Tasty Morsels of EM 118 – #FRCEM DVLA driving regulations

6 Aug

I’m entering a few months prep for the UK and Ireland exit exam in Emergency Medicine: the FRCEM. I’ll be adding lots of little notes on pearls I’ve learned along the way. A lot of my revision is based around the Handbook of EM as a curriculum guide and review of contemporary, mainly UK guidelines. I also focus on the areas that I’m a bit sketchy on. With that in mind I hope they’re useful.

You can find more things on the FRCEM on this site here.

While this may seem obvious to some of you, remember that I work in Ireland and we have a different document for our system yet I still have to learn the UK one too for the exam.

RCEM have a lovely summary document

What are the two license categories?

  • group one
    • people like you and me I suspect – just cars
  • group two
    • lorries and passenger carrying vehicles (buses not taxis it seems)


First unprovoked fit

  • Group 1: 6 months
  • Group 2: 5 years


Depends a little on the type

Simple vasovagal

  • Group 1: no restriction
  • Group 2: no restriction

Likely simple vasovagal (see the guidance for more detail)

  • Group 1: no restriction
  • Group : 3 months

Loss of consciousness with high risk factors (I couldn’t find what they meant by that)

  • Group 1: 6 months if no cause found, 4 weeks if cause found and fixed
  • Group 2: 12 months if no cause found, 3 months if found and treated

Cough Syncope (this is of course fairly benign but it has huge implications for driving cause it may well happen again…)

  • Group 1: 6 months
  • Group 2: 5 Years


  • Group 1: 1 month as long as recovery is adequate
  • Group 2: 1 year

Cardiac Disease


  • Group 1: 1 week if PCI, 4 weeks if not
  • Group 2: 6 weeks

A Fib/Flutter/Arrhythmia

  • no restriction if unlikely to cause incapacity
  • if likely to cause incapacity then group 2 folk lose their license

Hypertension (i didn’t even realise this was a thing…)

  • group 2 lose their license if consistently over 180/100
  • will not be for us to make that decision but important to know


I haven’t gone into the definitions of these terms here. both assume free from alcohol problems for the stated period.

persistent misuse

  • Group 1: 6 months
  • Group 2: 1 year

alcohol dependance

  • Group 1: 1 year
  • Group 2: 3 years



2 Replies to “Tasty Morsels of EM 118 – #FRCEM DVLA driving regulations

  1. Hi Neil

    I think the high risk factors include LOC with no prodrome, no provocation etc, LOC in seated or lying position, or LOC thought to be owing to a cardiac cause.

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