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Senior Drivers in California

In addition to being a convenience and an enjoyable activity for many people, driving is also a symbol of one's independence. As we age, there are a numerous factors that can affect our driving skills, and hinder our ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. The California Department of Motor Vehicles wants older drivers to maintain their driving independence as long as they continue to drive safely and confidently.


California drivers who are 70 years of age or older at the time their current driver license expires are generally required to renew their license in person at a local DMV office. In addition to taking a vision test (see below), you may in certain situations be asked to take a written knowledge test as well. In preparation for this, you can review the California Drivers Handbook and take practice tests before going for your license renewal. For faster service at the DMV, you can make an appointment for your visit online, or call 800-921-1117 or 800-777-0133.


Most senior drivers in California who renew their license in person will be asked to undergo a basic vision test to ensure they are able to safely operate a motor vehicle. If you wear eyeglasses, be sure to bring them with you to the DMV. In addition, if you haven't had your vision checked recently, or if you believe your eyesight has worsened, we recommend that you make an appointment with your vision specialist before visiting the DMV.

The California DMV's vision standard is 20/40, and if you do not meet the standard you will be issued a Report of Vision Examination and referred to a licensed vision specialist. Please note the following if you are referred to a vision specialist:

  • If you received the Report of Vision Examination during a DMV visit to renew your license, you will be issued a temporary, 30-day license, provided that your eyesight is 20/70 or better in both eyes. The temporary license will enable you to see a vision specialist.
  • The vision specialist (a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist) will perform a full vision examination and assess whether your eyesight permits you to drive safely. Bring the Report of Vision Examination, completed by the vision specialist, back to your local DMV office.
  • The vision specialist may prescribe eyeglasses or another type of vision correction. Since the California Department of Motor Vehicles will need to retest your vision, make sure to carry out the vision specialist's recommendations before returning to the DMV
When you return to the DMV for another vision test, your Report of Vision Examination will be reviewed. If you pass the subsequent DMV vision test, your driver license renewal will be granted (with a corrective lens restriction, if neccesary). In the event that you fail the subsequent DMV vision test, you will need to take a driving test known as the Supplemental Driving Performance Evaluation (see below). This test is used to determine whether you can compensate for your vision condition while driving. Your driver license will be renewed if you pass this driving test.


Senior drivers are sometimes asked to take a specific driving test - the Supplemental Driving Performance Evaluation - to determine whether they are able to safely operate a motor vehicle. Failing this test, which may be given to drivers of any age, could result in your license being restricted, suspended or revoked. Most commonly, the test is given in one of the following situations:
  1. A driver fails to meet the DMV's vision standard, or
  2. A driver may lack certain driving skills, or have another physical or psychological condition that hinders his or her driving abilities.
To prepare for the test, many older drivers choose to enroll in a driver's education program or driving school for seniors to brush up their skills. If you pass the Supplemental Driving Performance Evaluation, you will be able to keep or renew your California driver license.


A DMV reexamination is when a person's driving skills must be reevaluated based on one or more factors, including the driver's physical or mental condition, or driving record. A DMV reexamination may be recommended by a family member, physical or emergency medical technician, or peace officer. Other times, information in your license renewal application or on your driving record may prompt a reexamination. The reexamination involves the immediate evaluation of an individual by a DMV Driver Safety hearing officer. It consists of an interview, and may also involve a vision test, a written test, and/or a driving test. Following the reexamination, the hearing officer will decide whether any action should be taken regarding your driving privilege, such as restrictions, probation, suspension or revocation.


Sometimes, a physical or mental condition can impair a driver's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. The most common of these conditions is poor vision, but others which may be age-related include cognitive skills like memory, coordination and flexibility. In some circumstances, older drivers may have a restriction placed on their driver license. The types of restrictions vary, and are based on the results of your vision test, driving test, and the driving examiner's assessment. A restricted driver license is intended to ensure that you are driving within your abilities. Some of the most common license restrictions are those that:
  • Require eyeglasses, corrective contact lenses, or bioptic telescopic lens to be worn at certain times.
  • Permit driving from sunrise to sunset only, or prohibit driving during rush hour.
  • Restrict the geographical area in which a person is permitted to drive, or prohibit freeway driving.
  • Require special mechanical devices, or an additional side mirror on the vehicle.
  • Require extra support in order to ensure a safe and correct driving position.


Reviews of Senior Drivers in California

My father's license has been revoked and he continues to drive. He has been in several hit and run accidents but pays people off without reporting any insurance issue. How can we get him off the streets before he hurts someone?

Other states have discounted vehicle registration for seniors. why is california so tight with us? if you renew online now you pay an extra 50 dollars almost. that is a shame when social security never gets a raise. you charge an extra fee because you don't have to do any work. thats insane. this state is communist all the way

My elderly mother can't get documents notarized because her drivers' license expired. But she can't get to the DMV to apply for a senior ID card because she's too frail. How can she get an ID card?

