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Learn about driving regulations and special initiatives aimed at keeping both senior drivers and North Carolina’s highways safe.

While the North Carolina Department 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 state regulations of North Carolina are detailed in further detail below, but a number of them concentrate on recognizing and dealing with elderly drivers who may have become risky. North Carolina, in particular:

Drivers 66 and older must renew their licenses in person, and the DMV accepts requests from family members and others for risky driving investigations.

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North Carolina License Renewal Procedures for Senior Citizens

Drivers 66 and older who want to renew their licenses must follow special criteria.

Drivers aged 66 and above must renew in person every five years, while those aged 18 to 65 must renew every eight years.

A vision exam is required at the time of in-person renewal. Drivers may have a free test conducted by DMV officials, or they can have an exam done by an outside ophthalmologist or optometrist, who must sign a Certificate of Examination by Vision Specialist form.

The traffic sign exam is no longer necessary at the time of in-person renewal.

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

After conducting a driving test and discussing potential limits with the driver, the DMV may impose restrictions or conditions on his or her driver’s license.

The most prevalent limitation for senior drivers in North Carolina is the necessity for spectacles or corrective contact lenses, while additional restrictions may be imposed to maintain safe driving, such as:

No driving at speeds exceeding 45 miles per hour, no interstate driving, driving confined to a small radius around home, and driving only while another licensed driver is present.

Vehicle Tinted Window Waiver

Drivers with medical issues that need protection from sunshine or harsh artificial light will be granted a waiver by the DMV. The waiver, which needs a physician declaration, allows a driver to install window tinting films or applications that exceed the regulation limit on a vehicle.

To apply for a waiver, the individual with the medical condition must fill out sections of a Tinted Window Waiver Application Form, then have a doctor fill out the remainder of the form and deliver it to the DMV’s Medical Unit.

How to Request a North Carolina Unsafe Driver Investigation

Other DMVs, family members, physicians, law enforcement personnel, and other concerned persons will be accepted by the North Carolina DMV.

To have a driver examined, fill out a Medical Request for Driver Re-Examination form and mail it to the Medical Evaluation Program address listed on the form.

Requests that are anonymous or unsigned will not be handled, and “old age” will not be deemed a valid justification for re-examination.

Medical Unit personnel will analyze each request and decide whether an individual’s license should be limited or terminated. A doctor may be needed to perform an extra examination and prepare a comprehensive Medical Report Form in specific instances.

How to Restore a Driver’s License

Contact one of the DMV offices located around the state for information on how to reinstate a license that has been suspended or revoked.

How to Obtain Disabled Driver Parking Placards or License Plates

Drivers who qualify for handicapped parking placards and license plates may get them if a qualified physician confirms their condition.

Placards and license plates are available for people who:

cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest; cannot walk without the assistance of another person or an assistive device such as a cane or walker; suffer from severe lung illness; and need portable oxygen.
have a serious heart problem
are unable to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic ailment; or are blind or have very impaired eyesight as confirmed by an ophthalmologist, optometrist, or the Division of Services for the Blind.

To receive a disability placard or plate, follow these steps:

Fill out and sign an Application for a Disabled Parking Placard.
Fill out the form’s Physician’s Section with the help of a qualified physician.
Include a $5 charge for each; the maximum is two.
Send the original application to the address specified on the form.

See the DMV’s website on Frequently Asked Questions regarding North Carolina Parking Placards and Plates for a description of regulations.

Learn More About Senior Driving Rules in North Carolina

The DMV website provides fundamental information for North Carolina drivers, such as license and registration requirements.

The Driving Handbook, which provides a description of the regulations of the road and practice driver exams, is particularly interesting.

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