A recent Stuff article written by journlaist Jim Tucker showed that renewing his driver’s licence was much simpler than he thought. With permission from Waka Kotahi, we have taken some excerpts from its Renewing your driver licence as a senior handbook and website to give a brief overview of the licence renewal process. You can download the full handbook for free from the Waka Kotahi website or request free hardcopies by calling 0800 822 422.
Once you turn 75 there are a few changes to the process for renewing your driver licence:
- Your new licence will be valid for only two to five years.
- The renewal fees are lower – because you’re renewing your licence more often.
- You need to present a medical certificate each time you apply.
- If recommended by your doctor, you will have to sit a 30-minute On-road Safety Test.
How to renew your license
You must renew your driver licence on or before its expiry date if you wish to continue driving – but you cannot renew it more than six months in advance.
Waka Kotahi will send you a driver licence renewal pack about eight weeks before your licence is due to expire. You can also download a driver licence application form (DL1) or get this form from any driver licensing agent. To apply to renew your licence you need to visit a driver licensing agent in person.
- Download the application form to renew your driver licence [PDF, 170 KB]
- Find a driver licensing agent in your area
What you need to take
- A completed driver licence application form
- A current medical certificate issued by your doctor within the last 60 days
- Your current photo driver licence or other acceptable evidence of your identity
- EFTPOS, credit card or cash to pay for your new licence.
Once your application is complete, you’ll receive a temporary licence which is valid for 21 days. Keep this on you whenever you’re driving until your new driver licence arrives in the mail – within two to three weeks.
Getting a medical certificate
To renew your licence past your 75th birthday you will need to visit your doctor to get a Medical certificate for driver licence. Tell your doctor the certificate is for your driver licence. You will have to pay for the appointment yourself.
During your appointment your doctor will discuss your present state of health with you and test your eyesight. They will then recommend whether you are:
- medically fit to drive.
- medically fit to drive with conditions (e.g., correcting lenses, time-of-day restriction, distance restriction).
- medically fit to drive subject to an on-road safety test.
- to be referred to a specialist (e.g., optometrist or occupational therapist driving assessor – your doctor will advise you of the results).
- not medically fit to drive. Your doctor must advise the NZ Transport Agency and your licence will expire on your birthday.
If your doctor decides you are medically fit to drive, he or she will provide you with a Medical certificate for driver licence.
All handbooks can be downloaded for from free from the Waka Kotahi website or you can request free hardcopies by calling 0800 822 422.
- The road ahead for seniors – outlines the suite of resources available for seniors
- Driving safely as a senior – includes driving tips and advice on buying a safe car
- Road rules refresher for seniors – an overview of common traffic situations
- Renewing your driver licence as a senior – outlines the renewal process and medical fitness assessments
- Getting around as a senior – an overview of transport options including taxis, buses, trains, walking, cycling and mobility scooters
- Supporting senior drivers – tips for having conversations with senior drivers about driving and transport options