Back Epilepsy and driving

Having epilepsy doesn’t automatically mean that you aren’t legally allowed to drive.

You may be able to continue driving non-commercial vehicles if your seizures are controlled by medication AND:

  • Your medication doesn’t cause you to feel drowsy or impair your co-ordination, and you’ve been seizure free for 6 months.
  • Your health care provider believes you’ll continue to take your medication regularly and follow all provided instructions/guidelines.
  • You are being regularly supervised medically, and your health care provider trusts that you will report any seizures to them immediately.

You may also be able to continue driving non-commercial vehicles if:

  • You’ve only had one spontaneous seizure, for which no epileptic activity has been revealed, following a full neurological exam. The spontaneous seizure was also determined not to be the result of any toxic illness.
  • For at least 5 years, you’ve only had seizures during your sleep or immediately after waking up.
  • You’ve been seizure free for at least a year, and had a seizure as a result of reducing your medication dose under your health care provider’s advice and supervision. Once your medication dose has been readjusted to the previously efficacious dose, you can drive.

If your health care provider doesn’t believe that you meet the criteria for driving, they will submit a report to the Provincial Ministry of Transportation. The MRD will request that you send further medical information within a given timeframe, or else your license will be suspended. Alternatively, they’ll send you a notice of license suspension with a written explanation.

For more information regarding the rules for driving with epilepsy, visit: http://www.canadianepilepsyalliance.org/about-epilepsy/living-with-epilepsy/driving/

To read our E-Action® Magazine driving feature, click here:

Remember that the requirements may vary based on where you live. You can also contact your provincial Ministry of Transportation for more information.