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


Unlike other states, Alabama does not set special rules or limits for senior drivers. The Alabama Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) plethora of laws and regulations simply apply to drivers of all ages and stages.

State licensing agencies, on the other hand, have the authority to intervene if:

They believe a person has a physical or mental handicap that interferes with their ability to drive. In such instance, they may either reject the motorist a license or grant one with certain limits.
A licensed doctor asks that a driver’s license be revoked or retested.

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License Renewal Procedures in Alabama

All Alabama drivers are subject to license renewal regulations.

Drivers must renew their licenses every four years in person at a local probate judge’s office.

Online renewal: Drivers in Alabama may renew their driver’s licenses online once every eight years. This procedure, however, cannot be employed if

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, the driver’s address has changed to add or remove endorsements or to add a STAR ID, which is essential for flying passengers without a passport.

Only if licensing authorities consider a medical or mental ailment or impairment may impair the ability to drive safely is a vision test required during in-person renewal.

Written test: Required only at in-person renewal if licensing authorities consider a medical or mental condition or impairment may impair a driver’s ability to drive safely.

Road test: Only required at in-person renewal if licensing authorities consider a physical or mental condition or disability may impair one’s ability to drive safely.

License Restrictions That Might Exist

The Director of Public Safety may require a person who looks to have some physical or mental impairment that may impair driving to provide a doctor’s statement detailing medical history and current condition that may impair driving ability.

He or she may also be needed to appear in front of a driving license examiner to demonstrate his or her competence to drive safely. Those who fail to appear for such a driving test or who fail to provide the needed medical declarations risk having their licenses cancelled.

A person who has a physical or mental handicap that the Director of Public Safety or an examining officer determines would prohibit him or her from exercising reasonable and ordinary control over a motor vehicle may be refused a license or awarded a license with limitations.

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

Other typical limitations include:

No highway driving in a car equipped with an extra right side mirror
There are no nighttime driving limits, such as no driving during rush hour traffic utilizing enough assistance to guarantee correct driving posture, or geographic region restrictions.

In Alabama, How to Request an Unsafe Driver Investigation

The Alabama driver licensing authority may only act on a written request from a licensed doctor to retest a driver or cancel his or her license due to physical or mental restrictions that may make the driving hazardous. Such written requests should include the patient’s name and license number and be submitted to the following address:

Department of Public Safety in Alabama

The Medical Unit

South Ripley Street, 301

Doctor Reporting Requirement in Montgomery, AL 36104

A doctor who decides that a patient has a chronic disease or physical impairment is responsible for informing that patient of any necessary driving restrictions.

How to Restore an Alabama Driver’s License

A motorist who wants to have his or her license restored should print and fill out a Request for Reinstatement Requirements form and submit it to the address on the form.

If the department refuses to provide a permit or license, or doubts a person’s skills arbitrarily based on physical appearance or presumed incapacity to drive a vehicle safely, the individual has the right to an impartial hearing before the Director of Public Safety. The individual must have the right to be represented by counsel and to present witnesses, including a physician of choice, during the hearing.

How to Obtain Disabled Driver Parking Placards or License Plates

Drivers with restricted mobility may be awarded disabled parking placards and license plates provided a qualified physician verifies the condition.

Placards and license plates are available for 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 an Application for Disability Parking Privileges.
Sign the Physician’s Certification section of the application with a licensed doctor.
If the application is for disability access parking privileges for a private passenger automobile, include a cost of $23; there is no pay for disability access license plates.
Send the original application to the address specified on the form.

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