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Can I drive a motorhome at 70?

If you just turned 70, happy birthday, and congratulations! 

Throughout seven decades, you’ve likely made wonderful memories with friends and family, turned 18, 21, 30, 50 and hit many milestones to be proud of. 

Unlike reaching the legal drinking age, turning 70 may not change your life drastically. However, it does affect some of your driving permissions. You may have to fill out more forms to keep hitting the tarmac in your motorhome!

Are there any age restrictions on driving?

UK laws state that once you’ve celebrated your 70th birthday, you must renew your driving licence every three years.

It’s a legal requirement that doesn’t discriminate against vehicle preference: car, motorcycle and motorhome drivers over 70 will all need to go through the renewal process on a three-year basis. 

The good news is that there is no upper age limit! So long as you meet minimum eyesight requirements and have no medical conditions that affect your driving ability, you can hit the road whenever you like.

How will I know when to renew my licence?

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will give you a heads-up three months before your 70th via a letter in the post: this is your cue to start the renewal process! We recommend keeping a close eye on your letters to ensure that it doesn’t go missing. 

Remember, your licence will automatically expire once the big day is over! You can renew by completing the required forms and sending them via the post or filling them out online. Once processed by the DVLA, you can keep driving your motorhome in peace. 

But what are the forms in question?

What is a D46P application?

The D46P form is for drivers who do not want to keep their C1 entitlement (the type of licence that allows you to drive vehicles with a maximum load between 3,500-7,500kg). 

By filling out the form and sending it to the DVLA, your legal entitlement to drive a motorhome will be revoked.

What are forms D2 and D4?

However, if you’re still in love with campervans and recreational vehicles, forms D2 and D4 will get you back on the road. 

If you have a C1 (medium-sized vehicles) or D1 (minibus) entitlement on your licence, you cannot renew it online; you must do it by post. For this, you’ll need to complete both forms in person. 

The D2 form is where you apply, while the D4 form must be filled out by a doctor after a medical examination.

How often do I have to renew my licence when I reach 70?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, once you turn 70, the requirement to renew your driving licence kicks in every three years. 

It’s not to make your life more difficult (although it may seem like it). These frequent renewals ensure you still meet the necessary driving and health standards as you age. You’re not required to pay any charges, and the process is relatively straightforward.

What are Grandfather Rights?

While turning 70 means more frequent renewals, you may be entitled to ‘Grandfather Rights’. 

Grandfather Rights are provisions that automatically entitle drivers who held their licence before the 1st of January 1997 to a C1 or C1E license. You’ll still need to undergo a medical assessment (and renew every three years), but the process may be quicker. 

If Grandfather Rights apply to you, you are also entitled to the following license categories: 

  • Category B: Vehicles up to 3,500kg, with a trailer up to a MAM of 750kg
  • Category B+E: Vehicles up to 3,500kg but with a trailer heavier than 750kg
  • Category C1: Vehicles between 3,500kg and 7,500kg with a trailer up to a MAM of 750kg.
  • Category C1E(107): Vehicles between 3,500kg and 7,500kg with a trailer over 750kg. However, the total weight of the vehicle and trailer must not exceed 8,250kg.

If you passed your test after the 1st of January 1997, we’re sorry to say that you missed out by a margin: you’ll only be entitled to vehicles in the B and B1 categories.

Can you drive while your application is with the DVLA?

Yes, you can continue driving while the DVLA processes your licence renewal application, provided you meet certain conditions. 

These include having the support of your doctor to continue driving, having a valid licence, and driving only under the conditions of the previous licence. Your application should also be less than a year old, and your last licence should not have been revoked or refused for medical reasons.

Are there any over 70 driving licence restrictions and limitations?

The part most crucial to a successful renewal is meeting the government’s required medical standards, and one of the primary focuses is on eyesight. 

According to GOV.UK’s guidelines on driving eyesight, you must be able to read a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from a distance of 20 metres.

You must also meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving by having a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale. An optician can conduct this test and tell you more about your field of vision.

If, between turning 70 and renewing your license, you have developed any medical conditions or disabilities that could hinder your driving ability, you are legally required to inform the DVLA. Notifiable conditions include but are not limited to:

  • Diabetes or taking insulin
  • Syncope (fainting)
  • Heart conditions (including atrial fibrillation and pacemakers)
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Epilepsy
  • Strokes
  • Glaucoma

Failing to inform the DVLA could result in a heft £1,000 fine, and if you have any accidents while driving without approval from a GP, you could be prosecuted.

Renewed your license? Celebrate with Melling Motorhomes!

Successfully renewing your C1 license at 70 years old is a big accomplishment. It shows you’re an excellent driver in great health who should be more than ready to get back behind the wheel. 

Celebrate your milestone by travelling with loved ones in a vehicle from Melling Motorhomes. Enjoy a road trip with cutting-edge amenities, luxurious sleeping spaces and fully-stocked kitchenettes. 

No party is too large: we offer 2-berth, 4-berth, 5-berth 6-berth motorhomes for all your friends and family.


Do I lose my C1 licence at 70?

No, you don’t automatically lose your C1 licence at 70, but you will need to renew it and may require a medical examination.

How much does it cost to renew my licence at 70?

The renewal process for your driving licence at 70 is free of charge. There are no hidden fees or charges involved in the standard renewal process.

Do I need a doctor’s note to renew my driving licence at 70?

A doctor’s note is not generally required for the standard renewal process.

However, if you wish to continue driving medium-sized vehicles or minibuses, a medical examination is necessary, and a doctor must fill out a D4 form.