has already recommended that the restricted license period should be extended.
Restricted licences are issued to drivers with diabetes that take insulin as long term insulin use can sometimes lead to difficulty recognising the symptoms of hypoglycemia, a particular danger when driving.
Extending the restricted license to 10 years will benefit people with diabetes, their doctors and the DVLA. Currently, the need for people on insulin to re-apply for a driving license every three years puts pressure on the DVLA as well as doctors who need to verify patients’ suitability to drive.
The present system has resulted in significant numbers of people with diabetes having faced protracted delays in receiving a renewed license. Such delays can have a disruptive effect on people’s lives, such as posing substantial difficulties for people in getting to work.
An extension to 10 years will help prevent the problems with renewal delays that currently exist. People on insulin need to be aware that it is important that, if you experience decreased ability to spot hypos, this must be declared to the DVLA. If you experience more than one severe hypo, a disabling hypo which requires help from someone else, this must also be declared to the DVLA.

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