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Learn about driving restrictions and specific initiatives aimed at keeping Alaska’s elderly drivers and highways safe.

While the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) enforces a plethora of laws and regulations that apply to drivers of all ages and stages, the state imposes certain unique requirements and limits on senior drivers.

The Alaska state standards are discussed in further detail below, but many of them concentrate on recognizing and dealing with elderly drivers who may have become risky. Alaska, in particular:

drivers aged 69 and over must renew their licenses in person
mandates a vision exam for drivers 69 and older renewing in person, and accepts requests from anybody with firsthand knowledge of the driver’s health and capabilities to undertake a hazardous driving inquiry.

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Alaska License Renewal Procedures for Senior Citizens

Renewal: Drivers 69 and older must renew in person every five years.

Eyesight test: Required during in-person renewal unless you have a certified statement from a qualified physician or optometrist declaring that your vision meets or exceeds the department’s criteria of 20/40 vision in each eye or both eyes combined.

Reexamination: If the DMV has reasonable grounds to think that a licensed driver is incompetent or otherwise unqualified to drive, it may issue a written notice ordering him or her to take an examination within 10 days.

Road test: Required only if a law enforcement officer, a physician, or a family member reports signs of driving impairment.

License Restrictions That Might Exist

Alaska does not impose special requirements or limits for senior drivers. However, the DMV may refuse a license if it believes, based on medical evidence, that a person is unable to drive safely due to a physical or mental handicap.

The DMV may impose limitations on specific mechanical control devices necessary on a motor vehicle that are appropriate to an individual’s driving ability, as well as other restrictions that it deems reasonable to ensure the person can drive safely.

The most prevalent limitation for senior drivers is the need for corrective lenses or glasses.

Other frequent conditions that the DMV may place on elderly drivers in Alaska include:

no highway driving
a second right-side mirror on a vehicle
There are no nighttime driving limits—for example, no driving during rush hour traffic supports to maintain a correct driving position geographic area restrictions, and wearing bioptic telescopic lenses while driving.

In Alaska, How to Request an Unsafe Driver Investigation

Drivers are recommended to notify the DMV of any medical issues that cause them to lose consciousness. Other DMVs, law enforcement personnel, family members, and anyone else with intimate knowledge of the motorist may also report risky driving to the DMV. The information’s source is not kept private.

Complaints concerning dangerous driving are handled differently around the state. Those who want to report a risky driver can go to their nearest DMV office or phone 907-269-5551. The Department of Public Safety will next assess all provided material and may re-examine the driver.

Driver Improvement Programs in Alaska

The Providence Hospital Therapy Unit in Anchorage provides driver rehabilitation services to Alaska residents who have experienced a major illness or accident that has affected their driving ability, such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or strokes. Call 907-212-6300 or visit the Providence Disabled Driver’s Program for further information.

How to Restore a Driver’s License

For information on how to reinstate a license that has been suspended or revoked, see the Alaska DMV’s Reinstatement website or call one of the state’s DMV offices.

How to Obtain Disabled Driver Parking Placards or License Plates

If a certified physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, podiatrist, or chiropractor verifies the condition, a disabled person parking permit may be granted.

Placards and license plates are also offered to people who:

cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest cannot walk without using or being assisted by a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair, or other assistive device are severely limited by lung illness need portable oxygen
have a serious heart disease or are unable to walk owing to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic issue

The following steps must be taken in order to receive a disability placard or plate:

Fill out and sign a Disabled Parking Identification Application.
Part 2 of the application should be completed by a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, podiatrist, or chiropractor.
Send the original application to the address specified on the form.

Tax and registration fees are waived.

Alaska citizens 65 and above are eligible to register one car free of registration fees and motor vehicle registration tax. This exemption only applies to resident-owned passenger cars, mobile homes, vans, pick-up trucks, motorbikes, and non-commercial trailers.

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