While the myriad rules and regulations enforced by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) apply to drivers of all ages and stages, the state imposes some special requirements and restrictions on older drivers.
State rules are explained in more detail below, but some focus on identifying and handling older drivers who may have become unsafe. For example, New York accepts and investigates reports of potentially unsafe drivers from medical personnel and any other concerned citizens.
There are no age-specific rules for New York drivers who seek to renew their licenses. All drivers must renew every eight years, and can do so:
Vision test: Proof of adequate vision is required at every renewal. Drivers can secure this by either:
Providers may be:
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 York, other common requirements the DMV may impose on older drivers include:
The New York DMV will accept information about an individual’s possible unsafe driving from those who know or have observed the driver. That includes:
A license examiner from the DMV Testing and Investigation Unit reviews the request to determine whether the driver should be re-evaluated. If so, the DMV sends the driver a certified letter to request an in-person interview and evaluation.
Drivers can improve their skills by enrolling in a driver rehabilitation program; additional driving training may be recommended.
For information on how to get back a license that has been suspended or revoked in New York, contact one of the DMV Offices located throughout the state.
Disabled person parking placards and license plates can be issued to New York drivers who have a temporary disability that affects the ability to move about without assistance, or a permanent disability, for those who:
Procedures for securing disability plates and parking placards differ slightly throughout the state. For detailed information, see “Parking for people with disabilities.”
The DMV website has a wealth of information for New York drivers, including links to forms and a subscription service for electronic reminders about license and registration renewals. Of special interest is the Older Driver page, which includes advice on staying mobile and safe along with links to resources for older drivers and their families.
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 York.