Renewing your driving licence at 70 years old – here’s all the information you need to know to remain driving – and stay legal

Are you approaching 70? If so, you will need to contact the DVLA to renew your driving licence if you want to carry on driving. Here’s all you need to know about how to renew and stay legal.

Speedometer approaching 70
Are you approaching 70? You’ll need to read this: Image credit
What happens when I reach 70?

All standard full licences will expire at the age of 70. You will need to apply to have it renewed if you want to keep driving. If your licence expires and you fail to apply to have it renewed, you will not be able to carry on driving.

Do I have to remember to contact the DVLA?

No. The DVLA will contact you 90 days before your 70th birthday. It will send a D46P application, which can be used to renew your licence. You can also use the DVLA’s online system to renew your permit.
It’s important you have the correct address on your licence, or you won’t receive the reminder – plus you’ll be risking a fine of up to £1,000. Find out how to change the address on your driving licence here.

Do I have to physically retake my test?

Not at all. The renewal process is relatively simple. You will however need to reach certain standards to be allowed to keep driving. These are as follows.
Eyesight requirement: Like any driver, you will need to meet the minimum eyesight requirement. These include the following standards of vision as defined by the DVLA.
You must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres.
You must also meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving by having a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) using both eyes together or, if you have sight in one eye only, in that eye.
You must also have an adequate field of vision – your optician can tell you about this and do a test.
Other standards will apply if you are renewing a licence to drive lorries and buses
Medical conditions: You must inform the DVLA if you are suffering from a range of medical conditions. Some of these could prevent you from getting a new licence. Find out about medical conditions that you must notify the DVLA about.
An example of conditions that the DVLA must be notified about are:
Diabetes – if it’s treated by insulin
Parkinson’s disease
Neurological condition, such as multiple sclerosis
Conditions that affects both eyes, or total loss of sight in one eye.
You must tell the DVLA about medical conditions as they develop and not just when you’re attempting to renew your licence.

How much will it cost to renew my licence?

There’s good news here – unlike most things in life – renewing your licence will be free.

Will I be able to keep my paper licence?

No. It will be swapped for a photocard licence.

Will I have to go through the bother of taking a photo and sending it in to the DVLA?

If you’ve got a valid passport and internet access, you can apply online and use the photo that’s on your passport for your new photocard. We’ll explain how to apply online below.

Renewing my licence with the D46P application form

The first method is by filling in the D46P form and returning it to the DVLA with your current licence. You can do this up to 90 days before your 70th.
If you have a photocard you will may need to include a passport-style photo – the form will let you know.
If you have a paper licence you will need to fill in the form and return it with your licence and a passport-style photo. This method can take several weeks.

Renewing my licence using the online system

To renew your licence online, you will need 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)
When you have all this to hand, simply head here and make your application.

Can I keep driving while the DVLA has my licence?

You can carry on driving while your renewal is processed, if you meet the following criteria as stated by the DVLA:
You have the support of your doctor to continue driving
You had a valid licence
You only drive under the conditions of the previous licence
Your application is less than a year old
Your last licence wasn’t revoked or refused for medical reasons
You’re not currently disqualified
You weren’t disqualified as a high risk offender on or after 1 June 2013

When will I next need to renew my driving licence

Once you reach the age of 70, you will then have to renew your driving licence every three years!

How to make sure your licence is up to date and legal. All the information you need is here

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12 comments for “Renewing your driving licence at 70 years old – here’s all the information you need to know to remain driving – and stay legal

  1. Philip says:

    I had a letter today to apply for a new licence so almost did it on line but stopped just before submitting as It referred to a car driving licence with no mention of my motorbike licence. I then decided to renew by post but still no mention. I then looked around on line and lots of people had their new licences and hadn’t even realised their motorbike licence wasn’t listed.
    I have spent dome time on line trying to find and answer but no one seems to know. Any ideas?

  2. Hilary Gostling says:

    I have to renew my driving license every three years (type 1 diabetes). I will only have held my current licence for two years when I turn 70. Do I still have to renew it on my 70th birthday, or can I wait until the date my current licence expires?

  3. John Driscoll says:

    I dont have a valid passport. Do i need to get one just to renew my licence

  4. Katrina says:

    I am 69 and have just renewed my licence as I got a reminder that said I have to renew it by November. I am 70 on January 2022 will I have to renew it again in January.

  5. Christopher Winter says:

    Dear Sir / Madam. Please could you tell me? When I renew my driving licence at 70 years old, will I still have the same categories on my new licence as I have on the expiring one?
    Thank you and Best Regards.
    Chris Winter.

  6. Christine Mudge says:

    I have mislaid my paper driving licence I am due anyway to get a new licence at 70 in November can I apply for over70 licence now I will I need to apply now then again in Nov how much will my new licence cost please

  7. Dinesh says:

    What If your GP is not giving medical report to DVLA, can I get privet medical report for DVLA ?

  8. GRAHAM CHEYNE says:

    I have attril fibrillation which I have declared to DVLA will I have to state this again whe I renew at 70.

  9. ida Neal says:

    I am trying to renew my driving licence on line and your form does not accept my post code or address. I have tried it several times with no luck. can you help and tell me what I am doing wrong.

  10. Chris Hankin says:

    Gosh, when I first got my full licence in 1968 and noticed that it ran until 2020, it seemed a lifetime away.
    How time flies. Wont be long before needing to reapply in order to keep driving.

    At least it won’t cost me anything. Phew!!!

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