By law, you have to renew your licence when you reach the age of 70, and then every three years after that.
Ninety days before your 70th birthday, the DVLA should send you a form D46P Application for renewal of a driving licence.
If you’re applying to drive another type of vehicle as well as a car.
You need to complete form D4 if you have not completed the form in the last year and either:
- you’re renewing a lorry licence and applying for a provisional bus licence
- you’re renewing a bus licence and applying for a provisional lorry licence
How do I renew my driving licence after 70?
Once you reach the age of 70, your licence expires, but this doesn’t automatically mean you have to stop driving. You just need to renew your driving licence if you want to continue. You’ll need to renew it every 3 years after that. Renewal is free of charge.
Don’t forget to apply for any categories of vehicle covered on your old licence, if you still want to be able to drive them after you renew your licence. If you don’t apply for any categories previously covered, you’ll only be able to drive a car in future. This is important if you have a motorbike or HGV Licence as well.
If your licence expires and you don’t apply for a new one, you won’t legally be allowed to drive.
The DVLA will send you a D46P application form 90 days before your 70th birthday.
- To renew, fill in the form and return it to the DVLA with your current driving licence photocard. You may also need to include a new passport-type photo – the form will tell you if you need to do this. If you apply by post it can take up to three weeks. This of course is much different during the Covid 19 lockdown.
- You can also renew your licence using the GOV.UK website. You’ll have to register and you’ll be given step-by-step instructions on how to renew.
Does my health condition mean I have to stop driving?
If you’ve developed a medical condition or disability that could affect your driving, you must tell the DVLA, even if you’re not yet due to renew your licence. This also applies if your condition has worsened since your licence was issued.
Many people worry that they’ll be forced to stop driving, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
It’s a legal obligation for you to declare certain conditions to the DVLA. If you have an accident you haven’t declared a health condition, your insurance might not cover you.
Which conditions do I have to declare to the DVLA?
Some of the medical conditions that you must declare are:
- diabetes – if it’s insulin-treated
- any chronic neurological condition, such as multiple sclerosis
- any condition that affects both eyes, or total loss of sight in one eye.
Other health conditions may need to be declared, depending on what kind of licence you have and how the condition affects you.
What happens next?
After you’ve told the DVLA, it may:
- make a decision based on the information you provide
- contact your GP or consultant (with your permission) or arrange for a local doctor or specialist to examine you
- ask you to take a driving assessment, eyesight test or driving appraisal.
How likely am I to lose my licence if I declare a medical condition to the DVLA?
Having a medical condition doesn’t always mean that you will lose your licence.
You should be able to continue driving if your condition doesn’t affect your ability to drive safely. Or you may need some help to adjust or make adaptations to your car.
Sometimes the DVLA will issue you with a driving licence for 1, 2 or 3 years and then review things again in the future.
The DVLA can also give you a licence that shows you need to fit special controls to your vehicle to help you to drive with your disability.
Unfortunately, the DVLA can also tell you to stop driving, if you’re not fit to drive.
Declaring a health condition to your insurer
If you have a condition which you need to declare to the DVLA, you also need to declare this to your insurer. You may find that your premiums go up or that you need to seek a specialist provider. However, if you don’t declare your condition, it could invalidate your policy.
How do I get my driving ability reassessed?
If you’ve developed a medical condition, you may need to have your driving ability assessed. Or you may not have a medical condition, but have decided yourself that you could benefit from an assessment. You can either get assessed through a local driver assessment scheme or through a mobility centre.
Local driver assessment schemes
Many local councils, as well as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the Institute of Advanced Motorists, offer driver assessment schemes.
Mobility centre driving assessments
If your medical condition or disability makes it more difficult to drive, then a mobility centre can advise you on the best options for your particular circumstances.
How do I get an assessment with a mobility centre?
The DVLA can refer you (and pay for the assessment) if they’ve asked you to take it, but there may be a long wait. It can be quicker to refer yourself but you will have to pay – the cost varies depending on the centre.
What does the mobility centre assessment involve?
Mobility centres have trained staff who can assess how your condition or disability affects your driving and look at what can help you to continue driving. The driving ability assessment will include:
- Physical assessment to see if you can operate a car’s controls
- Cognitive assessment to check your thinking skills
- Visual assessment to check your eyesight
- On-road assessment in a dual-controlled car
You’ll get to try out car adaptations to see what works for you.
What happens if they say I can’t drive anymore?
If the assessment shows that your medical condition makes it unsafe for you to drive, the DVLA can tell you to stop driving until your condition improves.
In this case, you’ll need to reapply for your licence if, and when, you’re able to drive safely again. The DVLA will provide you with a medical explanation and, if possible, state when you should reapply. Talk to your GP before reapplying for your licence so you can prove your condition has improved.
How to get a Blue Badge for disabled parking
If you or your passenger has severe mobility problems, the Blue Badge scheme lets you park nearer your destination than you might otherwise be able to. It gives you exemption from some parking restrictions and access to designated parking spaces.
Blue Badge holders are exempt from certain parking restrictions, including being allowed to park:
- free of charge at on-street parking meters and in Pay and Display bays
- on single or double yellow lines for up to 3 hours, except where there is a ban on loading or unloading.
Some local authorities put additional restrictions on Blue Badge holders; check with the local authority in the area you’re travelling to to find out what the local rules are. The scheme does not apply in certain boroughs in London, which offer their own parking concessions.