Senior Driving Rules and Driving Safety Guide

The Zebra
Jan. 16, 2019

senior driver hero

In 2015, there were more than 40 million licensed drivers aged 65 and older in the United States. Although seniors are healthier and living longer than ever, driving rules and regulations apply to seniors, varying by state. These laws are enforced to ensure seniors' safety on the road.

To find your state’s special provisions for seniors, scroll through our guide below. Each state is listed in alphabetical order. We recommend reviewing your state’s driver handbook before renewing your license, as the DMV is often allowed to require a driving test or written knowledge test, in addition to a vision test.

Once you review your state’s license renewal rules, read through our driving safety tips for seniors and our breakdown of the best new car features to help senior drivers stay safe on the road.

Driving license renewal rules for seniors by state

provisions for senior drivers by state

 

Alabama

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: No

Drivers are to renew their licenses every four years. No vision test is required and there are no special requirements for senior drivers, although you may still be asked to take a vision test or written knowledge test.

 

Alaska

  • License renewal: Every 5 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: 69 and older, every renewal

Drivers are to renew their licenses every five years. Drivers 69 and older will be asked to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Arizona

  • License renewal: 5 years for people 65 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

Drivers aged 65 and older are required to renew their license every five years. All drivers are required to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Arkansas

  • License renewal: Every 8 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers are expected to renew their license every eight years. They are also expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. There are no special requirements for seniors, but you may still be asked to take a written knowledge test at the time of your renewal.

 

California

  • License renewal: Every 5 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: 70 and older, at every renewal

All drivers are required to renew their license every five years. Drivers 70 and older are required to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

senior couple driving

 

Colorado

  • License renewal: Every 5 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers are required to renew their license every five years. In addition, all drivers are required to take a vision test at every license renewal. There are no special requirements for seniors, although you may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Connecticut

  • License renewal: Every 6 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: No

All drivers are required to renew their license every six years. There is no vision test requirement and there are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Delaware

  • License renewal: Every 8 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers are expected to renew their license every eight years. In addition, all drivers are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. There are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

District of Columbia

  • License renewal: Every 8 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers are expected to renew their license every eight years. In addition, all drivers are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. There are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Florida

  • License renewal: Every 6 years for those 80 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for those 80 and older

Drivers aged 80 and older must renew their license every six years. In addition, all drivers aged 80 and older must take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Georgia

  • License renewal: Every 8 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers are expected to renew their license every eight years. In addition, all drivers are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. There are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

elderly driver statistics

 

Hawaii

  • License renewal: Every 2 years for people 72 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers aged 72 and older are required to renew their license every two years. In addition, all drivers are required to take a vision test at every license renewal.You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Idaho

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for people 63 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers aged 63 and older are required to renew their license every four years.In addition, all drivers are required to take a vision test at every license renewal.You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Illinois

  • License renewal: Every 2 years for people 81 - 86; 1 year for people 87 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for people 75 and older

All drivers between the ages of 81 and 86 are required to renew their license every two years. All drivers aged 87 and older are required to renew their license every year. In addition, all drivers aged 75 and older are required to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Indiana

  • License renewal: Every 3 years for people 75-84: 2 years for people 85 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for people 75 and older

Every driver between the ages of 75 and 84 is required to renew their license every 3 years. All drivers aged 85 and older are required to renew their license every two years. In addition, all drivers aged 75 and older are required to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Iowa

  • License renewal: Every 2 years for people 72 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for people 70 and older

All drivers aged 72 and older must renew their license every two years. Drivers aged 70 and older must take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Kansas

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for people 65 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers aged 65 and older are required to renew their license every four years. In addition, all drivers are required to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

senior man with glasses driving

 

Kentucky

  • License renewal: Every 8 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: No

All drivers are required to renew their license every eight years. There is no vision test requirement and there are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Louisiana

  • License renewal: Every 6 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for people 70 and older

All drivers are required to renew their license every six years. In addition, drivers aged 70 and older are required to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Maine

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for people 65 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for people 62 and older

All drivers aged 65 and older are required to renew their license every four years. In addition, all drivers aged 62 and older are required to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Maryland

  • License renewal: Every 8 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for people 40 and older

All drivers are expected to renew their license every eight years. In addition, all drivers aged 40 and older are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Massachusetts

  • License renewal: Every 5 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for people 75 and older

All drivers are expected to renew their license every five years. In addition, all drivers aged 75 and older are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Michigan

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: No

All drivers are expected to renew their license every four years. Vision tests are not required and there are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Minnesota

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers are expected to renew their license every four years. In addition, all drivers are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. There are no special requirements for seniors, although you may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Mississippi

  • License renewal: Every 8 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: No

All drivers are expected to renew their license every eight years. There is no vision test requirement and there are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

senior couple sunset

 

Missouri

  • License renewal: Every 3 years for people 70 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers aged 70 and older are expected to renew their license every three years.In addition, all drivers are required to take a vision test at every license renewal.You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Montana

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for people 75 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers aged 75 and older are expected to renew their license every four years.In addition, all drivers are required to take a vision test at every license renewal.You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Nebraska

  • License renewal: Every 5 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for people 72 and older

All drivers are expected to renew their license every five years.In addition, all drivers aged 72 and older are required to take a vision test at every license renewal.You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Nevada

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for people 65 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for people 71 and older

All drivers aged 65 and older are expected to renew their license every four years.In addition, all drivers aged 71 and older are required to take a vision test at every license renewal.You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

New Hampshire

  • License renewal: Every five years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers are expected to renew their license every five years. In addition, all drivers are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. There are no special requirements for seniors, although you may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

senior driving warning signs

 

New Jersey

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for people 70 and older
  • Vision test: Every 10 years for all drivers

