When can I drive again if I have a heart condition?

Most people with a heart condition will eventually be able to drive again. However, the timeframe depends on several factors.

It depends on:

  • what heart condition you have
  • advice from the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) for your heart condition
  • whether your GP thinks you’re fit to drive

The information below applies to driving a car, moped or motorbike. Different DVLA advice applies to large goods vehicles (LGVs) and passenger-carrying vehicles (PCVs).

Read information about driving an LGV or PCV if you have a heart condition.

Get your GP’s advice

Before you drive again, you should always get your GP’s advice. You will probably be able to drive as long as:

  • you’re recovering well from your heart attack or operation
  • any symptoms are under control
  • you don’t have any other condition that would affect your driving, such as some types of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)

Below is some advice on driving with specific heart conditions.

Heart conditions

You should not drive for at least one week after:

You should not drive for at least four weeks if you have:

  • a heart attack
  • coronary artery bypass surgery - an operation that diverts blood around narrow or clogged arteries (blood vessels)
  • heart murmurs - where your heartbeat has an extra, or unusual, sound caused by a disturbed blood flow through the heart

You should ask your GP for advice about driving if you have:

  • angina (with or without medication) – whether you can drive depends on what type of angina you have, and whether your symptoms can be controlled
  • a heart valve condition or have had heart valve surgery

Do I need to tell the DVLA?

If you drive a car, moped or motorbike, you don’t need to tell the DVLA if you have:

  • a heart attack
  • coronary artery by-pass surgery
  • a coronary angioplasty
  • angina
  • a heart valve condition or surgery
  • heart murmurs

Read a DVLA leaflet (PDF, 176kb) on car or motorcycle drivers with heart conditions.

What if I have a different heart condition?

If you have a different heart condition, your GP can give you advice on:

  • if you should drive
  • when you need to tell the DVLA about your condition

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 17/06/2013

Next review due: 16/06/2015