Section 22 of 23
Section 13: Seniors and Driving
Senior drivers often have unique needs and concerns about driving. Driving requires certain physical, visual, and mental abilities. We all want to continue driving as long as we can. However, the time may come when we must limit or stop driving temporarily or permanently. Here are some warning signs of an unsafe driver:
- Getting lost in familiar places.
- Dents and scrapes on the car, fences, mailbox, garage doors, etc.
- Frequent close calls or collisions.
Senior drivers may consider:
- Limiting or not driving at night.
- If night driving is necessary, choose a well-lit route.
- Driving during the time of day when traffic is light.
- Avoiding difficult intersections.
- Driving for short distances or limiting driving to essential places.
- No freeway driving.
- Installing an additional right-side mirror.
To get the Driver Skills Self-Assessment Questionnaire, visit dmv.ca.gov/driver-skills.
Driver’s License Renewal
If you are 70 years old or older at the time your driver’s license expires, you are required to renew your driver’s license in person, unless otherwise instructed by DMV. Knowledge and vision tests are required. If you do not pass, you may be issued a temporary driver’s license. DMV sends a renewal notice to your address of record about 60 days before your driver’s license expires. If you do not receive a renewal notice, complete a Driver License or Identification Card Application at dmv.ca.gov/dlservices or at a DMV office. Visit dmv.ca.gov/driver-ed for more information and sample tests.
DMV’s Senior Ombudsman
The Senior Ombudsman’s primary function is to represent the interests of public safety for all Californians with a focus in addressing the concerns of senior drivers. Ombudsmen can assist as a go-between to ensure that senior drivers are treated fairly, consistent with laws and regulations, and with dignity and respect. While the Senior Ombudsman cannot represent you in a DMV hearing or reexamination, the Ombudsman can provide you with tools and information.
For information about driving as a senior, contact the Senior Ombudsman Program in your area:
Los Angeles and Central Coast Counties (310) 615-3552
Sacramento and Northern California Counties (916) 657-6464 or (916) 657-7109
Orange and San Diego Counties (714) 705-1588
San Francisco, Oakland, and Bay Area (510) 563-8998
Seniors suffering from dementia present a significant challenge to safe driving. Individuals with progressive dementia ultimately lose their ability to drive safely. It is often up to caregivers, physicians, and law enforcement, to stop these seniors from driving and arrange alternative transportation. For more information about the reexamination process, visit dmv.ca.gov/reexamination.
Mature Driver Program
The Mature Driver Improvement Program is an eight-hour course for drivers 55 years old and older. It covers a range of topics that are of special interest to mature drivers.
Your insurance company may offer discounts if you complete the program. Contact your insurance provider with a copy of your completion certificate. Your certificate is valid for three years. You can renew it by completing another four-hour course.
You can take the course through DMV-approved providers. Visit dmv.ca.gov/seniors for more information, including locations near you.
Senior ID Cards
If you are 62 years old or older, you are eligible for a no-fee Senior ID card. Drivers of any age who are unable to continue driving safely due to a physical or mental condition may be eligible to exchange their driver’s license for a no-fee ID card. The ID card serves as identification only. Details may be found at dmv.ca.gov/id-cards.