Senior Drivers in Wyoming
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 numerous factors that can affect our driving skills, and hinder our ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WyDOT) wants older drivers to maintain their driving independence as long as they continue to drive safely and confidently.
License Renewal For Senior Drivers
Wyoming drivers do not have any age-based limitations on their license. At the time that their current driver license expires, Wyoming drivers are required to renew their license in person at a local DOT office. Mail renewal can be done once in 8 years, or every alternate renewal cycle.
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 Wyoming Drivers Handbook and take practice tests before going for your license renewal. For license-related queries, you can contact the DOT on (307) 777-4803.
The Vision Test
All drivers in Wyoming 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 are renewing by mail, you will need to submit a vision statement by a licensed visual specialist.
If you wear eyeglasses, be sure to bring them with you to the DOT. 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 DOT.
The Wyoming DOT’s vision standard is 20/40 with both eyes and a horizontal visual field of 120 degrees. If you do not meet the standard you will be issued a CDL application form and referred to a licensed vision specialist. Please note the following if you are referred to 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 Driver Visual Evaluation, completed by the vision specialist, back to your local DOT office.
- The vision specialist may prescribe eyeglasses or another type of vision correction. Since the Wyoming Department of Transportation will need to retest your vision, make sure to carry out the vision specialist’s recommendations before returning to the DOT.
When you return to the DOT for another vision test, your Report of Vision Examination will be reviewed. If you pass the subsequent DOT vision test, your driver license renewal will be granted (with a corrective lens restriction, if necessary).
When requesting a license renewal, drivers will be asked if they have any medical condition that might hinder their driving abilities. Some of these include a history of stroke, insulin shock, blackouts, etc. If such conditions exist, a medical evaluation form should be submitted, and WyDOT will then decide the type of license you could be eligible for.
Drivers who are hard of hearing may be asked to get additional mirrors fitted in their vehicle.
Drivers with a seizure history must have been seizure-free for at least 3 months before resuming driving. More information can be obtained by calling (307) 777-4800 or (307) 777-4810.
The DOT Reexamination
A DOT 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 DOT 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. Incompetent drivers can be reported to WyDOT with all available information to:
Driver Services 5300 Bishop Blvd. Cheyenne, WY 82009-3340
The reexamination involves the immediate evaluation of an individual by a DOT Driver Safety hearing 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 privileges, such as restrictions, probation, suspension or revocation.
The Restricted Drivers 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, 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.