There are many challenges drivers face as they age. Vision deteriorates and reflexes dull. That’s why many states – including Maine – have provisions in place requiring senior drivers to undergo additional testing and in-person renewals.
The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles is one of the more stringent. Drivers are first required to undergo a vision test at age 40 in order to renew their license. Drivers older than 65 have to renew their state-issued licenses every four years, as opposed to every six years, as younger drivers do. Drivers 62 and older are required to undergo a vision test every second renewal. The bureau also accepts requests from anyone with personal knowledge of a driver who may pose a safety concern to others. Road tests may be required if the bureau has reason to believe the driver may be unfit. Bureau personnel have the authority to restrict the driver’s licenses of elder drivers to prevent them from driving when it’s dark or only allow driving within a certain area.
As the population ages (the U.S. Census opines the percentage of the over-65 population will more than double by 2050), states are not rushing to impose additional regulations. In fact, some state legislatures have actually been actively rejecting these measures, according to a recent report published by the Portland Press-Herald. In fact, while 60 million older adults are expected to be on the nation’s roadways by 2030, some legislators are taking the position that licenses should not be restricted solely on the basis of age.