House of Commons Library

Older drivers

Published Wednesday, January 11, 2017

This paper describes the licencing and medical fitness rules for drivers over the age of 70, and summarises recent Government statements on older drivers and the recommendations of the Older Drivers Task Force.

Jump to full report >>

Driver licensing rules in the UK ultimately derive from the EU. It is as yet unclear what the impact of Brexit might be on driver licensing and testing: it seems likely that the UK would adopt a system compatible with that across the EU in order to retain the benefits of mutual recognition.

For at least the last ten years there have been stories in the media about possible changes to the licensing and/or testing requirements for older drivers. However, despite the speculation, there have been no recent changes to the requirements for older drivers.

Since the 2015 General Election the Government has published a road safety statement and a motoring services strategy, both of which referred to the need to support older drivers and ensure that they are safe. The independent Older Drivers Task Force reported in July 2016. The Government is currently considering its recommendations, which included:

  • the automatic requirement for drivers to notify the DVLA at age 70 of any medical condition that may affect safe driving should be raised to 75;
  • DVLA should require evidence of an eyesight test at age 75 and encourage vision checks every two years, particularly from age 60; and
  • the Government should support an evaluation of driving appraisal courses offered by the public sector and those in the private sector who wish to participate.

Information on associated matters involving driver licensing and fitness to drive can be found on the Roads Topical Page of the Parliament website.

Commons Briefing papers SN00409

Author: Louise Butcher

Topics: Older people, Roads

Share this page

Stay up to date

  • Subscribe to RSS feed Subscribe to Email alerts Commons Briefing papers

House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.