Driver’s license rules change at 71

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 3:51 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - About two weeks ago one of our viewers opened a notice from the Department of Motor Vehicles. It stated the driver, who would be 71 years old or older at the time of his license renewal, needed to have a physical examination before that license could be renewed.

The three page correspondence had not only a physical examination form for the physician to fill out, but also a form for an optometrist to fill out as well. All of this is a result of a law passed in 1995.

But the DMV as well as the older driver will admit, the letter is a bit confusing.

“After age 71 if you want to renew by mail, that’s fine,” says Eli Rohl with the DMV. “But we do ask you to go through a couple of steps, we need to get a note from an optometrist a note from your physician.”

Notice Rohl says if you renew by *mail.

A popular way to do business at the DMV without having to come to the office. If the 71-year-old wants to show up here in person---a doctor’s note is not necessary.

“We can administer a test here,” says Rohl. “We don’t need to have the note from the physician if we can lay eyes on you.”

That information is also included in the letter by the DMV.

Rohl recommends if the in-person route is the driver’s option, appointments can be booked 90 days in advance of the renewal deadline. He highly recommends making that appointment as soon as the letter is received.

The closer to the license expiration date all appointment time slots could be filled. Getting into the DMV before the license expiration date may not be possible and the license could expire.

Whether license renewal is by mail or in-person, for the 71 year or older licensed driver, renewal is required every four years, as opposed to every 8 years.