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Licence renewal for drivers aged 65-plus to change from next year
Friday, June 17, 2022 @ 4:07 PM

CHANGES are afoot in driving licence renewal for the 65-plus age group in Spain, which could come into effect next year.

The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) has not given firm details, but it is likely that, from 2023, the five-year validity will reduce.

At present, anyone aged 65 or more has to renew their licence every five years, but this is expected to drop to every two years for those aged over 70.

Spain has no upper age limit for driving, so as long as you're found to be mentally and physically fit to get behind the wheel, you can, in theory, carry on motoring in your 80s, 90s or even 100s (photo:

For the under-65s, it is not thought any amendments will be made to the current 10-year renewal period.

Licence renewal at any age automatically involves a 'psycho-technical' examination, where the driver gives details of their current medical situation, performs an eye test and takes a 'reaction time' test, typically involving hitting a button to stop a 'virtual' car from smashing into a wall or colliding with a pedestrian.

Given the simplicity of the current 'psycho-technical' test, the DGT is planning on making these more thorough – but has not yet provided information about what they will involve.

Any amendments are expected to be in place before the end of 2023.


Around 10% of pensioners do not pass the renewal test

According to DGT data, as there is no upper age limit for driving, an average of 10% of motorists aged 65 or more fail the 'psycho-technical' test and are unable to renew their licences.

This does not necessarily mean they have to give up driving for good – it may be due to a health condition which is expected to be resolved or successfully managed in due course, or eyesight problems which are possible to correct, such as through a cataract operation or, simply, because of one's usual spectacles being unsuitable and needing replacement.

Also, the data do not give a breakdown by age – many of those who 'fail' could be in their late 80s or even 90s, perhaps affected by severe mobility issues or serious cognitive decline.

Around 70% of the over-65s who renew their licences have some kind of restriction placed on them, but this can range from very minor ones that do not affect their day to day through to much more limiting curtailments – and, again, no breakdown is given of the ages or causes involved or, indeed, whether these conditions are temporary pending a specific problem being resolved.


A brief description of licence renewal

The process is usually relatively straightforward once a resident has a Spanish driving licence – an appointment at their nearest specialist clinic, which are typically found in most towns, will involve a screen coordination test, eye test, and interview about current health and medication, possibly with a requirement for a GP or relevant specialist consultant to provide a letter in confirmation, then upon production of a passport-sized biometric photo and payment of a fee, normally around €40 to €60, the centre staff will handle the rest.



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