Government agrees: mandatory medical check only for drivers over 75

As of next year, older drivers will not need to undergo a mandatory medical examination until they are 75. Medical checks are currently mandatory for all drivers aged 70 and older who want to renew their licence. The proposal, which was presented by the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, will require an amendment to Dutch regulations on driving licences, which the government hopes will come into force on 1 January 2014. The measure will slash the cost of driving licence renewal for older drivers.

Currently all drivers aged 70 and older must undergo a medical examination every five years. About 1 to 2% of them are declared unfit. Raising the age at which medical checks are mandatory saves older drivers considerable expense: they do not have to buy a medical declaration form, pay a GP to perform the medical check or pay a consultant for any additional medical tests.

In addition to this measure, Ms Schultz will study possible alternatives to the current medical examination for older drivers and what the effects would be of abolishing the procedure altogether. She will send her findings to parliament before the summer.