Drivers aged 70 and over must renew their driving licence or risk being hit with a hefty fine, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has warned.
Not only do motorists need to renew their licence before turning 70 in order to remain on the road, but they also need to make sure they renew it frequently afterwards.
Figures show that there are around 10m drivers aged over 70 in the UK. Drivers are required by law to renew their driving licence before their 70th birthday in order for it to remain valid. If you miss this window, you can still apply to renew it, but won’t be allowed to drive until you have done so. You also need to make sure to regularly renew it afterwards.
Drivers under the age of 70 are only required to renew their licence every 10 years, but this reduces to every three years once you reach the age of 70, meaning drivers in this age group need to stay on top of their renewals in order to remain on the road.
Driving without a valid licence is considered a serious offence, and can result in fines of up to £1,000 and your vehicle being seized. However, even if you are fined for driving without a licence, you can still apply to have it renewed.
How do I renew my driving licence?
Renewing your licence is free if you are 70 or over, or will be 70 in the next 90 days.
If you are turning 70, the DVLA should send you a D46P form around 90 days before your 70th birthday, or you can pick one up from your local post office. You can also complete this process online – or complete subsequent renewals every three years – at GOV.uk. Your replacement licence should arrive in a week or less.
To apply for your licence online, you’ll need an email address, addresses of where you’ve lived for the last three years, your National Insurance number (if you know it), and a valid UK passport number (if you want to change the licence photo).
There is no upper age limit for drivers, but when filling out the form to renew your licence you will be asked to disclose any medical conditions you might have. You will also need to confirm that you still meet the eyesight standards for driving. These include being able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres.
Don’t be tempted not to declare any health or eyesight issues you have, as this is a serious offence and you can be fined up to £1,000 if you’re found out. If you are involved in a crash and it’s discovered that you weren’t fit to drive at the time, you could be prosecuted.
Getting the right car insurance
Driving without a licence also invalidates your insurance policy, meaning you won’t be able to make a claim if you get into an accident.
If your car insurance is up for renewal soon, you can compare car insurance quotes from over 110 UK providers using the following tool to compare car insurance.
Don’t be tempted to automatically accept the quote offered by your existing provider. Insurance renewal premiums have a habit of increasing every year, even if you haven’t made a claim, so there is little reward for staying loyal to the same insurer. To keep costs low, it’s essential to shop around for cover. You can find out what happens to your car insurance premiums as you age in our guide What happens to car insurance premiums as you get older?
There may be other ways to reduce the cost of cover too, such as keeping your mileage down. You can find out more about these in our guide 10 practical tips to reduce your car insurance premiums..