By the year 2030, an estimated one in five drivers in the
United States will be age 65 or older. A
lot of up and coming seniors (including my parents) are electing to stay in
their homes as opposed to relocation into senior communities or homes.
These mature drivers will be using the freeways and busy
streets they have used for years. It
will call on them to be alert and able to be safe. To get ready, the DMV is increasing its
procedures in drivers re examination.
The DMV can restrict, suspend, revoke someone’s license if they feel
there may be a safety issue. These
procedures are not limited to mature drivers.
People with medical issues (such as multiple sclerosis) will be affected
The DMV can find out a driver may have an driving issue from
a number of sources such as:
A letter from a doctor, family member, or an
individual in the community.
Self-report from an individual.
The DMV does not automatically reexamine drivers of a certain
age. However, the older an individual is
the more scrutiny they will face and the burden they will have proving their
ability to drive.
The California DMV often reexamines a driver who does not have a
medical problem but whose driving skills are nevertheless deteriorating? They do this when information suggests they no longer have the
knowledge and/or skill necessary to drive safely. Such reexaminations are based
on information received from peace officers, physicians, family members,
relatives, acquaintances or other persons that state specific observations
relating to the person’s potential ability to drive safely. Information
pertaining solely to the age of the individual is not, in itself, considered
relevant, nor will DMV reexamine a driver solely on the basis of his or her
age. Unfortunately, this “information”
may be slight. For example, an
individual called police because they observed a vehicle weaving on the road
around midnight. The officer never found
the vehicle but called in the license plate the reporting party called in. It came up with the number of an elderly
gentleman. The DMV suspended his
license. We later found out the
reporting party wrote down the road license plate. The car they described on the 911 call was
not even close to the elderly gentleman’s vehicle. The incident took place near midnight far
from the elderly gentleman’s house. The
police did not investigate the matter further to see the mistake. The damage was done and the elderly gentleman
had his license suspended. It was later
reinstated after my office subpoenaed the 911 call to find out the mistake.
A common question is what happens At a reexamination. a Driver Safety Hearing Officer may ask you a
wide range of questions about your driving history and about specific incidents
on your driving record, as well as question about your health and medical
history, and questions about the rules of the road and how you would handle
specific driving situations. You may be asked to provide medical reports from
your physician, medical records, or similar documents. All information
concerning your health and medical history are confidential by law, and the
department cannot divulge this information to any outside party.
Driver Safety Hearing Officer may require you to submit to a vision test, a
written test of your knowledge of the rules of the road, and a drive test. If a
drive test is required, you will be scheduled for a separate drive test
appointment. When taking a drive test, your must provide a vehicle in which to
take the test. You must present acceptable proof of financial responsibility
(automobile insurance) in effect at the time of the drive test.
the reexamination, the Driver Safety Hearing Officer decides whether any action
should be taken against the person’s driving privilege in the interest of
public safety. If so, such action may be a restriction, probation, suspension,
or revocation of the driving privilege. The driver is notified in writing of
the action and usually would have the right to a hearing to contest the action
if they believe it is unjustified.
your drivers license is suspended or revoked there are factors that determine
when someone may get the privilege back.
It depends on
several factors. Generally, the length of such a suspension or revocation is
indefinite. However, DMV may consider reinstating your driving privilege under
various circumstances. If the suspension is due to a medical condition or
disorder, DMV will consider reinstatement of your driving privilege when you
are able to show that the condition or disorder has been controlled, and is no
longer a potential threat to your ability to drive safely. If the condition is
static in nature (such as partial paralysis or vision loss from a stroke), you
may be able to show that you have learned to compensate for the condition,
which would allow the DMV to consider reinstatement.
or equipment: Type of
vehicle, automatic transmission or type of controls (including steering knob,
hand controls, extra mirrors and power steering).
in habits: Brake
usage, choice of lanes, following distance and scanning techniques.
in driving environment: Hours
of day, amount of driving, avoidance of weather conditions, avoidance of
certain routes, combining trips.
Hearing Outcomes Rexamination
at future date Medical probation I: (driver must comply with outlined medical
regimen and has reporting responsibilities). Medical probation II: Annual
medical exam required. Limited-term Licenses: 1- or 2-year license issued with
follow-up examination required at renewal. Restrictions Suspension Revocation
loss of a driving privilege can be serious for people, especially mature
drivers who are still living in the hustle and bustle of the suburbs. They may want to slow down. However, they will be sharing the road with
people who always seem to be in a hurry and are often distracted themselves
with phones, music, etc. There is an
intricate balance between public safety and an individual’s ability to
live. For more information check out
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