Concerns about renewing your driving license are common among older individuals, writes Spanish language daily La Provincia. Many believe that once they reach a certain age, they can no longer drive a motor vehicle. However, the Spanish General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) has provided clear information regarding the conditions for renewing a driving license if you are among the older population, aiming to eliminate any confusion.


According to the DGT, the ability to continue driving is not determined by age but by the driver’s skills and abilities. All foreign residents are expected to exchange their license for one issued in Spain and from the age of 65, the validity of the driving license is reduced to ensure that the driver still possesses the necessary skills. This involves more frequent medical and capacity examinations so as simple to ensure everyone’s safety on the road.

The maximum validity periods, after 65, for driving licenses are as follows:

– 5 years for car, motorcycle, and moped licenses (AM, A1, A2, A, B) and driving permits.
– 3 years for professional bus and truck licenses (C, C1, D, D1, EC, EC1, ED, ED1…)

The process of renewing a driving license for individuals over 65 is the same as that of any other driver:

1. Visit one of the authorised Driver Recognition Centres and request a renewal of your driving license.
2. At these centres, the entire renewal process can be completed, including taking your photo there and then. There is a fee for the obligatory medical examination and the tráfico fee (drivers over 70 are however exempt from the tráfico fee).
3. Once satisfactorily completed a temporary permit will be provided, allowing you to drive in Spain until you receive your permanent driving license by post.
4. Within approximately 45 days, you should receive your driving license at your home address without the need for further steps or additional fees.

According to the DGT, “continuing to drive depends not on age but on the state of the driver’s abilities and aptitudes.”

The medical criteria for license renewal are the same for all ages. If any ailment or deficiency is detected during the medical examination that, while not preventing renewal at that moment, could worsen in the future, the validity duration of the license may be reduced. In such a situation, the renewal cost will also be lower.

One advantage for individuals over 65 is that they can complete this process in person at the main DGT offices during the specified hours without needing a prior appointment. However, it’s important to note that exchanging licenses from other countries with specific agreements does require a prior appointment, as it involves verification with the issuing country.

Reducing accidents on Spanish roads by 50%

The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) in Spain has set a significant goal for itself: to reduce road accidents in the country by 50% in 2023. One of its recent changes involves altering the renewal periods for driving licenses for those who have reached retirement age. The traffic authority shortened renewal periods to identify individuals who may no longer be in good health for driving.

According to DGT data, there are 27 million people in Spain with driving licenses, and among them, 5.2 million are aged 65 or older. These are the drivers who now have reduced renewal periods for their driving licenses. The DGT emphasises that road safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Under previous regulations in Spain, driving licenses had a validity period of 10 years. However, this period has this year been reduced for individuals over 65. It’s important to note that there is no age limit for driving under the law, but as the years go by, paying attention to license renewal becomes increasingly important.

Changes in Driving License Renewal:

In the European Union, 30% of traffic accident fatalities in 2020 were individuals aged 65 and above. These statistics justify the DGT’s decision to shorten the renewal period. Starting back in June, individuals over 65 must now renew their licenses every five years instead of the previous ten-year interval. Additionally, drivers aged 70 and above will also see modifications, with their renewals period reduced to every two years.

To renew a driving license, individuals must visit an authorised Medical Recognition Centre to undergo a psychotechnical examination. A new photograph will be taken for proper identification, and fees for the medical and traffic examinations must be paid. It’s worth noting that drivers aged over 70 are exempt from paying the tráfico fees.

The DGT also reminds drivers that there are certain medical conditions that medical services may consider as grounds for a temporary or permanent withdrawal of their driving licenses. Traffic authorities are aware that health conditions directly influence road accidents, and that’s why they are tightening traffic regulations and enhancing road safety for all users.