Renew Your Driving Licence at 70, 73, 76 and Every 3 Years After

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gices
anonymous_2
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As long as you are fit to drive and have no medical conditions that can pose a threat to other drivers and yourself, then there is no reason why you can't drive after the age of 70. When a driving licence is issued in the UK, it is valid up until you reach the age of seventy; after which you will not be able to drive legally unless you renew your licence.

elderly driver

How to Keep Driving When You Are Over the Age Threshold

When you are approaching your 70th birthday, your driver's licence will soon expire. Up to three months before the expiry of your driving licence, DVLA will contact you and send a D46P form (application for renewal) through the post to renew your licence. If you have no medical conditions that will affect your driving capability, then it'll be a straight forward process but if you do have some health concerns, there is a chance that your licence may be cancelled.

As one of the perks of being a senior citizen, it is free for 70+ drivers to renew their licence.

Renewing licence at 70, 73 and 76

The simplest way is to fill in the application online as you can do this in the comfort of your own home and you will receive the new licence within 7 days (faster than mailing).

Of course not everyone is computer savvy and you may not be able to use the internet very well or find the process intimidating. It is nevertheless advisable to try and get a family member or friend to help you with this if possible because it is the cheaper and quicker.

If that's not convenient, then by all means fill in the D46p paper form that was sent to you. Do note though that the D46p form is not available for download from the DVLA's website so you cannot get this printed nor can you obtain this driver's renewal form at your local Post Office branch. You can use the D1 form (application for new licence) if you haven't received the D46P form yet. D1 is available at most Post Offices or you can order it online and that's going to be mailed to your address.

you can use D1 form instead of D46p

On top of filling the form with black/blue ink, you also need to buy a stamp and post it to DVLA in Swansea which will require you to either go to the nearest Post Office or find a Royal Mail Post Box close to you; maybe that's a good excuse to get milk for a cuppa (don't forget the biscuits though)!

Should you be in possession of the old paper licence, you would then need to send in a photo to upgrade the paper licence to a photographic one.

It is worth noting that you can continue to drive whilst your licence has been sent to DVLA, provided there are no reasons why you shouldn't be driving such as medical, disqualification or suspension.

Licence Renewals at 79, 81, 84 and Other Three Years Intervals

Okay, let's first say that if you're now 79 or over and considering to keep driving, then you're in the minority. So well done looking after yourself :)

All drivers over 70 need to renew their licence every 3 years to ensure that they are driving on a valid licence because as you get older, you tend to get more complications (vision getting poorer, responsiveness slower, diseases creeping in or fitness declining) and therefore it is important to test older drivers more frequently for the safety of other people and themselves.

The process is the same though, either apply online or fill in the paper based form.

Do You Need to Resit the Driving Test

Many elderly drivers are worried they will have to retake the driving test once they reach 80 for example. This is just not true.

The driving test has changed considerably from the time you did it in the old days for sure, with a more thorough driving theory test topped up with hazard perception followed by a stricter practical test compounded with independent driving but...

...you won't have to do anything like that, so rest assured.

doctor taking notes

The biggest obstacle for elderly drivers is health. If eyesight is a problem or another impairment has befallen upon you thus diminishing your ability to drive safely, then DVLA will refuse your application for renewal and suspend your licence.

Here are some medical conditions you should watch out for:

  • Epilepsy
  • Visual impairment
  • Dementia, Parkinson's disease or other neurological conditions
  • Arthritis
  • Heart issues like Angina

As long as your doctors can vouch you don't have any medical conditions which will affect you as a driver, you'll be fine.

gices
gices Level 6
I'm a Software Developer and the co-founder of Clever Dodo. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.

7 Replies

anonymous_2
anonymous_2 Level 1

What can I drive on B+E licence when over 70 years old?

anonymous_2
anonymous_2 Level 1

Good afternoon my husband has just recently received his new licence for which I forwarded £29.00 as requested on my credit card and this amount was taken on 15/1/2013 from Sunderland could you please tell me if I should have to pay for licence after 70 years?

gices
gices Level 6

No, people aged 70 and over get the licence free. It looks to me that you may have paid for a premium service instead.

anonymous_2
anonymous_2 Level 1

Do I need to send a new photograph when renewing my driving licence at age 73?

gices
gices Level 6

I suppose you've already got the new photocard licence when you renewed your licence at your seventieth birthday if you had the old paper licence. So there's no need to send a new photo because the one on your current licence lasts for 10 years.

anonymous_2
anonymous_2 Level 1

I had to renew my driving licence last year as I had reached the age of 70. This was not a problem however I have just noticed that the licence is valid for one year only. I was under the impression that it would be valid for three years before further renewal became necessary?

gices
gices Level 6

That's right but if you have any medical conditions, then you may be subjected to yearly renewals so that DVLA may assess your ability to drive every year rather than every 3 years.

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