Renewing your driving licence aged 70 or over
There is no upper age limit for driving in the UK but once you reach 70, you have to renew your driving licence every three years. Here we look at what older drivers need to do and when.
Older drivers, aged 70 or over, make up about 14% or 5.7 million of the 41 million full car driving licence holders in the UK, according to the latest data from the Department for Transport.
This is up from 3.9 million 10 years ago, in 2013, and the number of older drivers is likely to rise further as the UK population ages.
If you’re an older driver you’re entitled to carry on driving as long as you are still fit and able to but instead of your UK driving licence being valid for the standard 10 years, you’ll need to renew it every three years.
How to renew your driving licence if your aged 70 or over
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) says that it will “automatically” send you a D46P application form 90 days before your 70th birthday.
If you don’t receive the D46P form you should be able to pick up a D1 application form from your local Post Office and use this instead. (If you’re in Northern Ireland you’ll need a DL1R form.)
However, a postal application takes about three weeks and is likely to take longer if you have declared a medical condition or your personal details need to be checked.
The quickest way is to use the ‘Renew at 70’ online service on GOV.UK. You should receive your licence within five days by using this service.
If you haven’t used the online service before you’ll need to register. This requires an email address, your driving licence details, your National Insurance number (if you know it) and the addresses you have lived at for the past three years. If you want to change the photo on your driving licence you’ll also need a valid UK passport number.
You won’t be able to use the online service if you want to renew a C1 (medium-sized vehicles) or D1 (minibus) entitlement. These entitlements can only be renewed with a postal application.
How much does it cost to renew an over 70s driving licence?
There is no charge to renew your driving licence if you are aged 70 or over, provided you use the official ‘Renew at 70’ online service on GOV.UK.
You should avoid third party websites that charge premiums for DVLA services. The Government says that these sites are not affiliated with the DVLA.
If you decide to make a postal application you may want to pay for proof of delivery if you need to continue driving (subject to certain conditions, see below).
Can I still drive while waiting for the DVLA to renew my licence?
While your application is being processed you can usually continue driving once your application has been received by the DVLA, provided you have not been told by your doctor or optician not to.
As well as meeting the medical standards of fitness to drive, you must previously have held a valid licence and can only drive vehicles you have applied for on your current application and were entitled to drive on your previous licence.
The DVLA must also have received your correct and complete application within the last 12 months.
If you are reapplying for a driving licence following your disqualification as a high risk offender (i.e. you were convicted of a serious drink driving offence) on or after 1 June 2013 you cannot drive until you receive your new licence.
If your last licence was revoked or refused for medical reasons or you are currently disqualified from driving by a court you obviously aren’t permitted to drive either.
How can I retain C1 and D1 entitlements after 70?
If you use the standard form, you’ll lose your entitlements. To retain these, you’ll need to have a D4 medical examination report every three years.
The D4 form has to be filled in by a doctor. This could be your GP (although an optician might need to fill in the section about your eyesight), or a private firm specialising in drivers’ medical exams. Be aware that your doctor, optician or a private firm can charge you.
Will my car insurance be more expensive when I’m over 70?
Drivers who are 70 or over are statistically more likely to be involved in a road accident which can result in higher premiums.
However, prices still stay relatively low. Between November 2022 and February 2023, drivers aged between 70 and 74 paid only £326 a year for a comprehensive car insurance policy, according to MoneySuperMarket data.
Other useful guides
Check out our other useful guides on driving, insuring your car and travel insurance.