Idaho Driving Laws for Seniors and Older Drivers

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

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

Idaho 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, Idaho:

  • requires drivers age 63 and older to renew their licenses every four years
  • prohibits drivers age 70 and older from renewing by mail, and
  • accepts requests to conduct an unsafe driver investigation from family members, doctors and law enforcement officers.

License Renewal Rules for Older Drivers

Special rules apply to drivers who are 63 and older who seek to renew their licenses.

Time limits:  Drivers age 63 and older must renew every four years; drivers ages 21 to 62 have the option of renewing every eight years. Those who are age 70 and older may not renew by mail.

Vision test:  Required at renewal.

Written test:  Not required at renewal unless the license has been expired for more than one year.

Road test:  Required if an applicant has a mental or physical impairment that might affect the ability to drive safely or if the driving examiner notes indications of driver impairment, or if requested by a law enforcement officer, or a family member.

Possible License Restrictions

The 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.

In Idaho, other common requirements the DMV may impose on older drivers include:

  • no freeway driving
  • additional side mirrors on a vehicle
  • no nighttime driving
  • time of day restrictions—for example, no driving during rush hour traffic
  • supports to ensure a proper driving position
  • geographic area restrictions, and
  • wearing bioptic telescopic lens when driving.

How to Request an Unsafe Driver Investigation in Idaho

The DMV will accept written requests from immediate family members, doctors or law enforcement personnel. Some area offices accept any written request; others require individuals to complete forms they provide. For more information, contact the  local driver’s license office.

How to Get a License Reinstated

For information on how to get back a license that has been suspended or revoked, apply  online  or call Driver Services at 208-334-8735 for information specific to your situation.

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

Disabled person parking placards and license plates can be issued to drivers with impaired mobility if a medical professional certifies the condition.

The placards and plates are available for those who are:

  • unable to walk 200 feet without stopping to rest
  • unable to walk without a brace, a cane, a crutch, another person, a prosthetic device, a wheelchair or other assistive device, or
  • severely limited in the ability to walk due to a neurologic, orthopedic, respiratory, cardiac, arthritic or because of blindness or the loss or function of one or more limbs.

Steps required to obtain a disabled placard or plate are:

  • Complete and sign a form,  Disability License Plates and Placards.
  • Have a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or advanced-practice professional nurse sign the Medical Certification Section of the form.
  • Mail the completed original form to:

Idaho Transportation Department

Vehicle Services—Special Plates

P.O. Box 7129

Boise, ID 83707

Or fax the completed application to 208-334-8542.

Learn More About Idaho Driving Rules for Seniors

The  DMV website  contains basic information for Idaho drivers, including links to the controlling laws and recent legislation, along with practice driver’s license knowledge test that can be downloaded to a mobile device.

Of special interest is the downloadable Driver’s Manual, available in  English  and  Spanish.

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 Idaho.

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