Indiana Driving Laws for Seniors and Older Drivers

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

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

Indiana 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, Indiana:

  • requires drivers age 75 and older to renew their licenses in person every three years; drivers 85 and older must renew in person every two years
  • requires vision tests at renewal for all drivers ages 75 and older, and
  • accepts requests to conduct an unsafe driver investigation from anyone with personal knowledge of the driver’s ability.

License Renewal Rules for Older Drivers

Time limits: Drivers age 75 and older must renew in person every three years.

Those 85 and older must renew in person every two years.

Drivers younger than 75 can renew online every six years.

Vision test: Required at renewal.

Written test: Required if a license has expired for more than six months.

Road test: Required if the BMV has received a complaint or has concerns about a driver's vision or medical condition.

Possible License Restrictions

The BMV 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 Indiana, other common requirements the BMV may impose on older drivers include:

  • outside rearview mirrors on vehicle
  • daylight only driving
  • vehicles equipped with power steering
  • vehicle equipped with automatic transmission
  • no driving vehicles with air brakes
  • or time of day restrictions—for example, no driving during rush hour traffic
  • supports to ensure a proper driving position, and
  • other restrictions deemed necessary to accommodate a medical condition.

How to Request an Unsafe Driver Investigation in Indiana

The BMV will accept information from virtually any person who is concerned about a driver’s ability to drive safely—and will keep the source of the complaint confidential.

To request that the BMV review driving qualifications, write a letter identifying the driver who is causing the concern, giving specific reasons for making the request. Documentation such as concerns from others who have knowledge of the person’s driving ability may also be included. Mail the letter and any additional relevant information to:

Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles

100 N. Senate Avenue, Room N-402

Indianapolis, IN 46204

How to Get a License Reinstated

For information on how to get back a license that has been suspended or revoked, use the online service, Reinstating Your Driving Privileges.

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 licensed medical professional certifies the condition.

The placards and plates are available for those who:

  • have a temporary or permanent physical disability that requires the use of a wheelchair, a walker, braces, or crutches
  • have temporarily or permanently lost the use of one or both legs
  • have restricted mobility, either temporarily or permanently, due to a pulmonary or cardiovascular disability, arthritic condition, or orthopedic or neurological impairment, or
  • are permanently blind or visually impaired.

Steps required to obtain a disabled placard or plate are:

  • Complete and sign an Application for Disability Parking Placard or Disability Plate, downloadable from theDrivers With Disabilities page, which also contains information about applicable fees and length of validity for parking placards.
  • Have a licensed physician, advanced practice nurse, chiropractor, podiatrist, ophthalmologist, optometrist or medical officer of the armed forces, U.S. Public Health Service, or Veterans Administration complete the Practitioner’s Certification section of the application.
  • Include a $5 fee for a temporary disability placard; permanent disability placards and plates are free.
  • Mail the completed form to the local Indiana License branch office.

Learn More About Indiana Driving Rules for Seniors

The BMV website has basic information for Indiana drivers, including instructions for creating and viewing an online account giving drivers access to their records.

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 Indiana.

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