Licensing-renewal procedures for elderly drivers
Getting your license renewed is generally a pretty simple procedure. The state reviews your driving record, and if you don’t have suspensions or revocations, your new license will be issued. Most states require renewal applicants to appear in person and to pass a vision test -- though some allow renewal electronically or by mail. The significant differences are the length of time between renewals, ranging from 2 to 10 years. In addition, many have provisions designed to guarantee that older adults continue to meet license requirements.
Renewal procedures for older drivers, typically between ages 65 to 70 and older, vary by state. Some states require elder drivers to renew their licenses in person rather than electronically or by mail. They may even require them to take vision and road tests that are not routinely required of younger drivers. These special renewal procedures for older drivers can apply in addition to the license renewal procedures that exist in all states for dealing with licensed drivers of any age who no longer meet the standards for licensure because of physical or mental infirmities.
Too old to drive?
If a person's continued fitness to drive is in doubt (due to the person's demeanor at renewal or because of a history of crashes or violations and reports by physicians or police), state licensing agencies may require renewal applicants to undergo physical or mental examinations or retake the standard licensing tests (vision, written and road). In cases of doubt, states typically have medical review boards composed of health care professionals who advise on licensing standards and on individual cases. Of course, no matter what age you are, a bad driving record will lead to a high car insurance quote.
After reviewing a person's fitness to drive, the DMV may allow the person to retain the license or it may refuse to renew it. It can also suspend, revoke or restrict the license. Typical restrictions include prohibiting nighttime driving, requiring the vehicle to have additional mirrors, restricting driving to specified places or limiting how far an older person can drive from home.
The following chart indicates for the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia the periods for which licenses can be renewed, vision test requirements and method of renewal available for older drivers.
(1) In Connecticut, people 65 and older may choose a 2-year or 6-year renewal cycle. A personal appearance at renewal generally is required. Upon a showing of hardship, people age 65 and older may renew by mail.
(2) In Louisiana, a driver age 70 and older can renew by mail or online if they have been medically diagnosed with a disability that precludes them from renewing in person. The driver must submit a sworn affidavit by a physician certifying that the driver possesses all cognitive functions reasonably necessary to be a prudent driver.
(3) New Jersey law states that a stored picture cannot be used for a period exceeding four additional years.
(4) Vermont law states that a driver is required to update their photo "no less often than once every eight years."