Driving after 70 - what you need to know

Tractor on road_9814NFU farm safety adviser Thomas Price explains how and when to renew a driving licence. He writes:

If you are approaching 70 you will need to take action to continue to drive legally, both on the farm and on the road. The good news is that you should still be able to drive farm vehicles and the renewal process is fairly swift and simple and, most importantly, free.

The not-so-good news is that there is some form filling to be done... and you might need to have your photo taken again.

You may be tempted not to renew your licence and carry on regardless. I can only stress to you that this is against the law and you could face a fine of up to £1,000 and up to six penalty points if you are caught driving a vehicle without a licence. It’s simply not worth the risk.

So, how do you renew your driving licence?

If you have a photocard licence then just fill in the form you received in the post and return it to the DVLA together with your current photocard driving licence.

If you have an older style paper licence then the process is very similar. Fill in the form and return it to the DVLA with your current licence and a passport type photo and an original document giving proof of your identity.

This could be your passport or the letter you received confirming your entitlement to a state pension. It must be an original and the DVLA will send this back to you when they have processed your application.

You will not need to take a medical examination to continue driving agricultural or forestry vehicles or vehicles that weigh up to 3.5 tonnes with a trailer over 750kg. However, you will need to make a self-assessment of your fitness to drive.

This means declaring any conditions which could affect your ability to drive such as visual impairments, epilepsy or strokes. To drive other types of vehicles you will need to pass a medical test and

an eyesight test. Drivers holding a category B+E licence before their licence expired at age 70 can continue to drive a vehicle weighing up to 3.5 tonnes with a trailer up to a maximum combination weight limit of 8.25 tonnes, once renewed.


  • Driving licences last until your are aged 70 when they become renewable every three years
  • The DVLA will write to you 90 days before your 70th birthday. The letter will include an application form
  • You can renew your licence at www.gov.uk/renew-drivinglicence-at-70 or by post
  • You can also get the application form by calling the DVLA on 0300 790 6801 or asking at your local post office
  • There is no charge to renew a licence
  • Find more information at www.gov.uk or NFU CallFirst on 0370 845 8458.


When you passed your driving test affects what type of vehicle you can drive. If you took your car test before 1 January 1997 you will normally be able to drive the following category vehicles. Those who took their test after this should contact NFU CallFirst for advice.

Category B

• Vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes

• With a trailer which is no more than 750kg

• With a trailer over 750kg as along as the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer is no more than 3.5 tonnes.

Category B+E

• Vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes with a trailer over 750kg

• Please note the trailer towed must be within the capacity of the towing vehicle.

Category CI

• Vehicles over 3.5 tonnes up to 7.5 tonnes with a trailer no more than 750kg.

Category CI+E

• Vehicles over 3.5 tonnes up to 7.5 tonnes with a trailer over 750kg. Please note that the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer in this category can be no more than 8.25 tonnes.

Category F

• Agricultural or forestry tractors.

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  • Posted by: AndyTatePosted on: 24/03/2017 11:55:34

    Comment: Keep a photocopy of your old licence that shows the categories you are entitled to drive. If you passed before 1997 and want to keep the extra categories (7.5 tonne goods like horsebox, or motorbikes maybe) then make sure you request this on the form and for C1 goods you will have to supply a relevant medical certificate as well. There are reports about people renewing at 70 and then noticing on their new licence they had lost their motorbike (A) category and had trouble getting it back as they had to prove they had it to the DVLA (hence photocopy).