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Senior Guide for Safe Driving - Part IV


Senior Guide for Safe Driving - Part IV

Driver License Renewal Process

Drivers 70 years of age and older at the time the driver license expires must appear in person to renew his or her driver license. Written and vision tests are required. DMV sends a renewal notice to your address of record about 60 days before your license expires. If you do not receive a renewal notice, you will need to complete an original Driver License or Identification Card Application (DL 44) form. To obtain the DL 44 form by mail, call DMV's automated phone service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-777-0133.

Feeling some anxiety or nervousness before or during the driver license renewal process is normal for many people. The best way for you to minimize these emotions is to prepare for the renewal process. Be sure to make an appointment to renew your license at your local DMV office at or call 1-800-777-0133

Preparation Tips

  • Do not wait until your license is about to expire before starting the renewal process.
  • Study the California Driver Handbook (available online at or call 1-800-777- 0133 to have a copy mailed to you).
  • If possible, make a morning appointment and eat a nutritious breakfast before coming to DMV.
  • Get a good night's sleep the night before your test.


Written Tests

Your application fee allows you three chances to pass the written test. The driver license renewal test consists of 18 multiple choice questions. A passing grade is three errors or less. When your test is corrected by the DMV representative, the correct answer is identified for any incorrectly answered question(s). The test may be returned to you.

Written Test Tips

  • Visit DMV's website at, and take the practice tests.
  • Every question on the test is taken from the handbook. Take your time and read each
    question carefully. There is only one correct answer. The other two answers will be either
    obviously wrong or close to being correct; however, not the most accurate.
  • If you miss a question, ask the DMV representative to show you or write on the
    exam the page number where you can find the correct answer in the handbook.
  • If you do not pass on your first attempt, take a few days to review the handbook and any
    questions missed, and then try again.
  • Most importantly, take your time. If you don't pass, you will be issued a temporary license. This will allow you to review the handbook and testing material past your license expiration date, so you will not feel rushed.


Vision Tests

DMV uses two tests to measure visual acuity (keenness of vision). The most common test is a wall chart. Your eyes are tested together and then individually by reading five characters in different lines.

If you are unable to read the wall chart, you will be asked to look into a vision testing machine for specific objects. The testing machine measures the acuity of your eyes individually and together, even though both eyes are open during the test.

If you do not meet DMV's vision standard (20/40) you will be referred to a vision specialist (licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist). The DMV representative will give you a Report of Vision Examination (DL 62) form to take with you to your appointment. If your vision is no worse than 20/70, DMV will issue you a 30-day temporary driver license to allow you time to have your vision checked.

"Every question on the test is taken from the handbook"

If you are still unable to meet DMV's vision standards after your vision is checked, you will be scheduled for a driving test to determine if you can compensate for your vision condition. For more information regarding the driving test click here.

Vision Test Tips

  • If you wear eyeglasses and recently had your prescription changed, bring your new glasses.
  • If you are nervous or confused during any part of the vision test, be sure to let the DMV
    representative know.
  • If the vision specialist prescribes new eyeglasses or recommends another type of vision correction, wait until you have the new eyeglasses or until you have completed the recommendations of your optometrist or ophthalmologist before returning to DMV with your completed DL 62 form.

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