C1 Driving Licence

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iloveglee | 09:40 Mon 05th Jul 2021 | Travel
15 Answers
I'm always on here asking questions, and have never been disappointed with the response, so here I am again.

My husband let his C1 licence, for which he had grandfather rights, when he was 70, that's 3 years ago. We now have the opportunity to borrow a motorhome, which unfortunately is over 3.5 tonne. So his regular licence won't do.

I have looked on a number of motorhoming forums, but the information seems to be contradictory, as does the gov website, which appears to be around obtaining a C1 for employment rather than leisure.

I understand that you have to fill in a D4 form, and have a medical, which costs around £55. So far so good, but the contradictions seem to come as to whether he would need to take a course to drive such a vehicle, and a driving test for this. The contradictions seems to be around the grandfather rights.

There are those that say that with grandfather rights, you just need the medical, others say not. I am absolutely certain there will be someone on here who knows this. Probably from personal experience!!


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you could ask these people -

I checked my licence & see that C1 was removed when I got my photo card at age 70. I didn't realise this would happen!
davebro, you should have had an option to keep the C1 by having a medical.

iloveglee, phone the DVLA, that way you will get the correct information for your husband's situation 0300 790 6801
//davebro, you should have had an option to keep the C1 by having a medical.//

I don't recall being made aware of that at the time. No matter, I don't think I'll want to drive anything over 3.5 tonnes.
I was certainly made aware that I would lose my C1 licence when I renewed my licence at 70. It stated quite clearly that if you wished to retain it you had to undergo a medical and you couldn't apply on the internet. I decided the chance of my wanting to drive a large vehicle was slim enough to opt for the convenience of an internet renewal.
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I was hoping nobody said to ring DVLA!! I have sent a message to the D4 drivers website, waiting a response. He knew that he'd lose it, it was fairly clear when he renewed when he was 70. He just didn't think it was worth the effort as he didn't expect to be driving anything big in future.

But now, we have the chance for a holiday in a borrowed motorhome!! It might just be academic anyway though, as it's proving rather difficult to get a quote for a short term insurance policy. There is another driver, and she has got a price of £140, but no facility to get a quote for more than 1 driver. That would suggest both persons had to get their own quote, so effectively paying twice. Which is not what you'd normally have to do for vehicle insurance purposes.

So still in a bit of a state of uncertainty. If it's going to be prohibitively expensive for 2 to insure then we may have to go with 1 driver. It's a lot of driving for one person though what we plan to do.
The instructions are very misleading - I only have the basic over-70 licence but I happily drive a Citroen C1 :-)
What on earth are "grandfather rights"?
I suspect that she's referring to the fact that people who have had a licence for a long time have categories which newer drivers don't eg, I can tow a large caravan because I've had a licence for over 50 years, new drivers can only tow small trailers unless they pass an additional test. The same might apply to "large" vehicles.
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Yes that's pretty much what grandfather rights are. Something that you had the right to do/have when a particular set of rules applied. When those rules subsequently changed, those people who had them under the previous rules, kept them under grandfather rights. No idea where the term comes from.

Basically anyone who passed a driving test before 1997, had a licence to drive a car, or vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes weight, and also automatically a vehicle up to 7.5 tonnes. If you passed your test after 1997 you only were able to drive up to 3.5 tonnes without you took a further test for anything larger.

It got complicated when you reached 70 and had to renew your licence. If you wanted to keep your 'grandfather' right to drive up to 7.5 tonne you had to undergo a medical and fill in all kinds of forms rather than a quick online thing. My husband didn't feel he would be driving anything larger than a car, so didn't bother. Now he has the opportunity to drive something that is larger, so needs to reapply to get the licence back.
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Well so far so confusing. D4 drivers provides a quick medical within a few days. So that's all good. Glasses prescription way out of date (!) so that means a new eye test. Achievable though.

Then there is the turnaround time at DVLA. Could be up to 10 weeks. Have tried to ring them but gave up after 45 minutes. May keep trying at different times. It seems though, that you can drive whilst they are processing the new licence, but apparently only what you could drive before. Which means not a vehicle over 3.5 tonne until the licence is processed and returned.

So nothing to lose really. Currently he can't drive the loaned motorhome, and if the licence doesn't come back, he still can't. Leaves one driver, who is happy to do it but our planned trip entails rather a lot of driving. Back to the drawing board me thinks.
Does he have experience of driving loo argue vehicles?

If not, I would suggest it unwise for someone in their seventies to get behind the wheel without training.
Have you read this?
"Changing licence categories after 70

If you have allowed your C1 and C1E licence to lapse at 70, you can change your mind later and regain the right to drive heavier vehicles.

All that is required is the completed D2 application form and D4 medical – you’ll naturally have retained a copy of your original licence, to prove you originally had those grandfather rights!

The DVLA says producing your old licence isn’t necessary, as it will have retained that information – but I’d rather play safe"
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My husband used to drive a large vehicle, 7.5 tonnes for a living, albeit many years ago. We have rented many very large motorhomes in the USA, where motorhomes are really very large. A while ago admittedly, but he still has the capability to manage a vehicle in the region of 4 ish tonnes.

The reason he let it expire, wasn't because he didn't feel happy driving anything large once he reached 70, was because he didn't think we'd be having the opportunity to driving anything large in the future. It involved a medical, and having to send in the licence to DVLA rather than doing it online. Also, at the time, we were due to take a trip to europe, where we were renting a car so needed to have the actual licence. He didn't want to risk it not coming back in time.

I think it was more a case of can't be bothered to do this, I won't need it again. I know quite a few 70+ year olds who have done this, and later on regretted it as the need/opportunity to driving something bigger has cropped up.

D4 drivers have been very helpful so far, I have managed to do a live chat, and the information we gave made them think he'd not have any issue getting it back, it's just that DVLA are so very behind. They are concentrating on getting licences back to people who need them for their jobs, which is quite right. We shall see, nothing at all to lose. Well £55 for the medical, but he'll get it back eventually, and the owner of the motorhome has said we can have use of it anytime so there'll be another chance.
Thanks. Good luck.
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This is a follow up to the original question relating to the C1 driving licence. I believe I said initially that my husband had applied to get his C1 licence back, and it was held up at DVLA.

Since then. Nothing. You can check on the gov. website, and it gives dates of those applications being processed. The dates showing are 19th July. His application would have been received around the 12th July. I sent a message to them on twitter, and received a standard reply, to the effect that licences are taking 6-10 weeks to be processed, unless there is involvement with the medical department.

Does anyone know exactly what this means? All medicals for a licence which can be deemed vocational, have to be accompanied by a medical. So are they saying all applications have to be involved with the medical department? It's not making any sense. The medical was conducted by a doctor from one of these outside companies, not by the GP. He doesn't have any medical conditions that have to be declared and that would preclude him from having this licence.

We are getting a bit frustrated now. Already he wasn't able to drive the motorhome we had hired for our holiday in September. We are now going to be renting a car in Spain in a few weeks, and he will have to show his driving licence, which, just imagine, DVLA have.

Not sure now what to do. I did, against all my instincts, try to ring them. Not exactly a successful outcome from this. Which leads actually to another question. Sorry. When renting a car, the photo licence is a little bit meaningless as it doesn't even show your points status, or even if you've been banned. We have never been asked to provide any other information, but has anyone had experience of a rental company that will accept the information you can access on the gov. website which does show your actual legal driving status. If they do the photo licence wouldn't be such an issue.

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C1 Driving Licence

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