Senior drivers

Watch NRMA Safer Driving discuss senior driving and assessments on A Current Affair.

Driving is not just about getting from one place to another; often it is about how we conduct our lives. Losing the ability to drive or choosing to limit where we drive can mean losing more than just transportation. It can mean losing our independence.

Download our handy brochure which includes all the info you require about driving into your older years.  

Everything senior drivers need to know about the licensing system  

75 years and older

In NSW and ACT, drivers are required to have an annual medical examination to retain their licence once they reach 75.

What to expect:

  • Approximately eight weeks before your birthday a form will be sent to you for your doctor to complete. 
  • If your doctor considers you medically fit to drive, the completed form needs to be handed into your local motor registry.
  • If your doctor has concerns with your ability to drive they may refer you onto another doctor or driving assessor for a detailed medical assessment and/or driving test. Your doctor will send the completed form directly to the RMS (Roads and Maritime Services) or RTA and you will be notified about the outcome shortly after.

85 years and older

In NSW, upon approaching your 85th birthday and every two years after that, you must decide whether you would like to keep your unrestricted driver's licence or opt to switch to a modified licence.

What is an unrestricted driver's licence?

Opting for an unrestricted driver's licence means you are required to complete a practical Driving Test or Assessment to maintain your existing licence. 

What is a 'modified' licence?

Senior drivers may opt for a modified licence on renewal. Through negotiations with the RMS the conditions of your licence could be modified. For example a 'home to town' condition could be put in place. Modified licence holders will not be required to undertake a Driving Test or Assessment.

What is the difference between a Driving Test and Driving Assessment?

Driving Test:

  • Carried out by the RMS at a local motor registry at no charge.
  • This is a practical driving test with 8 "fail items". If you commit one of these "fail items: during the test the RMS will not pass you regardless of your overall driving performance.
  • A list of these "fail items" can be found in the Guide to Older Driver Licensing booklet available from the RMS.
  • If you don't pass within 3 attempts a modified licence will be issued. You may attempt to upgrade to a full licence by successfully passing a Driving Assessment with an accredited assessor.
  • You should complete this test prior to your 85th birthday and then every two years thereafter.

Driving Assessment:

  • Carried out by a licensed driving instructor who holds a Senior Assessor Qualification such as many of those from NRMA Safer Driving School.
  • Assessments are commonly conducted from your home and on the local streets you drive every day.  
  • You can have as many Assessments as you like on the proviso you don't perform a "Serious fail" based on the RMS Standards.
  • A "Serious fail" may be recorded where your driving behaviours represent a danger to yourself and other road users.
  • You should complete this Assessment prior to your 85th birthday and then every two years thereafter.
  • This option is on a 'fee for service' basis.

Benefits of taking your Assessment with NRMA Safer Driving School

You can feel relaxed and in trusted hands from the minute we arrive. NRMA Safer Driving School offers more than just an Assessment.  You can opt for a combined Refresher and Assessment when making your booking. This allows the instructor extra time to settle your nerves and ensure you are in a relaxed environment before entering into the assessment. It also provides your instructor the opportunity to identify areas for improvement early on in the session and postpone the formal assessment if required and book in for some follow up refresher lessons.

You can be assured that NRMA has your best interests at heart and keeping you safe on our rapidly changing road conditions is our number one priority. Our friendly instructors are trained to build your confidence and assist you to retain your licence.

Prepare and be confident

Why not opt to have a Refresher Lesson before your Driving Test or Assessment to ensure you are well prepared.

Refresher Lessons update you on the latest road rules, provide feedback on areas for improvement and increase your knowledge of what the "fail items" are should you choose to undertake a Driving Test with the motor registry.

To book a Refresher Lesson or your Driving Assessment with NRMA Safer Driving School call 1300 696 762

Book a driving lesson with NRMA Safer Driving School