I just passed my driving test, but my license was renewed for only two years. Why? I am 82 and require glasses.

I am 70 years old with a perfect CA driving record of almost 50 years and no medical problems. So why am I required to take a written test?

I am 76 years, good physical condition, no medical problems with perfect driving record. My last application for a Drivers license, i was given a test and pass it. My drivers License will expire this April 2015 and i an going to the Philippines this October and be there for 18 months as Church Missionary. Can i renew my drivers license by mail?


Where can i get a drivers License application and where should i send it?

Where can i get a drivers License application and where should i send it?

Where can i get a drivers License application and where should i send it?

I had car driving license in India that has expired. I moved to US and now US citizen. I am 78 yrs. and good sight and working limbs. I need just driving license for scooter for local use and medical purpose.

Is there a way to download the form for getting an ID card rather than renewing a driver's license online?

I want to change my address and apply for an identification card.

How do you report a 84 year old who has dementia and should not be driving any more?

Can a person who is homebound get a CA Senior ID?

My father in law is 82 and on a 100% disability from several Korean war injuries including head, leg and arm wounds. We his POAs believe he should no longer be driving and his license should be revoked. He has had been involved in several (3) previous accidents and pays the damaged persons off in cash rather than report to his insurance Co. Recently he was involved in an accident where he described to us as a fender bender but come to find our his and another's vehicles were totaled. Talking with his insurance agent agrees that he should no longer drive. But because no injuries were reported they have no reason to refuse to insure him. Why do we have to wait for him to injure someone to have his license revoked? I need to know if there is a way to have him retested with a person who won't turn a blind eye on him because of his disabilities while serving his country. We recently made an appointment to have an evaluation done by his primary veterans doctor and are waiting for his

reply, however he did not indicate the likelihood of doing anything.

Is there a way to anonymously report elderly drivers who are unsafe and dangerous to themselves and others?

I am currently 73 years of age and my license expires 11/18/13. I have an excellent driving record. Current restriction is that I wear glasses/contact lenses. What will be required to renew my license?

I am 79 years, 80 in September. I would like to have a driver test to see if I am still capable of driving. Have had no problem but the past year I had some physical health problems. I believe I am still capable but to put my family at ease, I would like to be checked out.

Thank you for your earliest reply. Cirveda

my mother needs help with reading the questions how do we get someone italian

My Mom is 94 in September. The DMV gave her a new license a year ago WITHOUT a driving test. She nearly mowed down a neighbor boy on his bike and is a terrible driver.

I worry about her killing someone. How do I request that the DMV make her take a

driving test?

my mom ran into a store window. she's 71 and i was w her. pure forgetfulness. scared the crap- outta me. it was on GG Blvd in Ca. she drives my daughter and it scares me, they overlooked her mistakes, taking test 3 times and NOT passing. and issued her a new license.

She Did Not want the DMV to know....... HA! not w my daughter.

My father is unable to drive and has not renewed his driver's license. The question I have is how does he acquire a California ID with his picture without getting a actual driver's license? He requires it for writing checks, banks, etc.

Just go into DMV they have an application just to get a ID

My father is 62 and has been unable to walk by himself for 5 yrs. He is unable to judge distance and amount of pressure in his feet, also he has frequent dizzy spells and has driven like that, his eye sight is also bad, but you constantly mail him a new drivers license. You people should evaluate he disabled people more than just having them sit and then renew there license for them.

I live in NY state ,86 years old with a clean driving record and intend to move to CA in a few months.Could you tell me what I have to do to obtain a driver's licence in CA?

what is needed?

My Mom has been bi-coastal for years but has now sold the house in florida, and is living in CA. Her Fl license expires in 2016. Can she just wait until then to get herself a CA license?

Any time you move you need to up date addresses within 30 days inn Calif.

My mother has spent the last few months in a nursing facility. She is improving but is currently in a wheelchair and practicing her walking. My question is this: Can a person who uses a walker still be licensed to drive a car?

my 83 year old friend has her drive licence revoked because she has failed on driving test because she freaked out a little for being tested. other than that she passed the written test well. Is there any chance she can get her driver license back through any other mean?

My Dad is having tourble with the written part of the test. He is 80. He has a perfect driving record, but has trouble reading and comprehending the questions, and missed 4 question out of 18 both times. My question is, how many times will they allow him to take the 18 question written test? Is it three time total, or can he do it again for $ 6.00?

Maybe he could do a oral test

My wife and I have the same birthdate, 3/18/40 which is mine and 3/18/41 is her date. We both went in to take the test in early February and my wife recieved her new licence early last week. To date mine has not come in but my paper which they gave me at the DMV says I am ok until the 12th of April.. What is the story , should I expect it any day..

My dad is 88, and should not be driving. He has had black outs, and I do not know if the hospital or Drs has reported this. As his POA, I kind of have enough problems with dealing with him. Is there a way to annonomously have his license revoked? I need to know ASAP?

I got an appt. for driver's license renewal for April 8-My license expires on 3/29

is there a grace period?