Colorado Driving Laws for Seniors and Older Drivers

Learn about driving provisions and special programs focused on keeping both Colorado's older drivers and roadways safe.

While the myriad rules and regulations enforced by the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) apply to drivers of all ages and stages, the state imposes some special requirements and restrictions on older drivers.

Colorado state rules are explained in more detail below, but a number of them focus on identifying and handling older drivers who may have become unsafe. Specifically, Colorado:

  • requires drivers age 61 and older to renew their licenses every five years
  • prohibits drivers age 66 and older from renewing online
  • requires vision tests for drivers ages 66 and older, and
  • accepts written reports about potentially unsafe drivers from law enforcement, courts, physicians and close relatives.

License Renewal Rules for Older Drivers

Special rules apply to drivers who are 61 and older who seek to renew their licenses.

Time limits: Drivers age 61 and older must renew every 5 years; younger drivers renew every 10 years. No renewal online for drivers 66 and older, who can check eligibility to renew by mail by submitting name, date of birth, and license number to the Colorado Department of Revenue online.

Vision test: Required for drivers age 66 and over.

Written test: May be required if there are indications of driver impairment, based on a report by law enforcement, a court, a physician or optometrist, or a family member.

Road test: May be required if there are indications of driver impairment, based on a report by law enforcement, a court, a physician or optometrist, or a family member.

Possible License Restrictions

The Colorado DMV can place restrictions or conditions on a person’s driver license after administering a driving test and discussing possible restrictions with him or her.

The most common restriction for older drivers is to require glasses or corrective contact lenses.

Other common requirements the DMV may impose on older drivers include:

  • no freeway driving
  • an additional right side mirror on a vehicle
  • no nighttime driving, and
  • time of day restrictions—for example, no driving during rush hour traffic.

How to Request an Unsafe Driver Investigation in Colorado

Written requests that the Colorado DMV examine or reexamine a driver may come from:

  • law enforcement personnel
  • courts; this usually occurs after a court determines that a person is not mentally competent
  • physicians or optometrists, or
  • close relatives—including a spouse, parent, or child. The request must include the reason for the re-exam or medical requirement. The person requesting must also include his or her full name and address and relationship to the driver. Such requests are not kept confidential; drivers are entitled to a copy of the request by paying a fee of $2.20.

Reporting Requirements for Doctors

Colorado physicians are encouraged, but not required, to report to the DMV patients’ conditions that may cause a lapse of consciousness, seizures, or other medical conditions that may affect the ability to drive safely.

How to Get a License Reinstated

For information on how to get back a license that has been suspended or revoked, contact one of the Driver’s License Offices located throughout the state.

How to Get Parking Placards or License Plates for a Disabled Driver

The placards and plates are also available for those who:

  • are unable to walk more than 200 feet without stopping to rest
  • are unable to move about without the aid of a mechanical device
  • have a severe lung disease
  • use portable oxygen
  • have a severe heart condition, or
  • have a limited ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological or orthopedic condition.

Steps required to obtain a disabled placard or plate are:

  • Complete and sign a Persons With Disabilities Parking Privileges Application.
  • Have a licensed physician, commissioned medical officer, advance practice nurse, physician’s assistant, podiatrist, chiropractor or physical therapist complete the center part of the form.
  • Mail the original application to the address on the form.

Learn More About Colorado Driving Rules for Seniors

The DMV website has a wealth of information for Colorado drivers, including current information on licensing and titling. Of special interest is the downloadable Colorado Driver Handbook, which contains tips on driver safety and local rules of the road.

Where to Find a Lawyer for Help

You can use Nolo’s Lawyer Directory to find a local lawyer experienced in representing older people who need help with auto accidents or traffic tickets in Colorado.

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