Calls for mandatory driving test at 65 as petition launched

Senior Male Driver Looking Through Car Windscreen

Some new regulations may require drivers to retake their driving test at a later age. When they reach 65, older drivers are supposed to retake their driving exam, according to a plan. They do this to demonstrate that they are still a safe driving force.

On the website of the Parliament, requests for this change have begun to appear. “I would like the Government to require drivers to retake their driving at 65, if they want their driving licence to remain valid,” stated the person who initiated it.

“I travel a lot, and often see older drivers who I believe should not be driving.

“Some misuse turn signals, others appear to have sight issues.” They also said: “Reactions also worsen with age.”

Ten thousand signatures on this petition will force the government to respond. Should 100,000 signatures be obtained, Parliament may discuss the matter. Deniss Fomins filed the petition in February 2024, and it will remain active for a period of six months.

In actuality, though, you are spared from retaking the exam. You only have to notify the DVLA that you still wish to drive when you get close to 70. Driving doesn’t have to end because you get older.

About three months before your 70th birthday, the DVLA will send you a letter along with a form to complete. You can complete this online or fill it out and send it back.

Steve Gooding from the RAC Foundation doesn’t think we need to make drivers take their test again, but he does think they should check their eyes. He said: “One thing that would allow all drivers not just those at an arbitrary old age to help judge their fitness to drive would be compulsory eye tests when licences are renewed.”

The massive backlog of driving exams, which would make retesting older drivers challenging, has also been brought to the attention of AA President Edmund King. “It is very difficult for new drivers right now,” he stated. “There is a 500,000 [test] backlog in several places and there is a six-month delay.”

“If you then add in checks for older drivers, it really would set the calendar back by years.”

17 thoughts on “Calls for mandatory driving test at 65 as petition launched”

  1. And what would the standard for this proposed driving test be? Once drivers have passed the basic test they’re supposed to go on to practise and continually improve their driving. So would Mr Fomins expect those over 65 to take some kind of advanced test, or would he be happy with the basic ‘L’ test standard I wonder?

    1. If the proposer can come up with any statistics supporting his belief that drivers over 65 are more dangerous than those under 65, then that proposal can be considered. But if he’s just assuming that because they are old, then they must be dangerous then there is no need to look at this any further. How many fault accidents do over 65s have compared to under 65s in any given year. For me the eye test should be enough at age 70 and probably every 5 years after that.

  2. Absolutely no chance! Two huge reasons… older drivers are not statistically high risk according to insurance and DVSA can’t manage the standard L test so no chance adding more pressure!

  3. Mike winkles

    if the system slows down then employ more testers simple. With 500000 (backlog) how long is it going take the DVSA to figure that one out. This backlog has been going on for what seems like ever, l keep getting emails telling me that the DVSA are getting on top of it. haha haha my sides are hurting.

  4. Why only at 65. Why not everyone say every 10 years. I see a lot more BAD driving from 17//40. Year olds than I do from over 60 year olds.
    If your not prepared to resit after say 10 years. Then put up or shit up.

  5. Martyn Wright

    In this day and age I find Mr Fomins comments ageist. Ive just turned 65 and I’m a driving instructor Every single day I see appalling driving standards by other drivers all younger than 65. It wouldn’t bother me in the least to take a test and prove my competence. Since the age of 17 I’ve driven cars vans lorries mobile cranes diggers and dumpers and done advanced driving so I’ve got no problem with it. There will be many more fit and able people with similar experience so my message to mr Fomins is one day you will be 65 and will you be competent enough to take a retest ? Be careful what you wish for.

    1. chris lamport

      Martyn, as experienced drivers are you suggesting that we do the current driving test which is based on driving to the basic test which covers how to control a car along with safety and reversing technics? Advanced driving tests are somewhat different and do not follow the same rules. Had my RoSPA test last year and it doesn’t faze me. If I can’t get the prize of Gold,Silver or Bronze I’ll know then, it’s time for me to retire. My 50 years of driving is experience of covering over 2,500,000 in my lifetime.

  6. Nigel Cockayne

    Poor standards of driving would appear not to be related to the older generation alone. The driving techniques of some people I witness on a daily basis can only be described as dangerous. The vast majority of these poor drivers are not 65 plus in years. It therefore could be argued that every driver should be retested to ensure that their driver standards/attitudes are up to scratch. Although I believe this would be a good idea its not likely to become reality as there simply would not be the volume of examiners available to carry it out and I suspect a vote loser for any political party trying to implement it.

  7. I don’t think older drivers should have to retake there test but I do think everyone should have to take a refresher course every 10 years

  8. Retaking a driving test at 65years old will never happen. Where are you going to get all the driving examiners from, along with the extra test centres to work from. It does make me smile a little reading this, as I am an ADI working purely in the fleet company driver industry. I train a variety of drivers in defensive/advanced driver training. I am also just coming up to my 71st birthday. I guess they think I am passed it at my age!!!! Not the case though.

  9. Stewart Haskett

    I personally think that maybe doing a driving test at 65 might need a little more thought.
    At the moment the retirement age is 67 years old and probably going to increase.
    So it would probably result in people losing their jobs if they were unsuccessful.
    Also there isn’t enough driving examiners or instructors to cope at the moment so the effect
    on waiting lists for tests would be huge.

  10. Some people well over the age of 65 are still well able to drive competently but it does require
    a greater degree of concentration. It all harks back to when you first qualified, some just scrape
    through the test then just get steadily unsafe. Others take pride in there driving skills and go on
    to aspire to advanced levels. So not all old gits are a waste of space L.G.Lamb,Fairso,Ex Grade 6ADI.

  11. Paul Whitehead

    I think this is called discrimination. Why is it people are deemed unsafe because they are 65, when drivers between 17-25 cause most deaths? The simple solution would to order a re-test to anyone who drives badly whatever their age. When I go out after dark, It is never an old lady in a Honda Jazz driving up my arse, whilst smoking a joint and updating their Facebook status!

    ALSO – When will all these extra tests take place? We already have to wait 5 months to get a driving test!

  12. chris lamport

    As I’m at this age and as a fleet badge holder and 80% of my work is with those that have passed their driving tests some years past. I believe it should be an assessment by somebody holding the fleet badge and a current advanced certificate, such as RoSPA member and checked every 3 years and continue to achieve the Gold standard should be suffice to do the assessment. One forgets that there are over a million drivers with poor eyesight and this covers all ages. I assessed a 92 year old last November whose driving standards were far superior to somebody aged 40 as I did last week who I have suggested to his company that he isn’t safe to drive with poor standards and I hope he doesn’t have a serious accident and should be retrained. His company have taken on board his weaknesses and have booked me in to retrain him. There is too much fear thrown into this subject and driving examiners will only work on the frame as a new driver. This is unfair and as the DVSA can’t sort out our current issues they simply are not fit to conduct reassessments on my generation. Another statistic are van drivers. 10% are involved in accidents with a national fleet of 4 million vans (400,000+). There’s another area to look at and not blame the elderly drivers, who on the whole are responsible drivers. I for one now avoid driving in the dark because the lights are bright and vision is poor. I used to enjoy driving in the dark.

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