License Renewal for Seniors in California

License Renewal for Seniors in California: What You Need to Know

When renewing or applying for a driver’s license in California, drivers 70 years of age and older must comply with specific requirements.

Unless instructed differently by the DMV, senior drivers must renew their license in person. They have to pass a multiple-choice knowledge exam and have their vision examined.

Senior drivers may have their licenses extended by 30 days if they retake and pass the written test before the expiration date.

A vital communication lifeline for rural communities in California for over a century has been provided by a network of hardline phone wires, but that lifeline may soon be broken.

A recent legal amendment allows anyone under 80 years of age to take the written exam online, but the eye test still needs to be taken in person.

“A lot of senior citizens don’t feel they’re getting a fair shake,” stated lawyer Rodney Gould, whose statewide legal firm has helped elderly clients with challenges related to renewing their drivers licenses.

There are elders who worry that being unable to drive will make them isolated from society.

“I’ve seen the test, I’ve looked at many of them. There’s always some questions on there that just make zero sense and they really have almost nothing to do with driving,” Gould stated.

He feels that new legislation is necessary.

“This law goes back probably 40 or 50 years,” he stated. “I think probably 40 or 50 years ago, a 70-year-old was probably older than what we consider a 70-year-old today.”

Improvements in nutrition, medicine, healthcare, and safer automobiles have increased longevity and the number of years that one can drive.

“There’s probably no reason, in reality, to say, once you’re over 70 you have to be examined,” Gould stated.

Nonetheless, there are situations in which a driver may no longer be able to drive safely due to deteriorating physical or mental ability. Anybody may file a Request for Driver Reexamination in certain circumstances.

Unless the input was submitted with evil intent, confidentiality is safeguarded. License suspension occurs automatically if a reexamination request is not fulfilled.

“In most cases, drivers can provide explanations or medical evaluations to contest concerns. Often, it’s a single hearing before a hearing officer to resolve the matter,” Gould clarified.

“Most of the time, they can explain what’s going on or explain the accident. They can submit the doctor’s evaluation that they have no cognitive deficiencies and or pass the test and, oftentimes, it’s one hearing in front of a hearing officer. You prove yourself and everybody moves on,” Gould stated.