Driving licence renewal age could rise from 70 to 80

Currently drivers in Britain are required to renew their licence for free upon reaching the age 70.

This, however, is according to the Department of Transport putting great strain on the Driver Vehicle Licence Agency (DVLA). They report that the DVLA is presently struggling to keep up with the volume of renewals sent in.

The process of renewing your driving licence from aged 70 requires details about current eyesight and any medical conditions that can impede driving.

Research figures published by the RAC Foundation from September 2013 revealed that there are over four million drivers aged over 70 in Britain. This includes nearly 200 drivers which are aged over 100 years old.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has also recently reported that as many as one in five UK drivers are aged over 65.

With the current number of drivers renewing their licence upon reaching 70, the DVLA is now receiving around half a million items of medical mail per year. Processing all this mail is believed to be taking a substantial chunk out of the DVLA’s resources.

Taking all this into account, the Department of Transport has concluded that increasing the age of renewal to 80 will significantly ease the burden off the DVLA.

A DfT official, Mary Reilly, commented: "Early analysis of information held by DVLA suggests this could be introduced with little or no impact on road safety."

The Department of Transport also points to research figures which reveal that people over the age of 70 now account for nine per cent of all UK motorists. Yet they only cause six per cent of casualties.

Furthermore, research from IAM reports that drivers aged 65 or over are among the safest on the road. Out of all current UK drivers in this age group, just five per cent have penalty points on their licence. Just three per cent of drivers aged over 80 have points on their licence.

In contrast 10 per cent of UK drivers aged 42 have points on their licence, making this the age group the most likely to have points.

It has been suggested therefore by the Department of Transport that increasing the driver’s renewal age to eighty could have little to no impact on road safety.