Missouri Driving Laws for Seniors and Older Drivers

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

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

Missouri 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, Missouri:

  • requires drivers age 70 and older to renew their licenses every three years, and
  • accepts requests from family members and others for the DOR to conduct unsafe driver investigations.

License Renewal Rules for Older Drivers

Special rules apply to drivers who are 70 and older who seek to renew their licenses.

Time limits: Drivers age 70 and older must renew in person every three years years; those ages 21 to 69 must renew every six years. Drivers under age 21 must also renew every three years.

Vision test: Required at renewal. DOR personnel will conduct a test free, or may request that a driver have an exam performed by an outside licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist, who must complete a Report of Eye Examination.

Written test: Required only if the DOR receives indications of possible driver impairment.

Road test: Required only if the DOR receives indications of possible driver impairment.

Possible License Restrictions

The DOR can place restrictions or conditions on a person’s driver license. The most common restriction for older drivers is to require glasses or corrective contact lenses.

In Missouri, other common requirements the DOR may impose on older drivers include:

  • an additional outside rearview mirror on a vehicle
  • daylight driving only
  • driving vehicle with automatic transmission or power steering
  • speed restricted to no more than 45 mph
  • driving area restricted to a 25 mile radius
  • supports to ensure a proper driving position
  • mechanical devices on vehicle, such as a foot-operated emergency brake, and
  • other restrictions specified by a law enforcement officer, judge or physician.

How to Request an Unsafe Driver Investigation in Missouri

The Missouri DOR will accept information about a potentially unsafe driver from a driver examiner, license clerk, family member, law enforcement officer, physician, physical therapist, occupational therapist, chiropractor, registered nurse, psychologist, social worker, professional counselor, optometrist or emergency medical technician. This person making the claim must complete the Driver Condition Report and return it to the Driver License Bureau as indicated on the form. All information reported will be kept confidential unless released by a court order.

A completed Driver Condition Report must also be presented when renewing a license if a driver has had epileptic seizures, convulsions or blackouts within the last six months.

For additional information, see “How to Report an Unsafe Driver in Missouri.”

How to Get a License Reinstated

Procedures for getting back a license that has been suspended or revoked in Missouri differ according to circumstances. For specific information in a particular case, contact one of the DOR license offices located throughout the state.

How to Get Parking Placards or Plates for a Disabled Driver

Disabled person parking placards can be issued to drivers with impaired mobility if a licensed medical practitioner certifies the condition.

Temporary or permanent disability placards are available for those who:

  • cannot walk 50 feet without stopping to rest due to a severe and disabling arthritic, neurological, orthopedic condition or other severe and disabling condition
  • cannot ambulate or walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair or other assistive device
  • have breathing that is severely restricted by a respiratory or other condition
  • use portable oxygen.
  • have a severe cardiac condition, or
  • are legally blind.

To obtain a disabled placard or plate:

For more information, see “Permanent Disabled Placard” or “Temporary Disabled Placard.”

Learn More About Missouri Driving Rules for Seniors

The DOR website has a wealth of information for Missouri drivers, including links to complete explanations of titling and registration requirements.

Of special interest is the “Driver Guide,” available in English, Bosnian and Spanish, which includes descriptions of driver licensing and testing requirements, along with safe driving tips and an explanation of 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 Missouri.

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