Senior drivers: medical certificate changes due to COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Queensland Government has changed its requirements regarding medical certificates for drivers aged 75 and above (senior drivers). The purpose of the changes is to minimise risk to the health and safety of senior drivers, by avoiding the need for them to visit their doctor or optometrist to renew a medical certificate.

Operators of seniors communities, such as retirement villages and manufactured home parks, should ensure their residents are aware of these changes. This will assist to minimise the risk of infection within their communities.

Usually, all senior drivers and those with a relevant medical condition are required to obtain a medical certificate from their doctor, produce it to the Department of Transport and Main Roads, comply with any conditions or restrictions on their licence, and carry the current medical certificate when they drive.

Effective from 10 April 2020, the following guidelines apply for senior drivers who do not have an ‘M’ condition on their licence:

  • A senior driver will not be committing an offence if he/she drives without holding a valid medical certificate during the COVID-19 emergency period (as declared by the Queensland Government).
  • If a senior driver has a medical certificate that expired after 29 January 2020, it will still be considered valid until six months after the COVID-19 emergency ends.

If any licence holder (including a senior driver) has an ‘M’ condition on their licence, and his/her medical certificate is due to expire, the driver will need to contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads to have the certificate extended (to a maximum of six months).

If a driver can obtain a medical certificate via telemedicine, the certificate can be lodged with the Department of Transport and Main Roads by email.

However, if a driver’s condition worsens, or a driver develops a new permanent or long term condition that is likely to affect their ability to drive safely, the person must notify the Department immediately and must not drive until they can be assessed by a doctor and have a new medical certificate issued.

“The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.”
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