Driving after 70 – what you need to know

26 April 2023

An image of a tractor driving down a busy road

How and when do you need to renew your driving licence? The NFU's expert team explains what the law says on renewing your licence after the age of 70.

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 DVLA will write regarding the renewal of a licence 90 days your 70th birthday. The procedure for renewing a driving licence is similar regardless of whether it is a photocard or paper licence.

Renewing your 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.

Medical examination

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, such as those driven under the C1 category, 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.

Essential information

  • Driving licences last until you're 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 GOV.UK | Renew your licence if you're 70 or over, 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
  • NFU Members can also seek further advice by calling NFU CallFirst on 0370 845 8458.

Which vehicles can I drive?

The date 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.

Ask us a question about this page

Once you have submitted your query someone from NFU CallFirst will contact you. If needed, your query will then be passed to the appropriate NFU policy team.

You have 0 characters remaining.

By completing the form with your details on this page, you are agreeing to have this information sent to the NFU for the purposes of contacting you regarding your enquiry. Please take time to read the NFU’s Privacy Policy if you require further information.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.