As we age, our driving abilities can change. For this reason, many states have specific requirements for renewing a senior driver’s license a certain age (usually between 65 – 75).
This isn’t done just to annoy you — according to the CDC, drivers aged 70 and above have higher fatal crash rates per mile traveled than most other age groups.
While the process can seem daunting, it is important to ensure that we continue to safe, capable drivers on the road.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about renewing your driver’s license after 70, including the requirements, process, and tips for road safety.
Requirements for Renewing Drivers License As a Senior
In most states, older senior drivers are required to renew their driver’s license in person, rather than online or by mail.
The exact age when one must switch to in-person license renewal can vary by state. Most states require in-person renewals somewhere between ages 65 – 75.
You should receive a letter from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your state informing you that it is time to renew your license. The letter will give you specific instructions for the renewal process, such as what documents to bring with you and any fees associated with the renewal.
Additionally, they may need to pass a vision test, take a written or driving exam, and provide medical certification from their doctor.
Here are some of the requirements for renewing your driver’s license as a senior:
- Vision test: Most states require drivers to pass a vision test when renewing their license. This test ensures that drivers can see well enough to drive safely on the road. Make sure to visit your optometrist for an update glasses prescription to ensure your vision is at its best!
- Written or driving exam: Depending on the state, drivers over 70 may be required to take a written or driving exam to ensure that their skills are up to date.
- Medical certification: In some states, drivers over 70 may need to provide medical certification from their doctor to renew their license. This is basically a note from your doctor confirming that you’re physically capable of driving safely.
For a better idea of what your specific state requires, check out the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s website — they offer up-to-date info regarding license renewal policies across various states.
In-person renewals can be a hassle, but they’ll keep you safer. When Missouri studied in-person examinations of drivers from a 2001-2005 period, nearly 25% of applicants were identified as unfit to drive by license office staff.
Another study using 1986–2011 FARS data found that states who began requiring in-person license renewals had lower fatal crash involvement rates for drivers aged 85 and above. There are plenty of other elderly driving statistics showing similar results – over a certain age, elderly drivers are much more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents.
Registering Your License After 75: State Rules
|State||In-Person Renewal Age||Vision Test||Written/Driving Exam||Medical Certification||State DMV|
|Alabama||65||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Alaska||69||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Arizona||65||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Arkansas||70||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|California||70||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Colorado||66||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Connecticut||65||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Delaware||65||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Florida||80||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Georgia||64||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Idaho||63||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Illinois||81||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Indiana||75||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Iowa||70||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Kansas||65||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Kentucky||70||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Louisiana||70||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Maine||65||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Maryland||70||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Michigan||65||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Minnesota||72||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Mississippi||65||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Missouri||70||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Montana||75||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Nebraska||72||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Nevada||65||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|New Hampshire||75||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|New Jersey||65||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|New Mexico||75||Required||Required||Required||State DMV|
|New York||75||Required||Required||Required||State DMV|
|North Carolina||66||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|North Dakota||78||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Ohio||72||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Oklahoma||65||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Oregon||50||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Pennsylvania||65||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Rhode Island||75||Required||Required||Required||State DMV|
|South Carolina||65||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|South Dakota||70||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Tennessee||70||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Texas||79||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Utah||65||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Vermont||65||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Virginia||75||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Washington||70||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|West Virginia||75||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Wisconsin||65||Required||Required||Not Required||State DMV|
|Wyoming||70||Required||Not Required||Not Required||State DMV|
Note: The information provided in this table is subject to change, and individuals are encouraged to check with their state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for the most up-to-date information on license renewal policies for drivers over the age of 70.
Process for Renewing Drivers License at 75
Here are some general steps you can expect when renewing your license as an older senior:
- Schedule an appointment: Most states require drivers over 70 to renew their license in person, so you will need to schedule an appointment at your local DMV office.
- Gather required documents: Make sure to bring all the required documents with you to your appointment. This may include your current driver’s license, proof of identity, and proof of residency.
- Take any necessary exams: Depending on the state, you may need to take a vision test, written exam, or driving exam.
- Pay the fee: You will need to pay a fee to renew your driver’s license. This fee can vary depending on the state.
Tips for Staying Safe on the Road
Due to cognitive changes, physical deterioration, reduced mobility, and even medication side effects, driving can be considerably riskier for older drivers. But, there are a number of steps you can take to stay safe.
- Avoid driving in bad weather. Bad weather can be challenging for drivers of all ages. If possible, avoid driving in bad weather conditions.
- Limit driving at night. Driving at night can be challenging, especially for older drivers. Limit your driving at night to reduce the risk of accidents.
- Keep extra glasses in the car. If you find that your driving visibility improves with glasses, make
- Consider trying Uber or Lyft. If you’re feeling unsure about your driving capabilities, Uber or Lyft ride share service apps can be a great alternative to driving.
- Adjust the car seat for your height. Always make sure the seat, mirrors, and steering wheel are set at the appropriate height for your body. Adult car booster seats can provide extra lift for shorter seniors.
Renewing your driver’s license as an older senior can be a difficult process, but it is an important step to ensure you are driving safely and legally. While it can be frustrating to contemplate losing your license, remember that these safety protocols are essential for keeping everyone safe on the road.
Also, keep in mind that different states have various requirements for renewing a license, so make sure to check with your local DMV office before scheduling an appointment.
FAQ About Elderly Driver’s License Renewal
Can seniors renew their driver’s license online?
No – in most states, drivers over the age of 65 are required to renew their driver’s license in person.
Do I need to take a driving exam to renew my license after 70?
Depending on the state, drivers over 70 may be required to take a written or driving exam to renew their license, in addition to a visual eye exam.