- Associated Press - Monday, September 17, 2012

A 50-state look at the varying rules across the nation governing drivers’ licenses for older adults. ___

ALABAMA: Licenses are renewed every four years for all drivers, with no additional requirements for older drivers.

A legislative committee considered older driver safety in 2003 and decided not to recommend any changes, saying young drivers cause far more accidents.


ALASKA: Licenses are renewed every five years, but starting at age 69 people may not renew by mail.


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.


ARKANSAS: Licenses are renewed every four years for all drivers, with no additional requirements for older drivers and no legislative attempts to add any.


CALIFORNIA: Licenses are renewed every five years, and until age 70 drivers may automatically be granted two five-year renewals by mail or online. Starting at 70, drivers must renew in person, taking a written test and eye exam.

At any age, a road test may be administered if a Department of Motor Vehicles employee believes there’s a reason, or if a doctor, police office, relative or even a neighbor requests one, said DMV spokesman Armando Botello. State law allows confidential reporting of a possibly unsafe driver, and California is one of the few states to require that doctors report certain medical conditions that could impact driving ability.


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.

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