Centre for Road Safety

Laws for older drivers

Depending on your age and the type of vehicle you drive there are different licence requirements. Below are the licensing requirements for Class C drivers and Class R riders.

75Plus

When you reach 75 years of age you are required to have a medical assessment every year to keep your licence. Two months before you turn 75, Roads and Maritime Services will send you a form to take to your doctor. When the medical assessment is completed, return the form to a Roads and Maritime registry or Service NSW centre before your birthday. Your doctor may also return the form on your behalf.

85Plus

Many drivers opt for a modified licence from 85 years. If you want to continue with your unrestricted licence you must have a yearly medical assessment and pass an on-road driving assessment every two years. You have two options when taking the on-road driving assessment:

  • You can go to a Roads and Maritime testing centre for the assessment with a testing officer up to three times at no charge
  • You can take the assessment from home with an accredited driving instructor and pay a fee, with no limit to the number of times you can be assessed within a two-month period

The on-road assessment must be completed before you turn 85. Roads and Maritime will send you a letter with more details about the assessment and the option to take a modified licence two months before you turn 85.

Modified licences

Drivers aged 85 years and over have the option to change from an unrestricted licence to a modified licence. This licence requires an annual medical assessment, but not the on-road driving assessment.

A modified licence allows you to drive certain distances within your local area to access the services you need, such as shopping, community activities and medical appointments. If you live in regional NSW, the allowable area will accommodate the distances between the essential services you need to access.

If you would like a modified licence, visit a Roads and Maritime registry or Service NSW centre.

You can also download a Request for a Modified Licence form on the Roads and Maritime Services website, or call 13 22 13.

Medical conditions that affect driving

All drivers, regardless of their age, must inform Roads and Maritime if they have any medical conditions that could affect their ability to drive safely.

Reporting your condition does not mean you have to give up your licence. Roads and Maritime Services will request you visit your doctor to have your fitness to drive assessed. During the appointment, talk to your doctor about your driving needs. You may qualify for a conditional licence that allows you to continue driving if you undergo periodic medical assessments.

Visit the Roads and Maritime Services website or call 13 22 13 for more information.

A guide to older driver licensing

The Roads and Maritime Services website has information about your licence options and how to continue driving safely in the Guide to older driver licensing (PDF, 570Kb).

Giving up your licence

If you no longer need your licence, you can hand it in at any time. For identification, you will be offered a free NSW Photo Card when you return your licence to a Roads and Maritime registry or Service NSW centre. If you don’t need the card, simply post your licence to a registry or service centre with a short letter about your decision to stop driving.

If you’re worried about someone’s driving

If you’re concerned about a person who is showing changes in their driving abilities, or know of a person who has not reported a medical condition  that affects their ability to drive safely, you can inform Roads and Maritime.

Visit the Roads and Maritime Services website to download an Unsafe and/or Medically Unfit for Driving Report (PDF, 233Kb).