If your loved ones still enjoy the freedom of travelling out and about, they’ll likely need to consider renewing their license after they celebrate their 80th birthday. When this happens in Ontario, there are special considerations that you will need to make, as it marks a milestone after which the government requires you to follow a specific procedure to maintain the right to drive.
Seasons Retirement supports our residents and their independence, and we offer free general parking for residents who own cars. That being said, we recommend using this article as a reference to understand the requirements for over 80 driving license renewals and maintain the ability to move around according to their needs.
In Ontario, older adults past their 80th birthday will automatically receive a letter in the mail containing a renewal form to fill out and a document outlining the steps they’ll need to take for over 80 driving license renewal.
Your loved ones won’t receive their letter until three months before their license expires. This gives them plenty of notice and time to make arrangements to follow the following steps.
Once the mail notice has been delivered, older adults will need to make arrangements to attend a session during which they will go through their licence renewal. Note that this does not necessarily mean a test, as a senior driving test in Ontario is not required in all cases.
You’ll need to call 416-235-3579 in Toronto or 1-800-396-4233 on a toll-free basis to start booking your appointment. Your loved one should have their driver’s licence handy to provide the number when requested. This would also be an excellent time to ask for any special accommodations and clarify requirements, such as wheelchair accessibility or an interpreter for foreign or sign language.
Appointments are held at over 100 locations across the province. Since Seasons also has several locations across Ontario, you’ll likely be able to find a centre that’s close to your loved one’s place. After providing the details and selecting the desired location, you’ll get the date and time of your appointment. In rare cases, depending on availability, you may receive a date that’s only available after the licence expires. In this case, your loved one will obtain a temporary permit that can be used while waiting for the renewal.
Note that over 80 driving licence renewal is available for up to 6 months at most – after this period, the licence will expire and will no longer be valid in Ontario. Therefore, it’s good to have your parents and grandparents consider promptly renewing their request.
Before the session, the individual will be required to watch an educational video about driving and road rules which should serve as a refresher for your loved one. This is an important step that should not be skipped, as they will undergo a screening exercise during the session that may call upon details within the video. These will not be the equivalent of senior driving test questions – instead, these questions are usually based upon the contents of the video itself.
The renewal session will take around half an hour in most cases and will require the individual to bring along some specific items:
The session itself will involve testing the participant’s vision and performing the screening mentioned above exercise, a cognitive test for seniors in Ontario. Depending on the results, note that your loved one may be required to book an appointment for a senior driving test in Ontario. It may also be necessary to connect with a medical professional and follow up with additional medical record information.
If the cognitive test results for seniors in Ontario require it, your loved one may be required to pass a road test as part of their licence renewal process. This is affected by how well the older adult performs during the screening and based on their driving record in the province.
For the most part, an over 80 driving test is not much different from a regular driving test. However, they will likely consider specific circumstances and conditions that might limit a good range of motion when driving. Note that it won’t require a written component or studying using senior driving test questions.
If your loved one can adequately grasp the road rules and requirements while driving, they should have no issue passing the road test and moving on to the next step.
After passing the screening and seniors driving test in Ontario (if required), the renewal process returns to the normal process of visiting a Service Ontario centre to process your licence application and receive a physical copy of your new licence.
Remember that your loved one will need to bring an ID that confirms their date of birth, legal name, and signature information to process their application. Once processed, the agent will provide you with a timeframe for receiving your physical licence, usually in the mail.
Older persons in Ontario are still free to maintain their driving privileges if they follow these steps and demonstrate their ability to drive safely and responsibly on the road past their 80th birthday. Seasons Retirement supports the independence of all our residents and encourages them to prepare for this important milestone to maintain their ability to travel and visit destinations as they please. You can see the official website here for more information regarding this process.