The prospect of having your license taken away can be insulting and maddening… however, the best response is to know your rights and how to use them.
The California DMV may not revoke, suspend, or restrict your driver’s license solely because you are a senior citizen. However, license suspension situations most often impact our elderly clients when the DMV alleges some “lack of skill” or physical/mental condition that demonstrates impaired ability to operate a car.
While the DMV has no senior-specific “cut off” age, it does monitor elderly drivers more closely than others. For example, once you turn 70, you are no longer permitted to renew your license via the internet or by mail. You must renew your license in person at the DMV. At that time, you may be submitted to evaluations of your physical coordination, vision, hearing, and overall mental state. As a result, if DMV personnel believe you lack the faculties necessary to safely drive, your license may be suspended, revoked, or restricted.
The good news is that before the DMV is entitled to take such an action, elderly drivers are entitled to hearings called a “reexaminations,” commonly known as DMV hearings for elderly drivers. You must reserve your right to such a hearing within ten days of receiving a notice of suspension.
As a part of the hearing, you will likely undergo a written test, a vision test, and at driving “performance” test. Following that, you and/or your attorney will conduct a discussion of the issues and whether they merit suspension/revocation of your license with a DMV “hearing officer.”
The specific allegations giving rise to a senior driver’s potential suspension will vary. Therefore, the methods of preserving a particular senior’s license will vary. Suffice it to say, our Souther California DUI Lawyers have successfully counseled many seniors through this process in a variety of circumstances. Voluntary driver “re-training” and alternative medical opinions can be especially beneficial. The point is, a suspension action by the DMV may be reactionary and unwarranted. We urge you to consider that your driving privileges are not “done for.” Rather, consult with an experienced attorney who can explain how to preserve them.