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Driver’s License Renewal Laws for Older Drivers

2018 Driver's License Renewal Laws for Older Drivers
What’s better than a relaxing Sunday drive? © Can Stock Photo / EpicStockMedia

Since automobiles were first introduced to the US back in the late 1800s, the ability to own and drive a car has developed into a highly characteristic part of American life.

The freedom and mobility provided by driving have become, for many, not only a practical issue but a deep-seated pleasure, even an integral part of that person’s identity.

Realistically, though, the permission to drive is a privilege, and one that — regardless of age — can be withdrawn.

Looking specifically at those who are aged 65 or more, the upside is that, over the last several years, the percentage of accidents involving seniors is on the decline.

Even so, come driver’s license renewal time, each driver – including seniors – will be viewed as an individual, not as part of a group. This is the time to ask yourself a tough question: “Should I continue to drive?”

Do more older adults on the road equal more accidents?

Despite the ever-increasing number of older drivers in the U.S. (about 40 million 65+ years of age as of 2015 and an estimated 75 million by 2030), statistics indicate that the number of injuries and fatalities involving senior drivers are lower than they were 20 years ago.

Sobering statistics about older drivers

It should be noted that drivers 80 or older are involved in the most fatal crashes per mile traveled.

Data specific to highway accidents and fatalities are generally divided into three distinct age groups:

  1. Young drivers, aged 15 – 24
  2. Adult drivers, 25 – 64
  3. Older drivers, 65 and over

Within in these categories, older drivers are 73% more likely to die from their injuries than young drivers, and 17 times more likely to die following an accident than those aged 24 to 64.

Though there are benefits to aging, there’s no denying maturing can be accompanied by health issues requiring medications that may impact one’s vision, ability to focus, and reflexes, possibly causing an accident.

Add to this the greater likelihood of fragile bones, and the expectations for survival, let alone healing, are significantly impacted.

For the record, it has long been true that older drivers experience fewer accidents than their young counterparts. There are two principal reasons for this:

  1. Seniors tend to drive less, logging less mileage, and
  2. They are more likely to drive slowly while obeying the rules of the road.

A new element that has benefited all age groups, though, is continuing advances in anti-collision technology. (If you’re contemplating adding any such features to an older vehicle, ask your auto insurance agent how much such additions might lower your monthly/annual premium.) In recent years, new vehicles are much more likely to include any or all of the following:

  • Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning systems
  • Blind-spot detection
  • Adaptive headlights

This technology will continue to develop. As mature drivers know, technology is meant to augment, not replace, the flagging skill or physical limitations of the driver.

Therefore, each state, attempting to make the roads safer for all, continues to analyze annual statistics to determine suitable driver license requirements.

RELATED: 7 Warning Signs That Indicate Your Driving Days Might Be Done

State-by-state driver’s license renewal procedures

The chart following this article is generously provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a U.S. nonprofit funded by auto-insurers and dedicated to researching and promoting auto safety.

As states change their rules regarding renewal, the chart will be updated. Use this chart to discover:

  • How often you need to renew
  • Whether proof of adequate vision will be required at the time of renewal
  • Whether you must renew in person or may do so online

Be aware that this chart, helpful as it is, is not meant to tell the whole story. For specific details, such as if a written or a road test is required, contact your local DMV office or visit them online.

Keep in mind that at the time of renewal the DMV may scrutinize an applicant’s driving history for accidents and citations.

Apart from what the DMV may require of you, there may simply come a time when you should ask yourself whether you believe you should continue to, or even wish to, drive any more.

Giving Up The Keys – A Conversation About Aging

Should I continue to drive?

If you decide the answer is “Yes,” and you’re concerned about the best, safest vehicle, as more specifically what features to look for, check out

There you can find not only a wealth of information regarding matters relating to safe driving, including a list of the safest new crop of vehicles. You can also find reliable tips on what to look for in a used car, SUV, or pick-up truck.

If your answer is “No,” then the next question is, “What options do I have?” Is there mass transit where you live? If not, could you become part of, or even help set up, a car pool or shuttle service?

After all, you can count on the fact that there are others around you also needing transportation, and there are those others who, for a fair price, should be agreeable to supplying it.

If you’re planning on retiring or seeking senior housing, look for a town or facility that provides its own transportation services and/or includes access to bus, train, or light rail options.

Not being behind the wheel any longer does not have to mean the end of mobility, or of freedom. In fact, it may free you up to do other things, besides helping you, and others, to live that much longer to do them.

Driver’s license renewal laws by state

2018 Driver's License Renewal Laws for Older Drivers 1
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Written By
Amie Clark

Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here


  1. I am 83 yrs old live in Chicago do I have to take to take the written test to renew my license
  2. We are looking at renewing our drivers license from the state of AZ but they have expired my 3 years ago my husband 8 years ago I have looked on line to see if we could renew that way but you have to walk into DMV the problem is we live in South Korea and that is a long plane flight and cost alot of money. He needs a license in order to keep his job with the govt. So what other option do we have we were looking at going to Sipan but you need an address there so that is out. Could you please help us out we have looked everywhere and nothing seen to work,
  3. I have been driving for over 48yrs had on ticket 20yrs ago do I have to take the written test to renew my lic iam 70 yrs old
  4. My Mom doesn’t want to renew her PA Driver’s License. Is there something specific she needs to do or do we just let it expire?
  5. In all states it is legal to drive if u are prone to have seizures. It is unfair that I will likely lose my license because I require oxygen
  6. hey so i was just wondering if ANYONE knows the answer to my question: so my grandma just turned 76 and now has to get her license renewed, right? so i was wondering how long she has to get it renewed? she says a whole year but i don’t know if that’s true.
    1. it depends on the state i think look it up where the state your living at or your grandma state. here in tx at a age of 65 plus lol u have to go in every time
  7. Which states should I move to for low impact on senior citizen drivers, including insurance rates ?
  8. If you think your mom shouldn’t drive and she thinks she should how would a kid without the parent knowing make it so they are unable to drive ??
  9. Elders are more likely to get into accidents. But person who gets over 65 should get a driving license renewal after complete medical test. after that there should be some monitoring on the road to verify their health and eyes issues.

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