Information for Senior Drivers in New Hampshire
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 New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles wants older drivers to maintain their driving independence as long as they continue to drive safely and confidently.
LICENSE RENEWAL FOR SENIOR DRIVERS
New Hampshire drivers who are 75 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 will also be asked to take a road test. In preparation for this, you can review the New Hampshire Drivers Handbook and take practice tests before going for your license renewal. For faster service at the DMV, you can make an appointment by calling (603) 271-2371.
THE VISION TEST
All drivers in New Hampshire who renew their license 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 New Hampshire DMV's vision standard is 20/40 in each eye. If you are blind in one eye, acuity in the other eye must be 20/30. If you fail the vision test, you will not be allowed to have a license. Drivers who are currently out of state (like Armed Forces personnel and/or their families) also will be required to submit an out-of-the-state eye examination before they can renew their license by mail.
Drivers with a seizure history should have been seizure-free for at least one year before resuming driving after submitting a medical documentation. There are no restrictions for a hearing impaired driver. Drivers with disability can have special testing accommodations on contacting the DMV.
THE DMV REEXAMINATION
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. Any driver found incompetent can be reported to the DMV. Details can be sent to:
Department of Safety
Division of Motor Vehicles
23 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305
The reexamination involves the immediate evaluation of an individual by a DMV approved officer. It consists of an interview, and may also involve a vision test, a written test, and/or a driving test. 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. 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.
THE RESTRICTED DRIVER LICENSE
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, or 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.