Info for seniors: Keeping a driver’s licence valid past age 80

This is the first of two columns on this topic. Once a person turns 80, they need to renew their driver’s licence every two years. According to the Ministry of Transportation website there are four main steps a person has to take to renew.

Starting with your 80th birthday, you will get two things in the mail, a renewal form and a letter that will let you know what to do to renew. This letter and form will arrive about 90 days before your licence expires.

Once you get your form and letter in the mail, you will need to attend a renewal session. To book the appointment, you will need to call 1-800-396-4233 (toll free) and give your driver’s licence number. You should also tell them if you have any language barriers.

You will get the date, time and location of your renewal session. Sessions are held at 125 locations across the province, including in Picton at the Community Care office. The Community Care staff cannot make appointments or answer any questions about the driver testing. For that you must call the Ministry of Transportation at 1-800-396-4233. The Community Care office opens at 9:30 a.m.

If you can’t attend the day you’re given, you can reschedule your appointment once. If the next appointment is only available after your driver’s licence expires, you can get a temporary permit. If you’re out of Ontario when you need to renew you can check the web site for instructions.

Total time commitment at the renewal session is about 90 minutes. Bring these things to the session: your driver’s licence (or temporary driver’s licence); the licence renewal form you got in the mail; the eye glasses you use for driving; hearing aids, if you need them; a bottle of water (some locations will not have water available); snacks, if you need them (for example, if are diabetic or know you will need a snack).

At a renewal session, you will: take a vision test; join others in a 45-minute interactive group education session about new traffic laws, how aging affects driving, tips for older drivers and road signs; an in-class screening exercise; and undergo a driving record review.

After the session, you may need to pass a road test before you can renew your licence and follow up with your physician and submit medical information. A driver improvement counsellor at the group education session will discuss this with you, if necessary.

In next week’s column we’ll cover the vision test, in class screening and next steps once you finish the session. For lots of information on this topic go to

Holiday hours

Community Care’s office and thrift shop are closed on Monday, Oct.8 for Thanksgiving Meals on Wheels will go out as usual.

Walking programs begin Tuesday

Seniors can walk in a controlled and safe environment Monday to Friday at PECI  in Picton and at the Wellington and District Community Centre. A membership to the County Seniors Centre is required to join the walking program. Call Community Care at 613-476-7493 to register or for more information.

– Debbie MacDonald Moynes