Most of the myriad rules and regulations enforced by the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) apply to drivers of all ages and stages—and the state claims it imposes no special rules on drivers based on age alone.
Still, some of the legal controls discussed here, such as restrictions on a driver's license and procedures for securing disability parking plates and placards, may be especially relevant for older drivers.
Time limits: All drivers must renew every five years.
Vision test: Required at renewal. DMV personnel will conduct a test free. Drivers who need more accurate testing or have apparent eye defects may be required to have an additional exam conducted by an outside ophthalmologist or optometrist, who must complete an Eye Exam report and conduct the exam within 30 days of the renewal request.
Written test: Not generally required at renewal.
Road test: May be required at renewal at the discretion of DMV personnel.
The DMV can place restrictions or conditions on a person's driver's 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 New Hampshire, other common requirements the DMV may impose on older drivers include:
Unlike most states, New Hampshire does not have a formal process for reporting drivers suspected of becoming unsafe. For specific concerns about an individual driver, contact the main office of the New Hampshire DMV at 603-227-4000.
Procedures for reinstating a driver's license that has been suspended or revoked differ according to circumstance. For specific information about an individual license, contact the local DMV office.
Disabled person parking placards and license plates can be issued to drivers with impaired mobility if a licensed medical practitioner certifies the condition.
The placards and plates are available for those who:
To obtain a disabled placard or plate:
For more information, see the Governor's Commission on Disability's page, "People With Walking Disabilities."
The DMV website has a wealth of information for New Hampshire drivers, including licensing and vehicle registration requirements and links to the state's driving rules and laws.
Of special interest is the downloadable "Driver's Manual," which explains local regulations and rules of the road and contains some basic descriptions of how aging may affect driving skills.
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 New Hampshire.