Driving when over 70

My wife and I exchanged our UK driving licences for French ones several years ago. We realise that, after age 70, we will not be able to use them for driving in the United Kingdom. What do we have to do, to be able to drive in UK after age 70? We are now aged 67.

Hi Chris… provided you are a French Resident (as I am presuming you are) and not a UK Resident… you are covered by French Laws (not UK) and can drive in UK as long as you like…when you visit there…

I cannot imagine that the UK Government is going to suddenly ban from driving…all “foreigners” over 70… who happen to be visiting UK…They’ve never banned it in the past…why should they do it now ??


That’s logical, however, it doesn’t always follow because for instance at the other end of the scale, a 17 year old who lives in the UK, has passed their UK driving test and holds a full UK driving licence, cannot drive in France because the minimum legal age for driving a car in France is 18. So I think that in fact when you are in a country, even as a visitor, you have to find out and abide by that country’s laws.

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The 70 year old… French Resident… is able to drive in UK when he visits… a UK Resident can extend their UK licence simply with a satisfactory Dr’s visit and completing a form…

And I can assure you that any number of my over 70’s Parisien friends drive quite legally when they are on a UK Tour with their classic cars… never ever had it queried, never had a problem …and the police always show great interest, (not only in the cars, but also in the paperwork) so it’s not as if we are ducking below the radar :wink:

But, as you state, quite possibly not the same with the 17 year old v 18 year old…

I will ask my local Gendarme what he thinks about 17 year old driving in France, when he next drops by…:innocent:

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Surely the difference between the licences is that one needs a health declaration to remain valid after 70 while the other does not. A 70 year old with a valid EU licence may legally drive in the UK. If it was illegal for a 70 year old to drive on the UK’s roads then that would be different.


Thank you David, clear-headed as ever. That’s tidied that one up nicely.

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Exactly so David…

that is my reasoning… and I cannot imagine the UK changing the rules…even for French Residents :wink:

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Dear old RAC… quite clear on the subject of UK youngsters driving in France…

"Visitors riding or driving in France must have reached the minimum age required to drive/ride a vehicle of equivalent category even if they are qualified to drive at a lower age in their country of residence.

A foreign driving licence does not entitle the holder to drive/ride a motor vehicle in France until the age of 18 years old. "


What - even if my French licence has a “UK70” rider on the back?

You have lost me now. When you exchanged your UK licence for a French one that is exactly what you got. It’s restrictions will be exactly the same as any other French licence covering the same categories. The conditions relating to the UK licence are irrelevant.

Chris… honestly, this is not a Rider . It comes under “Restrictions/Mentions” with full explanation on the back page.

Pink paper French licence:
Open it up… middle section: “Categories de Vehicules”…next section: “Depuis le”… right hand section: “Restrictions…Mentions”

Bottom of page (opposite my photo)… clearly printed "TITRE A REMPLACE PAR UN PERMIS SECURISE

In the Restrictions… Mentions bit you will probably see: 70 (gap) RU

On the backpage this Restrictions/Mentions bit is expanded upon…:

70 (gives my old licence number followed by the date it was first issued) eg ECH.wood67984321999 6/6/1922…
RU (this section applies to country of original licence issue) in my case Royaume Unis Swansea … hence RU

If I was from another country it would look like this:
70 ********* old licence number + date of original issue…
A or B or C (or whatever letters… for whatever country of original issue)

It just so happens that, in the heart of the tons of French paperwork, the section where they put the old licence info is called (section) 70 … and when you see that coupled with RU on the new licence… that can (and often does) give cause for concern for us ex-UK drivers.

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