Learn about driving restrictions and special initiatives aimed at keeping Arizona’s elderly drivers and highways safe.
While the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT) 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.
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The Arizona state standards are discussed in further detail below, but many of them concentrate on detecting and dealing with elderly drivers who may have become risky. Arizona, in particular:
drivers 65 and above must renew their licenses in person
mandates a vision exam for drivers 65 and older renewing in person, and accepts requests from law enforcement, medical professionals, and other concerned people to initiate a hazardous driving inquiry.
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License Renewal Procedures for Senior Citizens
Drivers 65 and older who want to renew their licenses must follow certain regulations.
Drivers 65 and older must renew in person every five years, while those less than 65 must renew every 12 years.
New photos: Every 12 years, identifying images taken at the driving licensing facility must be updated.
A vision exam is required at the time of in-person renewal. Drivers may have a free test conducted by DOT staff, or they can have an exam performed by an independent ophthalmologist or optometrist, who must file a Vision Examination Report and perform the exam within three months of the renewal request.
Only if there are signs of driving impairment based on a complaint from the driver, a law enforcement officer, a physician, an insurance agent, or another concerned person is a road test required.
License Restrictions That Might Exist
The DOT has the authority to impose limits on a person’s driving license. The most typical limitation for senior drivers in Arizona is that they must wear glasses or corrective contact lenses and drive only during daytime hours.
In Arizona, How to Request an Unsafe Driver Investigation
Drivers with medical issues that might impair their ability to drive safely must report the Medical Review Program through email on the Department of Transportation website or by mail at:
818Z Mail Drop
Division of Motor Vehicles
Postal Code: 2100
85001-2100 Phoenix, Arizona
The Arizona Department of Transportation also receives complaints and concerns about individual drivers’ ability to drive safely, most often from law enforcement, medical practitioners, and other concerned residents. The source of all complaints is kept anonymous. The agency investigates solely the driver; those who submitted complaints are not notified of the findings.
Police officers who stop a car but do not issue a citation may nonetheless request that the driver be assessed by the Medical Review Program. A police officer may report a motorist by filling out a Re-Examination Request form. This form may also be used by DOT agents to submit observations to the Medical Review Program requesting that a driver be re-examined.
Medical personnel: A doctor, registered nurse practitioner, or psychologist may voluntarily report a patient to the DOT if the patient has a medical or psychological condition that might seriously affect the person’s ability to drive safely.
The information must be in writing and contain the patient’s name, address, and birth date. Medical experts who submit such reports in good faith are not liable in civil or criminal court.
Concerned citizens: Anyone with actual knowledge of a driver’s physical, mental, or emotional condition that may impair a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely may report it to the DOT by completing a Driver Condition/Behavior Report.
How to Restore a Driver’s License
The procedures for restoring a license vary based on why it was suspended or revoked. A person who desires to restore a license must contact the local DOT office for detailed information.
How to Obtain Disabled Driver Parking Placards or License Plates
Drivers with limited mobility may be awarded disabled parking placards and license plates if a certified physician (including physicians of medicine, osteopathy, podiatry, or chiropractic), registered nurse practitioner, or hospital administrator verifies the condition.
Placards and license plates are also offered to people who:
cannot go 200 feet without stopping to rest
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 the Disability-Hearing Impaired Plate/Plate/Placard Application.
Complete the Medical Certification section of the application with a licensed physician (including physicians of medicine, osteopathy, podiatry, or chiropractic), registered nurse practitioner, or hospital administrator.
Send the original application to the address specified on the form.