driving and cardiovascular disease (CVD)

Last edited 12/2020 and last reviewed 12/2020

Group 1 entitlement:

A licence holder is required by law to advise DVLA in the event of a relevant or prospective disability. Incapacity of less than 3 months is excluded.

Relevant conditions for private licence holders (Group 1 licence) include:

  • angina - patient advised not to drive if occuring at rest or while driving
    • Must not drive when symptoms occur:
      • at rest
      • with emotion
      • at the wheel
    • Driving may resume after satisfactory symptom control
    • Need not notify the DVLA

  • acute coronary syndrome (ACS)
    • defined as:
        • 1. Unstable angina (symptoms at rest with ECG changes)
        • 2. Non STEMI (non ST elevation myocardial infarction) with at least two of the following criteria
            • symptoms at rest
            • raised serum Troponin
            • ECG changes
        • 3. STEMI (ST elevation myocardial infarction) symptoms with ST elevation on ECG
    • Must not drive but need not notify the DVLA

    • Driving may resume 1 week after ACS if successful coronary intervention (PCI) and if all of the following are met:
      • no other urgent revascularisation planned (urgent means within 4 weeks of acute event)
      • LV ejection fraction is at least 40% before hospital discharge
      • there is no other disqualifying condition

    • If not treated by successful coronary intervention or any of the above are not met, driving may resume only after 4 weeks from the acute event, provided there is no other disqualifying condition

  • percutaneous coronary intervention (Angioplasty +/-stent) elective
    • patient must stop driving for at least 1/52
    • driving may recommence thereafter provided there is no other disqualifying condition
    • DVLA need not be notified.

Doctors are advised that they seek full guidance from the publication "At a Glance Guide to the Current Medical Standards of Fitness to Drive" and the website www.dvla.gov.uk.