Over 70s Driving licence guide
Whether you’re holidaying in the UK or heading further afield, if you’re over the age of 70, or approaching the big milestone, you will need to check that you are road legal as additional laws come into effect. These laws don’t affect other road users, so brushing up on your legal knowledge and making sure everything is squeaky clean will ensure you can carry on enjoying your motorhome for years to come.
What are the over 70 driving licence restrictions?
Renewing your licence
In the UK, the laws change for drivers 70 or over when you will need to renew your driving licence using the standard procedure. This does, however, mean you lose your C1 entitlement but the good news is renewing your licence is free of charge and can be completed via the Gov.uk website but the following requirements will apply:
- 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
To renew online you’re going to need:
- an email address
- addresses of where you’ve lived for the last 3 years
- your National Insurance number (if you know it)
- a valid UK passport number (if you want to change the licence photo)
At the age of 70 you must renew your licence every 3 years but 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 medical 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
How to renew your C1 entitlement
Unfortunately, you are not able to use the online service on the Gov.uk website to renew your C1 entitlement; 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 70 every 3 years along with renewing your licence.
The DVLA require two forms; an ‘application for renewal of lorry and bus entitlement’ form (D47P) and a ‘medical examination report’ form (D4). These will be sent to you before your driving licence expires. If you haven’t received any documents in the post, you can order the D2/D4 via the gov.uk website. With reports of longer wait times and delays due to a back log and staffing issues this is something to bear in mind.
To complete the form, you are going to need a doctor to complete the medical examination report (form D4). You can ask an optometrist or an optician to fill in the vision assessment section if your doctor cannot complete the full report. This is to check that your eyesight meets the minimum requirements for driving on the road. If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses to meet the minimum eyesight requirements, then your renewed licence will have a ‘01’ code on the back, which means you must always wear them when behind the wheel. This is important because if you have an accident and you’re not wearing your glasses or contact lenses, there’s a good chance your insurance will be invalid.
You will also need to inform DVLA of any health issues you may have, even pre-existing ones that have worsened since you last renewed your licence. These are known as notifiable medical conditions and include:
- Heart conditions
- Parkinson’s Disease
Once you’ve notified DVLA of any medical conditions, the agency aim to get back to you within six weeks to let you know whether you have been declared as roadworthy. During this time, you will still legally be able to drive as normal.
Category B – if you passed your test before 1 January 1997
You’re allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg maximum authorised mass (MAM). You can also drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM.
Category B – if you passed your test on or after 1 January 1997
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 if the MAM of the trailer and vehicle together is no bigger than 3500kg and the trailer must be lighter than the vehicle towing it.
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.
If your vehicle has a MAM of above 7.5 tonnes, then category C is required on your licence. You can 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 must take a test to get a C1 licence.
- 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 to drive in prior to heading off.
We’ve got you covered
At Comfort Insurance, we’ve helped thousands by providing specialist motorhome and campervan cover for over 30 years. To find out more why not get an online quote or give us a call on 0208 984 0666 to speak to our friendly team today.
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We’re a family run business with over 30 years' experience in the provision of specialist motorhome and campervan insurance. With a wealth of awards under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing a friendly and professional service, offering you the most comprehensive cover money can buy - starting from just £220!
We’re a family run business with over 30 years' experience in the provision of specialist motorhome and campervan insurance. With a wealth of awards under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing a friendly and professional service, offering you the most comprehensive cover money can buy - starting from just £200!