Elderly drivers must renew licence every three years – warning

Dr Hilary discusses the risks for older drivers

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Elderly drivers were given fresh guidance from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), reminding them that they have to renew every three years. From the age of 70, motorists have the responsibility to renew their driving licence again, and do so every 36 months afterwards.

The DVLA has been vocal in ensuring all elderly drivers are signed up for a new licence, reminding them on Twitter and other social media channels.

On Twitter, it wrote: “After you turn 70, you need to renew your licence every three years. 

“It’s easy, quick and secure to do it online,” alongside a link to the GOV.UK website.

This has been accompanied by adverts in newspapers, one of which caught the attention of actor and comedian David Mitchell tweeted about it, prompting a debate over elderly drivers.

James Jackson, CEO at Bumper, reminded elderly drivers of the importance of renewing their licence, even if people find it unnecessary.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “Reminders like the one issued by the DVLA, that drivers aged 70 and over must renew their licence every three years, might seem annoying, but are of vital importance to ensure that all road users and pedestrians stay safe. 

“It’s quick and easy to do this; the DVLA will send you a D46P form prior to your 70th birthday, and following this you can continue to renew it either online or using a paper form available at the post office.”

Motorists who do not renew their licence once they have passed their 70th birthday will no longer be able to legally operate a vehicle, and will be committing a serious offence if they continue driving.

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Drivers could face fines of £1,000 and potentially have their vehicle seized if they do not abide by the laws.

Research released in 2022  found that there are now around 10 million motorists aged 70 and above in the United Kingdom.

Mr Jackson continued, saying: “I applaud the DVLA for issuing these regular reminders. 

“While it might feel difficult to keep on top of car repairs, administration and maintenance, it’s all essential for keeping yourself and others safe when driving.”

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When renewing, drivers will need an email address, an address of where they have lived for the last three years, their National Insurance number and a valid UK passport number (if they want to change the licence photo).

People can still drive while their licence is being renewed as long as they adhere to a number of rules.

This includes: they have the support of their doctor to continue driving, they had a valid licence, they only drive under the conditions of the previous licence, their application is less than a year old, their last licence wasn’t revoked or refused for medical reasons, and they’re not currently disqualified.

However, road users who were disqualified as a high-risk offender on or after June 1, 2013, cannot drive while their licence is being renewed.

According to new data from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the number of driving tests taken by those aged 50 and older has increased by 259 percent in the last year. 

Around 3.5 times as many tests taken by this age group in the 2021 to 2022 period, than in the previous 12 months.

It has been estimated that there will be more than one million drivers over the age of 85 on UK roads by 2025, with motoring groups calling for change to protect elderly drivers.

This could include the design of roads, the clarity of road signs and markings, as well as improvements to traffic lights and fixed lighting.

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