Drivers license renewals at 80+


So, you’re turning 80 soon and you still want to drive. What should you do? The Ontario government has a few steps to go through in order to help you drive safely and to keep your driver’s license. The steps aren’t necessarily tough but can be confusing for some.

If your licence is about to expire, you will be required to complete a Senior Driver Group Education Session, along with a vision testing requirement before you can renew it. It is important to renew your driver’s licence by the licence expiry date. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow.

Step 1: Receive your application for renewal

Before the date of your licence expiry, you will receive a renewal application form in the mail, along with a letter explaining the steps required to renew. There’s no real rush as the letter and renewal application form should arrive within 90 days before your licence does expires. However, it would be wise to start the process once you get the renewal so you won’t feel rushed when you get closer to the expiry date.

Step 2: Review the educational video on the MTO website 

Before you attend the renewal session, you should watch the senior driver education video a few times. You can find the video here. Between viewing the video, you should review the Official Driver’s Handbook from the MTO. You can do this online if you like or purchase an up-to-date copy from a retailer, whichever you find the easiest for you.

Step 3: Book a group session appointment

Once you have received your renewal application form and information letter in the mail, you’ll need to book the appointment for the Senior Driver Group Education Session as you can’t just show up. Before you call the MTO, have your driver’s licence ready as they will need your driver’s licence number.

When you call the MTO, you will get the date, time and location of your group session. These sessions are held at several locations across the province which should be somewhat local for you. If you are not able to attend the day of your session, you are allowed to re-schedule your appointment. If you happen to be out of Ontario when your licence expires, you will be able to renew your driver’s licence up to 180 days before it does expire. There is no cost to attend a group education session.

Step 4: Attend the senior driver group education session

Bring your driver’s licence, the licence renewal application, glasses/contact lenses you use for driving as well as any used for reading, and hearing aids if needed. You will be required to complete a vision assessment and a 5-minute in-class screening exercise. The screening exercise will have you draw a large circle, put all the numbers in to make it look like the face of a clock, draw in the hands of the clock to set the time at ten minutes after eleven. You will be required to stop when completed. The form will be collected after five minutes.

Once the session is completed, you may renew your driver’s licence by paying a small fee. However, before renewing you may also be asked to pass a road test, follow up with your family doctor and submit medical information to the MTO, or provide additional vision information from a doctor or optometrist. These options will depend on how well you performed during the in-class screening components and a review of your driving record. If any additional medical information is required, you will be notified by mail. A driver improvement counsellor from the group education session will let you know your next steps. 

Step 5: Taking a few driving lessons

If you are required to take a road test, it would be to your advantage to take a few driving lessons from a qualified driving instructor. Things have changed since you may have first received your driver’s licence. The instructor will ensure you’re a safe driver, follow all the driving laws required to pass the road test, and help you understand anything confusing. The other benefits of taking a few driving lessons includes becoming more aware of your strengths and help to improve your weaknesses.

Taking advantage of driving lessons after you’ve been driving for years isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. It shows how you’re being a smart, educated driver who knows that your skills may have depleted over the years. Remember, no matter what our experiences are, we can always learn…at any age.