The Law, and the DVLA

It’s always the driver’s responsibility to make sure they’re safe. It’s up to you to ensure you are driving within your capabilities and that your car is safe to drive.

Passport and Licence

Renewing your licence at 70

Around 90 days before you turn 70, the DVLA will send you a  D46P form to renew your licence for a maximum of three years. You need to declare on this form that you are still fit and able to drive safely, so it remains your responsibility to judge this. DVLA is currently very slow in renewing licences, read more if you can drive whilst applying or renewing in the section  a few paragraphs down below.

If you’re not confident you can make this judgement yourself, you can get professional advice from a Driving Mobility Centre.

You will have to renew your licence in this way every three years. You can either renew your licence in three ways:

  1. On line using the GOV.UK web site. Only use the GOV.UK website to renew your licence – Click here to go to this web site
  2. Renew using the D46P form sent you by the DVLA
  3. Renew by using a D1 form obtained from the Post Office

Click here to apply or renew your licence on line.

Please be aware there are many companies advertising on the internet, offering to renew your licence for you and charge you for this doing this. It is always best to do it yourself by applying directly using a D46P or D1 form from post office, or using the link above direct to the DVLA. Renewals at 70 are free of charge.

Can I drive while my application or renewal is with DVLA

Section 88 of The Road Traffic Act 1988 may allow you to continue driving even though you do not hold a current driving licence. In practice, this will be when you have applied to the DVLA to renew your licence, but the licence expires (runs out) whilst they are processing the application.

Click here to read a leaflet all about Section 88 and when and when you can’t drive, with some useful examples.

Question – I am over 70 years old and have sent my licence to the DVLA to renew my entitlement to drive. Can I carry on driving while my form is with you?

Answer – As soon as the DVLA receives your correct and complete application for a new licence and as long as you meet all the Section 88 criteria you may drive.

Section 88 Criteria:

  • You meet the medical standards of fitness to drive. If you have a medical condition and have been told not to drive by a doctor or healthcare professional, you should not do so. If your doctor or healthcare professional is unsure about how a medical condition affects driving, they should refer to ‘Assessing fitness to drive – a guide for medical professionals’ at
  • You have held a valid driving licence (see *below) and only drive vehicles you have applied for on your current application and were entitled to drive on your previous licence.
  • If you hold a Group 2 (bus or lorry) licence, your entitlement has not been suspended, revoked or refused by a traffic commissioner.
  • You meet any conditions that were specified on your previous licence that still apply.
  • DVLA has received your correct and complete application within the last 12 months.
  • Your last licence was not revoked or refused for medical reasons.
  • You are not currently disqualified from driving by a court.
  • You were not disqualified as a high risk offender on or after 1 June 2013 (a high risk offender is a driver convicted of a serious drink driving offence).

*this licence can be a full GB licence, a GB provisional licence, a European Community licence, a Northern Ireland licence, a British external/British Forces licence or an exchangeable licence.

Section 88 cover is valid until any of the following apply:

  • You receive your new driving licence, (as that will cover you to drive).
  • Your application is refused or licence revoked by DVLA. You will receive a letter from DVLA if this is the case.
  • Your application is more than a year old.
  • You have been disqualified from driving since your application was sent to the DVLA.

Notifiable Conditions

Notifiable medical conditions

Telling DVLA about a medical condition or disability

If you have a driving licence you must tell DVLA if:

  • you have a ‘notifiable’ medical condition or disability
  • your medical condition or disability has got worse since you first got your licence
  • you develop a new medical condition or disability

‘Notifiable’ medical conditions and disabilities include epilepsy, strokes and other neurological conditions, mental health problems, physical disabilities and visual impairments.

Click here to see the list of notifiable medical conditions

For additional advice regarding Eyesight and the use of Medicine and Drugs whilst Driving please visit our page on Eyesight and Medicines

For additional information on various Medical Conditions which may affect our ability to drive safely visit our page Medical Conditions

Surrendering your driving licence

There’s no legal age at which you must stop driving. You can decide when to stop, but medical conditions can affect your driving and might mean you have to give up your driving licence until you can meet the medical standards of fitness to drive again.

When you decide to stop driving or are advised by your doctor to stop you’ll need to tell DVLA and send them your licence.

You can download a ‘Declaration of Voluntary Surrender’ , click here to find out more about this

How do I contact the DVLA

Should you need further advice on your driving licence then you can contact the DVLA.

Click here to get the relevant contact details

Driving Minibuses at the age of 70 or Over

As we get older, many of us take up voluntary work, like driving minibuses to help others get around. Your standard licence will not cover you to do this when you renew your licence at 70, unless you renew your minibus entitlement.

If you’re 70 or over (or soon will be) and are renewing your driving licence, you need to:

You should send both forms to the address in section F of the D2.

  • When you are 70 years old, your ordinary driving licence will expire. If you want to carry on driving a car, you must renew your licence using the D2.
  • If you want to carry on driving a minibus, you must also pass a full PCV medical, the same as that for professional bus and lorry drivers. The form required is D4
  • If you have D1 entitlement you must apply to renew this – it doesn’t happen automatically at the age of 70. You need to pass a PCV medical before you renew so don’t leave it to the last minute. As above you will need to complete a D2 and D4 form
  • If you only have B entitlement you still need to pass a PCV medical if you want to carry on driving minibuses. Your new licence will show B(120) which means that you have met the higher medical standard for driving a minibus. But the other restrictions of driving with only B entitlement still apply.
  • Your licence needs to be renewed every three years and you will need a full medical each time using form D4.
  • If you only renew your car driving licence, without a full medical, your new licence will only show B entitlement. You are no longer licensed to drive a minibus. For this you must have either D1 or B(120).

Driving a Motorhome at the age of 70 or over

When you renew your licence at 70, many of the other entitlements to drive vehicles of other categories will be lost unless you apply for them.

If you use the standard renewal procedure your C1 entitlement will be suspended and you will no longer be able to drive motorhomes between 3,500kg and 7,500kg until you have passed a medical. 
Therefore, when you reach 70 you need to undertake a D4 medical examination to renew your C1 licence to drive motorhomes and other vehicles over 3.5 tonne.

If you’re 70 or over (or soon will be) and are renewing your driving licence and want to keep the C1 on your licence you need to:

Medically restricted licences: Don’t lose your minibus entitlement!

  • If you have certain medical conditions the DVLA may issue you with a
    medically restricted licence.
  • If you have D1 (101) or D1 79 (NFHR) entitlement, when you first renew
    your medically restricted licence you will lose the D1 unless you specifically
    ask to renew it and have passed a PCV medical (the same medical as for professional bus and lorry drivers). You should not need to take another
    medical until you reach the age of 70 – the D1 79 (NFHR) should renew
    automatically until then.
  • Always check your new licence when you receive it – are the correct
    entitlements shown?
  • If your medical condition changes you must inform DVLA.

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