Irish and EU legislation requires that a driver should advise their driver licensing authority of any long-term or permanent injury or illness that may affect their safe driving ability.
Your application must be accompanied by a medical report if you:
- Are applying for a learner permit or Driving licence in any of the categories C1, C, D1, D, CE1, CE, DE1 or DE.
- Will be 70 years of age or more on the first day of the period for which the licence or Learner Permit is being granted.
- Suffer from certain disabilities or diseases
- Have ever suffered from alcoholism or epilepsy
- Are taking, on a regular basis, drugs or medication which would be likely to make you an unsafe driver
The medical report must be completed correctly by a registered medical practitioner and you must sign the declaration in his/her presence. It must be presented to the NDLS within one month of being signed by the medical practitioner. Please note the maximum term for higher categories on a full licence is 5 years.
- Anyone suffering from serious arrhythmia which has at any stage resulted in loss of consciousness should consult his/her doctor before applying for a licence.
- Anyone dependent on or regularly abuses psychotropic substances is disqualified from holding any learner permit or driving licence. If you have any doubts about your physical or mental fitness to drive you should consult a doctor.
Medical report and eyesight report forms may be obtained from your local NDLS centre or downloaded from this webpage. If you are downloading the Medical Report form you must print it back to back.
Content of medical report
The medical report must specifically refer to your eyesight, hearing, general physique and your general medical condition insofar as it is relevant to your ability to drive. This is the case regardless of whether the report is needed for age reasons or for illness/disability reasons. If you are downloading this form(PDF) then it must be printed back to back on one page.
Medical Fitness Guidelines
This section outlines the circumstances in which a medical report is required and the medical conditions that will preclude you from driving a motorised vehicle. It also contains guidelines “Sláinte agus Tiomáint; Medical Fitness to Drive Guidelines (PDF)” for medical practitioners to use when assessing or advising patients on fitness to drive.
Medical guidelines “Sláinte agus Tiomáint; Medical Fitness to Drive Guidelines (PDF)” for Group 1 licence categories AM, A, A1, A2, B, BE or W and Group 2 Categories C, CE, C1, C1E, D, DE, D1 or D1E i.e. truck and bus (with or without trailer have recently been revised and updated taking into account legislative changes made in relation to the standards for eyesight, epilepsy and diabetes, as well as internatioal best practice. The guidelines set out clear minimum medical requirements and all applicants presenting themselves for medical examination should be assessed on the basis of the minimum standards outlined.
As in the past Group 2 guidelines require a higher standard of physical and mental fitness on the part of these drivers in light of the duration of time they spend behind the wheel and the greater size and weight of their vehicles. The updated Group 2 guidelines have been drafted following a public consultation process, including associations representing Group 2 drivers.
Specified diseases and disabilities which need to be reported on application for, or renewal of, a driver licence
A range of medical conditions, as well as treatments, may affect your driving ability
- Diabetes treated by insulin and or sulphonylurea tablets (your doctor can advise whether you are on these or not) no need to tell us if managed by other tablets and or diet.
- Stroke or TIAs(*1)(minor strokes) with any associated symptoms lasting longer than one month.
- Fits or blackouts.
- Any type of brain surgery, brain abscess or severe head Injury involving in-patient treatment or brain tumour or spinal injury or spinal tumour.
- An implanted cardiac pacemaker.
- An implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD)(*2) .
- Repeated attacks of sudden disabling dizziness.
- Any other chronic neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Parkinson disease and Huntington’s disease.
- A serious problem with memory or periods of confusion.
- Persistent alcohol misuse or dependency.
- Persistent drug misuse or dependency.
- Serious psychiatric illness or mental health problems.
- Parkinson’s disease.
- Sleep Apnoea syndrome.
- Any condition affecting the drivers peripheral vision.
- Total loss of sight in one eye.
- Any condition affecting both eyes, or the remaining eye if driver only has one eye (Not including colour blindness or short or long sight).