All drivers aged 70 and older are required to renew their license every four years. In addition, all drivers are required to take a vision test every 10 years. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

New Mexico

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for people 67-74; every 1 year for people 75 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for people 75 and older

Drivers between the ages of 67 and 74 are required to renew their license every four years. Drivers aged 75 and older are required to renew their license every year. In addition, drivers aged 75 and older are required to take a vision test at every renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

New York

  • License renewal: Every 8 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers are expected to renew their license every eight years. In addition, all drivers are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. There are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

North Carolina

  • License renewal: Every 5 years for people 66 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers aged 66 and older are expected to renew their license every five years. In addition, all drivers are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

North Dakota

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for people 78 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers aged 78 and older are expected to renew their license every four years. In addition, all drivers are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Ohio

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers are expected to renew their license every four years. In addition, all drivers are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. There are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Oklahoma

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: No

All drivers are expected to renew their license every four years. There is no vision test requirement and there are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Oregon

  • License renewal: Every 8 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for people 50 and older

All drivers are expected to renew their license every eight years. In addition, all drivers aged 50 and older are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Pennsylvania

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for people 65 and older
  • Vision test: No

All drivers aged 65 and older are expected to renew their license every four years. There is no vision test requirement, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Rhode Island

  • License renewal: Every 2 years for people 75 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers aged 75 and older are expected to renew their license every two years. In addition, all drivers are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

senior woman with glasses driving

 

South Carolina

  • License renewal:Every 8 years for all drivers
  • Vision test:Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers are expected to renew their license every eight years. In addition, all drivers are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. There are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

South Dakota

  • License renewal: Every 5 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for people 65 and older

All drivers are expected to renew their license every five years. In addition, all drivers aged 65 and older are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Tennessee

  • License renewal: Every 8 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: No

All drivers are expected to renew their license every eight years. There is no vision test requirement and there are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Texas

  • License renewal: Every 2 years for people 85 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for people 79 and older

All drivers aged 85 and older are expected to renew their license every two years. In addition, all drivers aged 79 and older are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Utah

  • License renewal: Every 5 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for people 65 and older

All drivers are expected to renew their license every five years. In addition, all drivers aged 65 and older are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. You also may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Vermont

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: No

All drivers are expected to renew their license every four years. There is no vision test requirement and there are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Virginia

  • License renewal: Every 5 years for people 75 and older
  • Vision test: Every renewal for people 75 and older

All drivers aged 75 and older are expected to renew their license every five years. In addition, all drivers aged 75 and older are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. You may also be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Washington

  • License renewal: Every 6 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal

All drivers are expected to renew their license every six years. In addition, all drivers are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. There are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

West Virginia

  • License renewal: Every 8 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers are expected to renew their license every eight years. In addition, all drivers are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. There are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Wisconsin

  • License renewal: Every 8 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every renewal for all drivers

All drivers are expected to renew their license every eight years. In addition, all drivers are expected to take a vision test at every license renewal. There are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Wyoming

  • License renewal: Every 4 years for all drivers
  • Vision test: Every 8 years for all drivers

All drivers are expected to renew their license every four years. In addition, all drivers are expected to take a vision test every eight years. There are no special requirements for seniors, although you may be asked to take a written knowledge test.

 

Driving safety tips for seniors

proactive senior driving tips

 

Senior drivers are staying healthy longer than ever and are driving well into their golden years, but seniors still face everyday challenges that others do not. Here are some quick tips to ensure that you keep up safe driving habits.

 

Stay active

One of the biggest factors in seniors inability to continue driving is their decline in physical capabilities. Staying physically active ensures that you will have increased strength and flexibility which will help your reaction time in the event of an unexpected incident on the road.

Stay active by:

  • Stretching daily
  • Walking and/or swimming
  • Moderate strength training with weights
  • Gardening
  • Practicing yoga

Monitor and manage chronic conditions

About 85 percent of seniors have at least one chronic health condition, and 60 percent have at least two chronic conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Conditions like high blood pressure, arthritis and diabetes can have negative effects on your driving.

Manage your chronic condition by:

  • Staying up-to-date on your medication
  • Eating healthy
  • Reducing stress
  • Sleeping eight hours per night
  • Limiting alcohol consumption

Manage medications

Almost three-quarters of American seniors take at least one prescription and one diet supplement daily. Many medications have strong side effects that can affect your driving.

Take these preventative measures below to reduce your risk of driving impairment due to medications:

  • Consult your physician on all OTC and prescribed medication
  • Take medications before bed, if appropriate
  • Make a full list of medications and consumption schedule to avoid overlap

Practice defensive driving

Defensive driving is something all drivers should practice, no matter your age. Defensive driving strategies reduce your chances of being in dangerous driving situations that may cause a wreck or you getting pulled over.

Some defensive driving tip for seniors to practice are:

  • Avoid driving at night or during rush hour
  • Keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead
  • Avoid driving during bad weather
  • Keep your headlights on at all times
  • Limit in-car distractions like phones, GPS, and infotainment

 

New vehicle technology to keep seniors on the road longer

best new car features for seniors

 

Vehicle technology has come a long way in the past decade and is continuing to improve. Soon, many cars will be autonomous but until then, seniors can take advantage of new technology to help keep them on the road longer.

Here is a list of new car features to look for when making your next vehicle purchase:

  • Forward auto-braking
  • Blind spot/lane departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Adaptive headlamps
  • Automatic day/night mirrors
  • Self-parking system

Senior drivers get a bad rap, but they can be some of the safest drivers on the road. This is because seniors typically avoid driving on dangerous roads, driving during rush hour and driving at night. To make sure that you, as a senior, have the best car insurance for your driving needs, take a look at our breakdown of thebest car insurance for senior drivers.

 

Sources

IIHS | Claims Journal | AAA