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.

Updated by , Attorney University of Arkansas School of Law
Updated 5/20/2024

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; those ages 21 to 69 must renew every six years. Drivers under age 21 must also renew every three years. However, if the person renewing their license is not a U.S. citizen, the expiration date may be sooner, based on the expiration date of the document they submit to prove their identity and eligibility for a driver's license.

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.

Road sign recognition test: A road sign recognition test is also required at renewal.

Possible License Restrictions

The DOR can place restrictions or conditions on a person's driver's 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
  • driving during daylight only
  • driving vehicles with automatic transmission or power steering
  • driving at speeds 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:

  • can't walk 50 feet without stopping to rest due to a severe and disabling arthritic, neurological, orthopedic condition, or other severe and disabling condition
  • can't walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair, or other assistive device
  • have breathing that's 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 Oklahoma's Driver Guide, which includes descriptions of driver licensing and testing requirements, along with safe driving tips and an explanation of local rules of the road. There is also an audio Driver Guide.

Where to Find a Lawyer for Help

If you need help with an auto accident or traffic ticket, you can browse the free attorney directories on Lawyers.com or Avvo.com, two sites that are part of the Nolo family.

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