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What does the law say about driving with arthritis?

If you hold a current driving licence and develop arthritis, and the illness affects your driving and has lasted more than 3 months, you must inform the Drivers Medical Group at the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea.

When applying for a provisional licence you must declare that you have arthritis. You’ll have to pass the same test as any other drivers but may be allowed extra time.

It’s unlikely that a person with arthritis would be asked to take another driving test, but you may be issued your license for a shorter period or need to adapt you car with special controls. If your doctor tells you to stop driving because of your medical condition, you must surrender your licence to the DVLA.

Some people with arthritis ask if they can be exempted from wearing a seat belt. This isn’t recommended because of the dangers if you have an accident. It’s better to adapt the seat and seat belt height for your comfort. There are also adaptations available if you find it difficult to fasten your seat belt. Ask your occupational therapist about these.

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