Renewal at the age of 70 and after
- Drivers who took their test before 1 January 1997
This renewal can be crucial to your future camping as your licence includes Group 2 categories, C1 and C1E.
If you renew online or by using just the renewal form D46P that is sent with your DVLA reminder to renew 90 days before your 70th birthday you will only be able to renew your category B and BE licence (Group 1 licence categories) and not your Group 2 licence categories.
Categories B and BE will be retained automatically, which will be sufficient for most caravan users who wish to tow with a normal car not exceeding 3,500kg MAM and tow any caravan within the car's towing limit.
However, if you wish to drive a motorhome with a MAM over 3,500kg but not exceeding 7,500kg you will also need to retain your C1 category and also the C1E category to tow a trailer exceeding 750kg with such a vehicle up to a combined MAM of 8,250kg.
To retain these additional (Group 2) category rights it is necessary to apply by post or through the Post Office and higher medical standards apply. For this situation additional forms D2 and D4 have to be submitted to DVLA. Form D4 the medical examination report has to be completed by a doctor. The examination to complete form D4 is a driver's medical and is classed as a private appointment, you have to pay the practice's commercial rate.
Thereafter, your licence has to be renewed every three years and for Group 2 entitlements this means a D4 form has to accompany each renewal.
- Drivers with post 1 January 1997 licences
This renewal for drivers who haven't increased their licence categories beyond Group 1 is straightforward and can be undertaken online or by using form D46P which is sent to you with your DVLA reminder to renew 90 days before your 70th birthday. If you have taken an additional test to gain BE then this can also be renewed in a similar manner without any additional medical checks.
If you have gained any Group 2 category licences (C1, C , D etc) for medium and large vehicles then these renewals will have been triggered at an earlier age and by the age of 70 these categories will require annual renewals as distinct from the three yearly renewals prevailing for pre 1 January 1997 licence holders.
General tips for renewal of licences
- When renewing by post or at the Post Office retain a copy of your current licence showing your present entitlements as it has been known for certain entitlements to be inadvertently deleted by DVLA.
- When category B and BE licences are renewed it is with self-certification of medical competence. You have a duty to inform DVLA of any medical condition which may affect your driving and DVLA may issue your licence for lesser periods than normal. Full details of specific medical conditions and requirements are published by DVLA on their website.
- If renewing a driving licence on-line be sure to use the official website. There are several other websites which offer a check and send service, however, you can end up paying as much as three times the normal price for your driving licence.
- If you allow any Group 2 entitlements to lapse by not completing a medical they're not lost. DVLA has assured us that anyone wishing to reinstate lapsed categories such as C1 may do so but they must complete form D2 and have the medical to support the completion of form D4.
Some other restraints for safe and legal driving
- Driving licence requirements are not the only legislation you need to comply with. In particular you need to ensure you are driving and towing within the vehicle manufacturer's specification.
- There are regulations governing the dimensions of motor vehicles and trailers and these vary with the type of vehicle, hence your driving licence in restricting the class of vehicle you can drive may also affect the size of the trailer you can tow. In particular take care that non-European sourced outfits are UK legal.
- Ensure you do not exceed your vehicle's MAM nor individual axle weight limits - motorhome drivers need to take great care they don't overload their vehicle especially when carrying motorbikes or other heavy loads at the rear.
- Fifth-wheel owners must ensure their pick-up vehicle is adequate to take the fifth-wheel load on the back. In some cases the rear axle needs to be uprated and the vehicle replated.
- Vehicle towing limits should not be exceeded and remember vehicles will have a towing limit for unbraked trailers (which many small camping trailers are) and another limit for braked trailers.
- There are miscellaneous other matters to take into account to remain legal such as the use of towing mirrors, breakaway cables and towing brackets. The Club's Data Sheet (21) Safe for the Road - Safe on the Road covers these other legal matters and much more.
Even though you are legal to tow from the perspective of your driving licence and vehicle requirements, the Club's recommendations may well suggest an adjustment to your prospective towing outfit on the grounds of safety, particularly.
When towing for the first time. The Data Sheet (20) Matching Car and Caravan provides much useful information to ensure a good match.
- The Club's website has an online matching service for members known as Towsafe which can be accessed via the member log-in page at myccc.co.uk/towingmatch. Alternatively contact the Club's Technical Team on 02476 475282 or email email@example.com for more advice.
- It is also worth considering taking a Club manoeuvring course. They are held throughout the country and will provide you with a good grounding in towing safely and legally. Further information is available at myccc.co.uk/courses or call the Club on 02476 475426.
Camping and Caravanning Club website - see the technical pages of the help and advice section: www.myccc.co.uk/technicalhelp/
Club Technical helpline for members: 02476 475282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
DVLA and DVSA via their website - see driving - driving licences GOV.UK
How to Pass the Towing Test by Nigel Lea, published by Towing Solutions (available via amazon.co.uk)
The Club wishes to thank Barry Norris for his contribution to this Data Sheet.
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