Migraine and driving
Can I drive with migraine?
Driving and migraine
How to manage driving is something that people living with migraine are often concerned about. Here is an overview of the key issues to consider.
Many people with migraine can and do drive. Living with migraine does not on its own prevent you from driving.
The condition does not create any safety concerns, unless you:
- drive during a migraine attack. A migraine attack can affect your driving because the symptoms of an attack can make you vulnerable to driving errors and place you and others at risk of accidents and injury
- drive while taking medications that affect your ability to drive safely.
Managing migraine and driving
If you do experience an attack while driving you should stop your car and immediately treat your migraine.
You should not resume driving until the attack is over and you are sure that your medications will not interfere with your ability to drive. Therefore it’s important to check if any migraine medication you take has this effect.
As migraine attacks can occur at any time, we would recommend having a plan in place as to what you would do if you had a migraine attack and were driving or needed to drive somewhere.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) Northern Ireland
You must notify the DVLA in England, Wales and Scotland (in writing) if your migraine attacks are sudden and disabling or are likely to be a source of danger to the public or if your doctor tells you to. If you have notified the DVLA and your migraine attacks become worse than previously disclosed to the DVLA you should contact them again.
If you live in England, Scotland or Wales you can contact the DVLA Medical Enquiries team for information and guidance on driving with migraine.
If you live in Northern Ireland you must contact the DVA if you’ve had or currently have a medical condition that may affect your driving.
Help if you’re unable to drive
Some people may no longer drive due to their migraine. If this happens you may be able to access support to help with transport. You may be eligible for discounts on public transport.
A disabled person’s bus pass means you can travel for free on local buses in England. To find out if you’re eligible contact your local authority.
If you live in London you can apply for a Disabled persons Freedom pass which gives you free travel across London and free bus journeys nationally.
If you have a disability, you could be eligible for free bus travel to get around Scotland and your local area. You can access this via the National Entitlement Card, your pass to free bus travel in Scotland.
To find out more and apply you should contact your local authority or Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT).
You may be able to travel for free on buses and some trains in Wales if you’re disabled and meet the eligibility criteria. For more information and to apply visit Transport for Wales.
You may be eligible for concessionary travel on buses and trains in Northern Ireland. You will need to meet the eligibility criteria, apply for and receive a concessionary travel card, called a SmartPass. For more information and to apply visit NI direct.
You can apply for a Disabled Persons Railcard which gives a third off train travel. You will need to meet the eligibility criteria. It costs £20 for a year or £54 for 3 years.
There is no national concessionary scheme for coaches, but ask your coach operator if they offer any discounts. For example, National Express offers a Disabled Coachcard, which gives you a third off your travel throughout the year. It costs £12.50 a year and is available for people with a disability.
Different regions and local authorities may offer additional concessions that apply to local transport, such as trams and ferries. Contact your local authority for more information.
Help from the NHS with travel costs
If you pay to travel for NHS-funded treatment or tests, you may be able to claim a refund on reasonable travel costs, if you meet the eligibility criteria. For more information see the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS).
Community transport schemes
You may be able to access a local community transport scheme such as ‘Dial-a-ride’ or if you’re attending a healthcare appointment (e.g. hospital, GP surgery, dentist, optician).
You may need to register and for some schemes you have to pay. Contact your local authority to find out what is available in your area.