A look at the varying rules across the states we are licensed in governing drivers’ licenses for older adults.
COLORADO: Licenses are renewed every 10 years until age 61 when drivers must begin renewing them every five years. Starting at age 66, there’s another restriction, as drivers can renew by mail only with a doctor’s or optometrist’s certification that they had passed an eye exam within six months.
ARIZONA: Licenses expire on the 65th birthday, and until then drivers only need new photos every 12 years – making Arizona unique in how long a license can last. Starting at 65, drivers must renew every five years, with a vision test each time. At age 70, renewal can no longer be done by mail.
In 1995, Arizona started issuing licenses that were good until age 60. Legislation in 1999 expanded the expiration date to age 65. In an email, the Arizona Department of Transportation said the change reflected “a more realistic view of a capable driving age,” that also saved money on renewals.
KANSAS: Starting at age 65, drivers must renew a license every four years instead of every six. Everyone must pass a vision test or provide proof of an eye exam.
The state’s licensing examiners have the authority to add restrictions, such as allowing only daytime driving, limiting the distance driven from home, or banning freeway driving. The examiners can flag an application for further review or require a road test if they spot a potential problem and depending on how applicants answer questions about medical fitness to drive, said Jeannine Koranda, spokesman for the state Department of Revenue.
MISSOURI: Starting at age 70, drivers must renew a license every three years, compared with every six years for adults ages 21 to 69.
State law allows doctors, law enforcement, social workers, therapists and immediate family members to report a potentially unsafe driver to the Department of Revenue, which can investigate and require testing or license restrictions. Reporting is confidential.