Diabetes and Driving

Driving and Diabetes ImageIf you have diabetes, you can hold a driver’s licence or learner permit as long as your diabetes is well controlled.

The main concern for licensing authorities is the possibility of hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose while driving). Diabetes complications like eye problems are also of a concern as it affects your ability to drive safely.

Although there are uniform national ‘Fitness to Drive’ guidelines, all states have slightly different regulations and requirements to assess people with diabetes who wish to begin, or continue driving and intend to protect your safety and the safety of other drivers. The guidelines attempt to balance the safety of all concerned and any unfairness against people with diabetes.

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Diabetes Australia has responded to the inclusion of a new Medical Standard for Licensing, part of the Austroads and the National Transport Commission updated guidelines for Assessing Fitness to Drive.

In this Topic

Obtaining a Licence
Inform the Licensing Authorities
Hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose) & Driving
Diabetes Complications and Driving

Obtaining a Licence

If you have diabetes, you need to provide a medical report before a driver’s licence or learner permit can be issued. This report should be from your treating doctor or diabetes specialist stating that a medical examination has been performed and you have been assessed as fit to drive.

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Inform the Licensing Authorities

If you develop diabetes you must inform the Driver Licensing Authorities in your state or territory.  In most cases if you manage your diabetes by insulin you will require a medical certificate every two years and if you manage it by tablet every five years.  If you control your diabetes by diet and exercise alone you are still required to inform them. If you are required to notify the authorities but don’t, you could be charged with driving offences if you have a driving accident.

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Informing Your Motor Vehicle Insurer

If you develop diabetes it is also advisable to inform your motor vehicle insurer.

If you don’t report your diabetes to your motor vehicle insurance company you may have problems with insurance claims.

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Hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose) & Driving

Hypoglycaemia can impair your ability to drive safely. Ensure that you always have a carbohydrate snack available in your car. If you feel your blood glucose level is low, pull over immediately and stop your car. Do not restart your car until you have treated your hypoglycaemia and feel absolutely normal.

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Diabetes Complications and Driving

If you have impaired vision, nerve damage or heart problems, talk with your doctor about the possible effects on your ability to drive safely.

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