Minister for State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD has announced that from Monday 21 February 2022, the age at which an applicant for a driving licence must supply a medical report will increase from 70 to 75.
Drivers under 75 will no longer have to supply a medical report confirming their fitness to drive unless they have an identified or specified illness or are required to do so by law.
Driving licences will remain free to those aged 70 or over. In addition, drivers aged 70 and over may continue to apply by post to renew a licence or learner permit. The RSA believe that between February and August this year, there will be in the region of 15,000 applications a month from people aged 70 or over. About one-third of these applications will be made by post.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the requirement for people aged 70 and over to provide a medical report was temporarily suspended, to comply with social distancing and to help address increased pressures on medical services.
Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton TD said: “People who are 70 years of age or over can now apply for, and renew, their driving licence without the need to submit a medical report, on the condition that they do not have an identified or specified illness. Drivers up to the age of 75 can simply renew their license or learner permit in person, by post or online at ndls.ie at their convenience.”
Supporting this change, Professor Desmond O’Neill, National Office for Traffic Medicine commented: “This change is welcome in terms of recognising that older drivers are an exceptionally responsible group of drivers. In addition, the change is supported by international research indicating that routine medical screening of older drivers is not only ineffective but may actually unintentionally increase injury and death among older people as pedestrians. The change in the age limit is supported by a range of supports for older drivers and healthcare professionals in terms of comprehensive guidelines on medical fitness to drive, Sláinte Agus Tiomáint, which are updated annually as well as a range of educational resources for the public and professionals”.