- A serious hearing deficiency.
- Any persisting problem with arm(s) or leg(s) which needs driving to be restricted to certain types of vehicle or those with adapted controls.
- Adaption of the driver’s vehicle because of a physical disability to enable you to drive.
- Severe learning disability.
*This list is not exhaustive
(*1) A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is an event, with stroke symptoms that lasts less than 24 hours before disappearing (sometimes called a mini-stroke). While TIAs generally do not cause permanent brain damage, they are a serious warning sign of stroke.
(*2) An Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) is an electronic device which monitors your heart continuously.The ICD is programmed to detect abnormally fast or slow heart rhythms.
(*3) If in doubt please consult your family doctor.
A person who is dependent on or regularly abuses psychotropic substances, ie, those that can induce mood changes or distorted perceptions, is barred from holding any learner permit or driving licence.
A person who suffers from serious arrhythmia which has at any stage resulted in loss of consciousness is particularly advised to consult his/her doctor before applying for a licence.
If you have any doubts about your physical or mental fitness to drive you should consult a doctor.
How do I inform the NDLS about a medical condition?
If, following consultation with your GP, your medical condition is one that needs to be noted on your driver record you must submit a Medical Report Form to the NDLS. You will need to apply for a change of personal details through any NDLS centre.
You will need to attend in person at any NDLS centre with the following documentation:
- A valid NDLS medical report form (D501) completed by your doctor
- A completed NDLS application form (D401)
- Proof of your PPSN
- Your current licence
You will then, within a specified timeframe, be issued with a new, updated licence.
Please note if you have supplied a medical to obtain existing licence/permit (101 notation on licence/permit) and terms of licence / permit are not being altered you may submit the NDLS Medical by Post to: Medical Fitness – Driver Licensing, Road Safety Authority, Primrose Hill, Dublin Road, Ballina, Co. Mayo.
An appeals mechanism is available for drivers who have been refused a licence on medical grounds. The Driving Licence Authority will inform drivers of the appeals process when informing them of the licensing decision.
Eyesight report D502 (PDF)
A first-time application for a learner permit must be accompanied by a satisfactory eyesight report. This report may be completed by a registered opthalmic optician or medical practitioner. You must sign the eyesight report form in the presence of the optician or doctor. The completion date must be within one month of the date of application at an NDLS centre.
An eyesight report form is needed where you previously wore glasses/lenses and are no longer required to do so. It is also needed in certain cases when exchanging a licence from another country outside of the EU. Please ensure that the eyesight report is presented within one month of completion by the optician or doctor.
A driving licence eyesight report is not required where a medical report is provided unless indicated by the Doctor. Driving licence Medical report and Eyesight report forms can be downloaded from www.ndls.ie or you can get copies in your nearest NDLS centre.
Advice when returning to drive after an accident/ medical condition that requires an adaptions to a vehicle
You need to consult your doctor to find out if the adaptions need to be noted on your driver licence/learner permit. If restrictions are required on your driver licence/learner permit you must submit a Medical Report Form to the NDLS and apply for a change of personal details through any NDLS centre.
You need to attend in person at any NDLS centre with the following documentation:
- A valid NDLS medical report form (D501) completed by your doctor (valid one month from signing)
- A completed NDLS application form (D401)
- Proof of your PPSN
- Your current driver licence/learner permit
You will then be issued with a new, updated licence.
Research Grant Information
Research Grant on a topic related to Traffic Medicine (medical fitness to drive) worth €40,000
Opening Date: 15 April 2016 Closing Date: 27 May 2016
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) now wish to open a competitive call for applications for an RSA Research Grant in Traffic Medicine. The overarching aim of this Research Grant is to support high quality research projects that develop and sustain research based guidelines that encompass all or one of our three main aims:
- support medical professionals in their assessment of a drivers medical fitness
- offer fresh thinking to national and international policy in this area
- promote the public’s understanding of safe mobility by increasing their knowledge of how a health condition can affect their driving.