Driving Requirements For Seniors In Australia
It’s a well-known fact that the older you get, the more of a risk driving on Australian roads can become.
It’s a well-known fact that the older you get, the more of a risk driving on Australian roads can become. Let’s face it, your eyesight, reflexes and skills do diminish with age, whether you like it or not. It’s just a fact for most senior drivers. Statistics even prove that if you’re over the age of 75, there is a much higher risk of you (or someone else) being hurt or even killed in an accident1.
For this reason, each state in Australia has certain rules and regulations that govern the driving responsibilities of senior citizens, to help keep senior citizens and other drivers and pedestrians safe on Australian roads.
Let’s take a look at the regulations each state has put in place when it comes to senior citizens, including licensing regulations that you need to be aware of.
Senior Driver Regulations In Queensland
In Queensland, if you wish to be able to legally drive once you reach the age of 75, you must have a medical certificate that you always carry with you when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. If you fail to get the medical certificate or are pulled over by the police and don’t have one on you, you will be fined under Qld laws.
The certificate can be downloaded from the Qld government website and the first part has to be filled out by you, while the second portion needs to be completed by your doctor. There is a tear off section of the medical certificate which is also completed by your medical professional, and it’s this portion that you must carry with you at all times while on the road. The certificate has an expiry date, so it will need to be renewed every year.
The idea behind the health certificate is to determine that you are physically capable of safe driving and don’t pose a risk to yourself or others.
Senior Driver Regulations For New South Wales
In NSW, senior citizens are divided into specific age brackets, with each age bracket containing particular rules and regulations when it comes to being eligible to drive on NSW roads.
Once you turn 75, you’ll be required to undergo annual medical checks to monitor your ability to be able to drive in a safe manner.
For drivers who are over the age of 85, your driving will be restricted to your local area only. There may also be other limitations placed on you, depending on your individual physical condition. While on-road assessments are not a requirement, the annual medical check-up is mandatory. The only exception to this is if you hold a multi-combination (MC) licence.
Senior Driver Regulations For Victoria
Interestingly, in Victoria, senior drivers don’t need to abide by specific requirements. However, you are required by law to notify the licensing authority of Victoria if you develop any long-term or permanent physical problems, such as failing eyesight, for example. This requirement also includes any mental issues, such as the onset of Alzheimer’s.
The responsibility for safe driving for senior citizens is left largely up to the individual in Victoria.
Senior Driver Regulations For Western Australia
For senior citizens in Western Australia, the age of 80 is where restrictions start to come into play. For example, once you reach 80 you’ll need to undergo an annual medical assessment. You’ll be issued with a medical certificate if your doctor deems you fit and healthy enough to keep driving on WA roads.
Once over the age of 85, the annual medical exam continues, but your doctor may recommend a practical driving test if it is deemed necessary to ensure you are safe to remain on the roads.
Senior Driver Regulations For South Australia
In South Australia, senior citizens get to self-assess once over the age of 75. You’ll be sent a self-assessment form that you must fill out. On the form you’ll be asked questions that make you think about your health and current driving ability. A lot of faith and trust is placed on SA senior citizens when it comes to driving, so it’s important to be honest about your answers for your own safety and that of others.
Senior Driver Regulations For ACT
Once a year, senior citizens in the ACT are required, by law, to undergo a medical examination by their doctor and have a driver’s license medical form completed in order to still be legal to drive. If you are 75 years of age or older, this rule applies to you. This is necessary in order for you to be able to renew your driver’s license as well.
Senior Driver Regulations For Tasmania
You are considered a senior driver in Tasmania once you reach the age of 65. Once you pass 65, you are not required to complete annual medical checks or be issued with medical certificates. However, you are required to disclose to governing authorities any conditions you develop that you feel will impede your ability to drive safely on Tasmanian roads.
It’s wise to consult with your doctor regarding your physical and mental health and your sustained ability to drive safely. If you have doubts about your driving ability, perhaps sit for a practical test, or consider retiring from driving.
Senior Driver Regulations For Northern Territory
As a senior driver in the Northern Territory, you’ll need to undergo a vision test every 5 years. While annual medical examinations are not required, your doctor may alert the authorities if they determine you are not safe to drive and your license could be revoked.
You are encouraged to self-assess your ability to drive safely on NT roads, so if you have any doubts, consult with your GP for a medical examination and a professional opinion.
Every state in Australia has slightly different rules and regulations when it comes to driving for senior citizens. This also includes the age brackets that may encounter restrictions or the issuance of a medical certificate.
Safe driving is about maintaining the ability to drive, so be sure to work with your doctor and local governing authority so you remain safe on the roads in your state.