Oregon has nearly 3 million licensed drivers—and a growing number of them are age 65 and older. While the myriad rules and regulations enforced by the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) apply to drivers of all ages and stages, the state imposes some special requirements and restrictions on older drivers.
Oregon 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 behind the wheel.
Special rules apply to drivers who are 50 and older who seek to renew their licenses.
Time limits: All drivers must renew their licenses in person at a DMV office every eight years.
Vision test: Required at in-person renewal; DMV personnel will conduct a test free.
Written test: May be required at the discretion of DMV personnel.
Road test: May be required at the discretion of DMV personnel.
The DMV can place restrictions or conditions on a person’s driver's license if good reason is shown to do so. The most common restriction for older drivers is to require glasses or corrective contact lenses.
In Oregon, other common requirements the DMV may impose on older drivers include:
The Oregon DMV will accept information from family members, friends, law enforcement officials, social service providers, and others with knowledge that a driver has a limitation or condition that may affect the ability to drive safely.
Information should be submitted on a Driver Evaluation Request form. Requests cannot be based on age, diagnosis, or general health alone; they must relate to specific instances of observed unsafe driving. Anonymous requests will not be honored; however, those filing requests may ask for confidentiality.
Completed requests should be submitted in person to any local DMV office or mailed to DMV Driver Safety Unit; 1905 Lana Avenue NE; Salem, OR 97314.
For more details, see the DMV’s At-Risk Driver Program.
Oregon is one of only a few states that require doctors who diagnose a patient with a “severe and uncontrollable” condition or impairment likely to affect driving ability to report that diagnosis to the DMV using a Mandatory Impairment Referral form.
For more details, see the DMV’s Medically At-Risk Driver Program for Medical Professionals.
Procedures for getting back a license that has been suspended or revoked in Oregon differ according to individual circumstances. For targeted information, contact one of the DMV offices located throughout the state.
Disabled person parking placards 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:
The DMV website has a wealth of information for Oregon drivers, including licensing and vehicle registration requirements.
Of special interest is the DMV web page dedicated to senior drivers.
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 Oregon.