Problems Associated with Senior Drivers
Driver’s License Suspension
As a senior citizen driver, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may try to suspend your license for the following reasons:
- Inadequate driving skill
- Lapse of consciousness
- Concerns regarding your physical or mental health
- …and more
Priority Reexamination Notice
After the hearing, the DMV will send you a Priority Reexamination Notice. Once that is received, you have five days to contact the local DMV Driver Safety office. Otherwise, your license will be suspended. Included in the Priority Reexamination Notice is a full list of instructions to follow.
The Reexamination Process
At the time of the reexamination, you will be asked a number of questions by a DMV hearing officer. In particular, the officer will question you about both your physical and mental health. In addition, the officer may ask about or for any of the following:
- Driving history, including specific incidents reported on your driving record
- Knowledge of current laws and rules pertaining to driving and how you would react under certain driving situations
- Medical information from your primary care physician
Other things that may be requested as part of the reexamination process include:
- Written test
- Vision test
- Driving test
Once you have completed the reexamination, the evidence will be reviewed by the DMV hearing officer. At that point, the officer will determine what action, if any, should be taken to ensure the safety of you and others with you behind the wheel of a vehicle. Possibilities that could affect your driving privileges include suspension, restriction, probation, or revocation.
Any decision made by the DMV hearing officer regarding your driver’s license will be sent to you in writing. If you feel the decision is incorrect or unjustified, you have the opportunity to request an additional DMV hearing. Included in the notice of action that you receive are instructions for requesting a second hearing.
Will I Lose My Driver’s License Once I Reach a Certain Age?
Once you reach a certain age, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will NOT automatically take your license away. However, in determining whether your license will be renewed, restricted, revoked, or suspended, your physical and mental health, as well as your ability to follow current laws and rules, are considered, regardless of your age.
Driving at 70 or Older
Once you reach the age of 70, you are required under California law to renew your driver’s license in person at a DMV location.
Being Reported for a Reexamination Hearing
Typically, a doctor or police officer is responsible for notifying the DMV that someone needs to attend a reexamination hearing.
If a police officer issues you a traffic ticket and has concerns about your ability to drive safely, he or she may report you to the DMV so that a reexamination hearing can take place.
It is not uncommon for senior citizens to be reported to the DMV by a doctor or police officer. If there are concerns, this allows the DMV to conduct a thorough investigation, as well as reexamination, so that a senior’s driving abilities are reevaluated.
If the DMV has concerns regarding your ability to drive safety, your license can be suspended. Remember, once you receive the letter from the DMV, you must request a hearing immediately to keep your driver’s license.