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Bipolar and driving



New member
Jul 28, 2009
Well as a short introduction.. My name is Lea and I have bipolar disorder. I have a 1yr old daughter who is disabled. I'm thinking of taking driving lessons and getting a license etc to make things easier for us as I don't drive atm.

I was looking online and I saw it said that some people with bipolar aren't allowed a license. I was just asking some advice.. Is it worth me even applying? Do any of you who have bipolar drive? I feel really crappy about it now, learning to drive was on of the only things I was looking forward to and now I've found out that I might not be able to do that either..

I wouldn't consider myself a real risk, I have good traffic awareness, I hallucinate quite often but I know I'm doing it and normally if I'm in a car my 'person' sits at the side of me, doesn't gallump around in the road.. I know my hallucinations will go against my favour and it says you need to have been out of a manic episode with no re-occurrence for 3 months (I think) on the DVLA website (sorry I'm assuming most of you are from the UK). It does mention something about a special report being written by your psychiatrist - I suppose I could ask her to write me one? :cry:

So, hello everyone.


Well-known member
May 25, 2009
Hi Lea,

I have Bipolar type 2 which means I do not get manic episodes rather the less severe Hypomania episodes therefore my form of Bipolar does not effect my licence. That said if you are suffering from Bipolar type 1 and experience manic episodes you must not drive during these.

Have you spoken to your doctor about the possibility of you being able to drive? Many people with Bipolar do drive depending on what medication they are on.


New member
Jul 28, 2009
I'll speak to her about it at my next appointment.


Well-known member
Founding Member
Apr 4, 2008
The report the dvla will ask for from the psych covers things like whether you are stable,whether you have insight into your condition and whether you are compliant with treatment. I don't know what the position is with hallucinations but I would guess you can't drive with them(this is only my guess though) as they would affect safety.


Well-known member
Jun 26, 2009
Oh no I am bipolar type 1 (I think) (But I am very stable, not had a relapse or anything) And want to start lessons again, I have a provisional license. So I have to contact them and what do I say?


Well-known member
Nov 23, 2008
Belfast, N.Ireland
I've been unable to drive for years. I keep hoping that soon I will get permission to drive again. It gives me such freedom when I can take off in my own in my car - or as I hope to buy - motor bike. I've been told that my illness is is quite extreme and that is why I have been unable to drive for so long.

The reasons for my not being able to drive are : I can't get stable for longer than a week or two. Because I have not been stable for some certain period of time - I have to be stable even longer than the general person. My medication causes me to be drowzy sometimes and my concentration is gone completely. I hallucinate too at times . I am not sure how that affects driving. I just hope that I can get stable and receive permission to drive.

I would encourage you to go ad try to get your license. Just be honest about your illness and I am sure they will look at your illness and see if they can let you drive or not. Good luck.
Jacqui x
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