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Safe driving

Driving 75 and over

Everyone 75 and over who holds a Queensland driver licence must carry a current Medical Certificate for Motor Vehicle Driver* at all times when driving. You must also comply with any conditions listed on the certificate—you can be fined if you don't.

Getting your medical certificate to drive

*Download the Medical Certificate for Motor Vehicle Driver form here:

If you don't have access to a printer, ask at your doctor's surgery if they can download and print the form for you. You can also get the form from a transport and motoring customer service centre, at a participating QGAP office or at a police station—in rural or remote areas of Queensland.

Complete part 1 of the form and then ask your doctor to complete part 2, including the tear off medicate certificate. Once your doctor has completed and signed the Medical Certificate for Motor Vehicle Driver form, tear off the medical certificate and carry it with you whenever you drive, making sure the review/expiry date can be read. You must show your medical certificate to a police officer if they request it.

You do not need to do anything with the rest of the Medical Certificate for Motor Vehicle Driver form but you are encouraged to keep it for your own records.

Do you need to present your medical certificate?

You need to present your medical certificate to the Department of Transport and Main Roads if:

  • you develop a permanent or long-term medical condition that is likely to adversely affect your ability to drive safely
  • you have a permanent or long-term change to an existing medical condition that is likely to adversely affect your ability to drive safely
  • your doctor has recommended a licence condition be imposed or altered, or the class of licence you hold should be downgraded
  • you are applying for or renewing your driver licence at a transport and motoring customer service centre.

You should not wait until you need to renew your driver licence. You must present your medical certificate to the Department of Transport and Main Roads as soon as you become aware of your medical condition or any change to your existing medical condition.

How long is a medical certificate valid for?

From 1 January 2014, medical certificates are valid for a maximum of 12 months. This means that if you are 75 or over, and want to keep driving, you must go back to your doctor every 12 months for a new certificate.

In some cases your doctor may want to undertake more regular checks, and your medical certificate may be issued for a shorter period. If your doctor issues a medical certificate for longer than 12 months, you may only use the certificate for 12 months from the issue date.

Will I be reminded to get a medical certificate?

If you are turning 75 and hold a current licence, you may receive a letter from the Department of Transport and Main Roads approximately 6 weeks before your 75th birthday to let you know you now need a medical certificate if you want to continue driving.

If you lodge your medical certificate with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, you will receive a reminder around 6 weeks before it is due to expire, to let you know you will need to get a new medical certificate.

This reminder is sent as a courtesy, so you should not rely on this as your only reminder to get a new medical certificate.

How age affects your driving

As you get older, how you process information, your vision, and your ability to move changes. It’s important to know how age affects your driving.

Vision

As you age it can become more difficult to:

  • change focus and see detail (such as traffic signs)
  • see objects and obstacles such as pedestrians or people on bicycles
  • deal with and recover from glare such as oncoming headlights or the afternoon sun
  • see things in your side vision (what you see out of the corner of your eyes when looking ahead)
  • adjust your vision when going from light to dark or vice versa.

Medical conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and diabetes can also affect your vision.

To maintain your vision:

  • have your eyes checked regularly
  • keep the prescription for your glasses up to date and make sure your glasses are suitable for driving
  • modify your driving patterns (e.g. think about limiting or avoiding driving at night or twilight)
  • keep your windscreen clean to reduce glare.

Movement

Changes to your body can make movement slower and more difficult. You may experience a decrease in your:

  • muscle strength
  • flexibility and mobility
  • range of movement
  • coordination.

These changes, plus common health problems like arthritis, can affect the way you drive. For example, you may find it harder to operate the gears and clutch which can result in slower reaction times.

Information processing

Your ability to process information, and react to it, tends to slow down as you age.

Driving under pressure can become stressful, giving you less time to react to changes on the road.

When planning a trip, think about whether you are comfortable:

  • driving at peak hour
  • merging onto a busy freeway
  • changing lanes in traffic
  • travelling an unfamiliar route
  • dealing with a busy intersection or roundabout.

Car modifications

You can also modify your car to help compensate for age-related changes. For example installing special wing mirrors can improve your side vision if turning your head is a problem.

Test yourself

Use the RACQ self-assessment questionnaire to check your current driving capability.

If you decide to voluntarily surrender your licence or your licence is cancelled because of a medical condition, you may be eligible to receive an Adult Proof of Age Card free of charge as an alternative form of photo identification. Enquire at a transport and motoring customer service centre or call 13 23 80 for more information.

Helpful resources

Test yourself

Use the RACQ self assessment questionnaire to check your current driving capability.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated:
14 December 2015

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