How to renew your Driving Licence at 70

Elderly man sat outside using tablet and laptop at table

Before you celebrate achieving this milestone birthday (previously considered to be ‘a good innings’ only a few decades ago!), you should apply to renew driving licence before your existing licence expires on your 70th birthday.

Renewing driving licence at 70 has been a legal requirement in the UK since 1976 and once you successfully renew driving licence at 70, you are then required to continue renewing driving licence every three years.

So if you renew your licence at 70, you will need to reapply to renew your licence again at 73, 76, 79 and so on.

If you fail to apply to renew your licence before the mandatory renewal driving age UK of 70, you could receive a penalty fine of £1,000 and invalidate your car insurance.

In this guide we explain:

  • how to apply online at: www.gov.uk/renew-driving-licence-at-70 form or how to apply by post
  • the information and documents you will need for your application
  • how to avoid being ripped off and renew your licence for free
  • the types of medical conditions you need to declare to the DVLA
  • the rules on driving if your licence expires before a new one is issued

How to renew driving licence DVLA

There are two ways in which you can apply for a driving licence renewal over 70:

Online

If you regularly apply or shop for stuff on the internet, by far the easiest and quickest way to apply to renew your licence is online. But if you’re a technophobe, perhaps you could ask a kindly relative or friend to help you do this?

To renew your licence online visit gov.uk/renew-driving-licence-at-70 and if you haven’t already got one, you will be prompted to create a Government Gateway ID which provides a secure online account for using online government services.

Once you have created and verified your Government Gateway ID, you will need the following information to hand to complete your application online:

  • Last three years’ addresses
  • Email address
  • National Insurance Number
  • Valid UK Passport*

* Unfortunately, if you do not possess a valid UK Passport, then you cannot renew your licence online and will instead have to apply by post and send a passport-sized photograph with your application.

By post

90 days before your 70th birthday, DVLA should send to you in the post a form D46P.

If you do not receive a D46P, you can instead request a form D1 online or collect a form D1 from a main Post Office branch.

To find out your nearest post office branch where you can collect a form D1, click the following link ‘Post Office branch’ to go to the Post Office website. In the space provided, enter your postcode, town or street name where you live. Then click on ‘Branch services’ which will bring up a dropdown list. Next, on the dropdown list of options click on ‘Driving’ (NOT ‘Licence Applications’) and tick/click in the box to the right of ‘DVLA Photocard Renewal’. Then scroll down and click ‘Apply Filters’ and then click the ‘search’ button. This will then reveal your nearest post office branches where you can collect a form D1 from.

The Post Office does not deal with driving licence renewals for 70-year-olds so a paper application can only be sent to DVLA by post.

Once you have fully completed your form D46P or D1, you should then send this to DVLA Swansea SA99 1AA together with an up-to-date passport size photo (if required) and if you have one, your existing photocard driving licence (cut in half).

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How much to renew driving licence?

There is no fee payable to DVLA to renew your driving licence over 70; it’s completely free. The only expenditure you may have to incur is the nominal cost of obtaining a passport-sized photograph.

 IMPORTANT: DO NOT use online firms purporting to offer a so-called checking and renewal service, (similar to the one provided by the Post Office for all other types of driving licence renewal applications that are not for the over 70s). As reported by Which?, there are lots of unscrupulous firms charging £50 or more for providing an almost identical service to the service provided by the DVLA, except the DVLA’s service is completely free of charge! So don’t waste your money and instead ask a friend or relative to help you

You might like to read: How to help prevent keyless car theft

What medical conditions will affect my renewal application or ability to drive?

Medical conditions or disabilities you are legally obliged to notify the DVLA about and which can affect your renewal and eligibility to drive can include (click the links for more detailed information):

  • Diabetes requiring insulin (or without insulin if your doctor says you should tell DVLA)
  • Heart conditions where you’ve had to have an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) or a pacemaker
  • Strokes (cerebrovascular accident)
  • Glaucoma or an eye condition that affects your sight in both eyes (or only one eye if you only have eyesight in one eye) and YOU  MUST be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away
  • Dementia
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Syncope (blackouts, fainting or loss of consciousness)
  • Neurological conditions like epilepsy or multiple sclerosis
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS), narcolepsy, cataplexy or any other sleep condition, even if the condition is considered ‘mild’

The above list is by no means exhaustive and to fully check whether you have a notifiable health condition, you can either use DVLA’s online medical condition checking service or take a look at DVLA’s full A to Z list of conditions.

Note: Don’t forget to declare any health conditions to your insurer to avoid invalidating your insurance.

If you are struggling to decide whether you have a notifiable medical condition or have any queries, you should contact ‘DVLA Medical Enquiries by:

  • Telephone on 0300 790 6806
  • Email
  • Webchat (although this service is currently unavailable due to Covid safety measures)

Once you have notified DVLA about a medical condition, they may:

  • Contact your GP or your hospital consultant for further information, or might arrange for a doctor or specialist to examine you
  • Request that you take an eyesight test, driving assessment or appraisal

 IMPORTANT: If you do not declare a medical condition to DVLA as soon as you become aware of one or tell them that an existing medical condition has worsened, you could be fined £1,000. If you subsequently suffer any notifiable medical conditions or disabilities after you have applied to renew your licence, you must still notify DVLA about any new medical conditions online straight away. If you don’t want to apply online, you should click on the relevant link in the ‘A to Z of medical conditions’ to download the relevant application form for that particular illness.

If you live in Northern Ireland, visit the government’s NI Direct site for full details of notifiable medical conditions in Northern Ireland.

My photocard driving licence expired can still drive?

Yes, under Section 88 of The Road Traffic Act 1988 you can still drive if you submitted your renewal application to the DVLA before the expiration of your licence and if you meet the following criteria:

  • Your doctor has told you that you are fit to drive as per the government’s guidelines for medical professionals
  • You have held a valid UK driving licence and will only drive vehicles you have applied for or were entitled to drive as per your previous licence
  • You meet all conditions as specified on your previous licence (as applicable)
  • Your accurately correct and complete application for renewal to the DVLA is less than one year old
  • Your previous licence wasn’t revoked or refused due to medical issues
  • You are not disqualified from driving or were not convicted of a serious drink driving offence on or after 1 June 2013 leading to disqualification

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