Licensing requirements for over 70s

Image of MotorhomeEven though you may be a perfectly safe driver, if you are over the age of 70 it’s worth scrubbing up on your knowledge of the law as certain elements may affect you.

Driving gives many people the independence to go wherever they please no matter how old, and no one wants to loose that! This is probably why the amount of over 70s on the road is increasing and by the time 2030 comes, the roads will have 90% of men over 70 behind the wheel.

However, under the law, once you reach the age of 70 you will need to renew your driving licence yet using the standard renewal procedure this will mean you will lose your C1 entitlement. You can use the Gov.uk website to renew your licence as long as your fit these requirements:

• If your licence is about to expire or is going to expire within 90 days
• You meet the minimum eyesight requirement
• You aren’t prevented from driving for any reason

At the age of 70 you have to renew your licence every 3 years however you are able to carry on driving while your licence is being renewed as long as:

• Your doctor agrees that you can continue driving
• You drive under the conditions of the previous licence
• You are not disqualified
• Your last licence wasn’t revoked or refused for medial reasons
• Your application is less than a year old
• You had a valid licence
• You weren’t disqualified as a high risk offender on or after 1 June 2013

You are not able to use the online service on the Gov.uk website to renew your C1 entitlements; this must be completed by post. If you are over the age of 45 your B, C and C1 licence must be renewed every 5 years and once you reach 65 it should be renewed every year. The DVLA will send two forms 56 days before the licence runs out. These forms include an ‘application for renewal of lorry and bus entitlement’ form (D47P) and a ‘medial examination report’ form (D4).

Licence Definitions

Category B

This category allows you to drive vehicles with a maximum authorized mass (MAM) of up to 3500kg, with 8 seats for passengers and a trailer no heavier than 750kg. If you want to tow a trailer heavier than 750kg then you will need a category B+E on your licence.

With this category on your licence it is possible to tow a trailer heavier than 750kg as long as the MAM of the trailer and vehicle together is no bigger than 3500kg and the trailer must be lighter than the vehicle towing it.

Category C1

If you drive a motorhome with a maximum authorized mass (MAM) of between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes with a trailer up to 750kg you must have a licence that shows category C1. If the trailer is heavier than 750 kg you will need category C1+E.

Category C

If your vehicle has a MAM of above 7.5 tonnes then category C is required on your licence. You are able to tow a trailer that is no heavier than 750kg however to tow a trailer heavier than that you will need category C+E.

If you passed your test before 1996 and are under the age of 70 then you will have a C1 license however at 71 you will have to take the test again. If you took your test after 1997 then you have to take a test to get a C1 licence.

Top Tip:
• Vehicles and trailers have different number plates so in the event of an accident you must ensure you get the other driver’s car registration as well as their trailer registration.
• Each country has different laws on the towing of A frames which is why it’s always a good idea to research what is legal for the country you are planning on driving in before heading off.

Facts

• Between 1974 and 2014, the population of over 65s increased by 47%.
• 8% of the population was over 75 in 2014.
• Over 50% of drivers over the age of 75 say they are more cautious when driving and leave more space between cars. Some tend to avoid heavy traffic and long journeys.