Renewing our driving licence is something we must all do, and whereas we don’t have to carry out a test, there is a medical that is required to ensure that we are fit enough to drive, or if any restrictions should be implemented do our a medical condition, and that fact is the case whatever our age, the only difference being the older we get, the more frequently we must be checked, and it is that part which is changing for older drivers.
The DGT has persistently stated that mobility is important, whatever our age, and so they have no intention to withdraw that luxury, but driving has to be done in the safest way possible.
At the moment, we are all obliged to carry out the psychotechnical examination every 10 years until the age of 65, at which time we must begin to renew it every 5 years. Both those timeframes can be reduced if the doctor feels it necessary.
However, from now on, people who are over 70 years old, they will see an increase in the frequency with which they must renew this permit with the aim of “ensuring that the ability to drive remains intact”. Therefore, those over 65 must renew their driver’s licence every 5 years and, from the age of 70, every two years. Although, like now, it is at the discretion of those responsible for carrying out the psychotechnical test, who can force an annual examination, if appropriate.
According to Pere Navarro, General Director of Traffic, “now from the age of 65 you renew for five years. But extending the card to someone who is 90 seems strange. Therefore, those people who are over 65 and wish to renew their driving licence will have to provide an official application form, the DNI, an updated photograph and a psychophysical aptitude report.
A change that is supported by the deputy director of Road Education and Training, María José Aparicio, who affirms that although those over 65 only represent 10% of drivers, one in three fatalities in traffic incidents in the European Union are in this age group. Likewise, in the case of Spain, the percentage rises to 28%.
There are other reports which suggest that younger drivers pose a higher risk on the road, in particular those under 25, but this change is offered as a means of protection for older drivers, who, whether we like it or not, suffer from decline in our health at a much faster rate, hence the need to be checked by a doctor who can confirm that we are still very capable, and can therefore continue to drive, or not, as the case might be.