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What does the law say about driving with arthritis?

If your arthritis affects your driving you must inform the DVLA (Drivers Medical Group at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) in Swansea. If you're in Northern Ireland, you need to contact the DVA (Driver and Vehicle Agency).

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

It's unlikely that a person with arthritis would be asked to retake their driving test, but you may be issued your licence for a shorter period or you may need to adapt your car with special controls.

If your doctor tells you to stop driving because of your medical condition, you must send your licence to the DVLA.

Some people with arthritis ask if they have to wear a seat belt. By law, you must wear a seat belt unless you have a medical exemption. 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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