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Renew Your Motorhome Driving Licence If You Are 70 Or Over
A motorhome offers the perfect escape for anyone who likes to get away from the daily grind at every available opportunity. You can simply pack up, hit the road and see where your journey takes you – ideal if you’ve recently retired and want to spend all that extra free time exploring the world.
But if you’re approaching your 70th birthday, there are some additional rules you need to be aware of to make sure you remain legally able to drive, such as renewing your driving licence and informing your insurer about any medical conditions.
Here’s all you need to know about renewing your licence and driving a motorhome after 70.
What are the over 70 driving licence restrictions?
It’s a common assumption that passing your driving test and getting your full licence, means you’re set for a lifetime of driving. You must renew a photocard licence every 10 years – you’ll receive a reminder before your current licence ends. Your licence will then expire on your 70th birthday, at which point you’ll need to renew it, then remember to do so every three years thereafter.
If you don’t renew your driving licence, not only does this mean you’re not legally allowed to drive, it also means your car insurance will no longer be valid. This could see you on the receiving end of a big fine and, if the worst does happen and you crash your car or motorhome, you’ll have to foot the repair bills for all parties involved in the accident, and cover the cost of any personal injury claims.
But an expired licence isn’t the only thing you’ll need to worry about as you leave your 60s. There are a number of other over 70 driving licence restrictions, including having to confirm your eyesight meets the minimum requirements, which you’ll need to prove in the time-honoured tradition of reading a car number plate from a distance of 20 metres away, wearing your usual glasses or contact lenses if necessary.
If you do 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. If you have an accident in your car and you’re not wearing your glasses or contact lenses, there’s a good chance your insurance will be invalid, meaning you won’t be able to claim for the damage.
You’ll 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
Any other neurological and mental health conditions or any physical or visual impairments will also have to be declared, and you’ll also have to notify your motorhome insurance company
Once you’ve notified DVLA of any medical conditions, the agency will get back to you within six weeks to let you know whether you have been declared as roadworthy. During this time you’ll still legally be able to drive as normal, though your doctor or consultant may be asked to arrange an examination for you, or you may be asked to take a driving assessment or test, or an eyesight test.
If you fail to tell the DVLA about any medical conditions and continue to drive, then your driving licence will be invalidated, along with your car insurance, and you could also face a fine of up to £1,000.
How to renew your driving licence when over 70
The good news is that you can renew your licence completely free of charge once you’re over 70.
The simplest way to renew your licence is online, by going direct to DVLA, which you can do up to 90 days before your 70th birthday. If you’ve already registered with the DVLA website before, you’ll need to log in using your usual details. If not, you’ll need to register by providing the following:
- 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)
Once you’ve applied, DVLA will send you a confirmation email and you’ll then just have to wait for your new licence to be processed. During this time, you can still legally drive as normal provided there is no legal or medical reason stopping you.
Do you need a special licence to drive a motorhome?
If you’re wondering can you drive a motorhome on a car licence, then you can depending upon your age and the vehicle’s maximum authorised mass (MAM), which is its weight plus the maximum load it can carry.
To drive a motorhome which has a MAM of between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, you need a category C1 licence. If you passed your driving test before January 1 1997, your licence should include category vehicles. If not, you won’t be able to drive a motorhome that exceeds 3.5 tonnes.
If you have a motorhome that exceeds the 7.5 tonne limit, you’ll need a category C (HGV) licence. If your motorhome falls into this category, then it’s vital you get the category C licence as not doing so will mean your insurance is invalidated.
To find out more on motorhome license definitions read this post.
How to make sure your motorhome is fully insured
Regardless of which side of your 70th birthday you are on, it’s vital to make sure your caravan or motorhome is fully insured and you’re covered whether it’s being kept on the drive or driving around Europe.
To find the right policy to suit your needs, give our insurance experts a call on 0800 0304 206 – our unrivaled choice of policies is what helps 93% of our customers rate our service as ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot with a customer satisfaction score of 9.7 out of 10.*
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