Diabetes and Driving

As diabetes is a medical condition that may affect safe driving, it must be reported to VicRoads Medical Review. This web page describes what to do if you have diabetes. If your diabetes is well controlled you are allowed to drive.

Learner permit and driver licence

Applying for your first learner permit or driver licence
If you are applying for your first learner permit or driver licence, and you have diabetes, you must notify VicRoads and provide a medical report before a learner permit or a licence can be issued.

If you do not notify VicRoads that you have diabetes when you apply for a learner permit or licence, your learner permit or licence could be withdrawn.

If you already hold a learner permit or driver licence
If you hold a current learner permit or driver licence, you are required by law to notify VicRoads if you have any serious or chronic medical condition or disability which may affect your fitness to drive. This includes diabetes, whether it is controlled by insulin or medication. Failure to notify could also affect your insurance cover.

You should be aware that some medicines may also affect your ability to drive safely. Discuss this with your doctor. It is illegal to drive if you are affected by medicine(s).

To retain your licence you must provide a medical report to VicRoads Medical Review. VicRoads determines your fitness to drive on a case by case basis in accordance with national medical standards. Medical advice and assessment outcomes are also considered.

Standards for commercial truck, taxi and bus licences are stricter than those for private licences.

Drivers may be required to provide a report from a diabetes specialist (endocrinologist), an optometrist or eye specialist.

Severe hypoglycaemic event
In a severe hypoglycaemic event, you need someone to administer treatment. These events are particularly dangerous if they occur while driving. You can lose consciousness and control of your vehicle. If you experience a severe hypoglycaemic event, stop driving and seek medical attention. Wait until your doctor gives you clearance to resume driving.

Periodic reviews for drivers
After initial notification, periodic reviews are generally required as follows:

Diabetes and control Requirement for medical licensing review*

Private vehicles

Requirement for medicallicensing review*

Commercial vehicles

Type 2 diabetes, requiring medicine (not insulin) Every five years* Every year
Type 1 or type 2 diabetes controlled by insulin Every two years* Every year

* The frequency of periodic reviews may vary depending on the type of diabetes and changes in other medical conditions.

If VicRoads withdraws your licence you can appeal against the decision. However, you cannot appeal if VicRoads requests you to provide a medical or other report, or asks you to undertake a driving test.

There are two ways you can appeal:
1. You can write to VicRoads Medical Review and ask for an internal review.
2. You can appeal to the Magistrates’ Court.

Information on driving and diabetes is available on the Diabetes Australia – Victoria website.

For advice on how to remain a safe driver, contact a diabetes educator. Call Diabetes Australia-Vic on  1300 136 588 for contacts in your area.

For further information or to obtain medical or eyesight report forms contact:

VicRoads Medical Review
PO Box 2504, Kew VIC 3101
Tel: 13 11 71

Visit Older Drivers or Family and Friends of Older or Impaired Drivers for more information.

Most publications are free and can be ordered from Information Victoria on 1300 366 356 or on the Victorian Government Bookshop.

For more information about diabetes contact:

Diabetes Australia – Victoria
Head Office
570 Elizabeth Street,
Melbourne 3000
Telephone: (03) 9667 1777
Diabetes Infoline: 1300 136 588
Fax: (03) 9667 1778
Email:  [email protected]
Visit the Diabetes Australia – Victoria website for more information.