ELDERLY;

MOTOR VEHICLES - LICENSES;

OLR Research Report


September 30, 2003

 

2003-R-0635

LICENSE RETESTING REQUIREMENTS FOR ELDERLY DRIVERS IN SIX SELECT STATES

By: James J. Fazzalaro, Principal Analyst

You asked what license retesting requirements apply to elderly drivers renewing their drivers’ licenses in Maine, New Hampshire, Illinois, Utah, Oregon, and North Carolina. The requirements are shown below.

MAINE

The driver’s license cycle is normally six years. At age 65, drivers must renew every four, rather than six years. Maine requires every driver to undergo a vision test when renewing his license at ages 40, 52, 65, and every four years thereafter. Vision testing includes tests of visual acuity and field of view.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

New Hampshire requires all drivers to undergo a vision test when renewing their license, but also requires someone who has reached age 75 to take a road test as well. Licenses are valid for five years for all ages. The vision test appears to cover only visual acuity.

ILLINOIS

Drivers’ licenses are valid for four-year periods in Illinois. A driver may mail-in his license renewal every other license cycle as long as he has a clean driving record and no medical reports have been made to the licensing agency about conditions that could affect his driving ability. Vision tests are required for everyone at any in-person renewal. The vision test checks visual acuity and field of view. A written test is also required every eight years but is waived if the person has a clean driving record.

Anyone who is age 75 or older must take a road test when renewing and may not renew by mail. Drivers age 81 to 86 must renew their licenses every two years. Drivers age 87 and above must renew annually.

UTAH

Drivers’ licenses are valid for five years. The driver may renew by mail every other cycle as long as he has no suspensions or revocations and no more than four motor vehicle violations during the expiring license period. Vision tests are required for renewing drivers who are age 65 or older. The test checks visual acuity and field of view.

OREGON

Drivers’ licenses are valid for eight years. Mail-in renewal is possible every other license cycle. After age 50, a vision screening is required every eight years. The screening examines visual acuity and field of view. Oregon is implementing a requirement that primary health care providers report anyone who shows severe functional or cognitive impairments that cannot be controlled or corrected by surgery, medication, therapy, or driving devices or techniques.

NORTH CAROLINA

Drivers’ licenses are valid for five years. Vision and written tests are required for all renewing drivers. They are not age-based requirements. Vision tests cover visual acuity and field of view.

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