Texas is one of several states that require senior drivers to do more than personally visit a Department of Public Safety (DPS) office to renew their driver’s license. In certain situations, senior drivers in Texas may be asked to take a vision test and a medical evaluation when renewing their licenses.
Texas imposes the following requirements on senior drivers for license renewal:
- Drivers aged 79 to 84 must renew their licenses in person every six years.
- Drivers aged 85 or over must renew their licenses in person every two years.
- Drivers aged 79 or over must undergo a vision test and medical evaluation. Applicants with eyesight that is less than 20/70 with correction or 20/40 without correction must be examined by an outside vision specialist.
- A written knowledge test and a road test may be required if deemed necessary by DPS personnel.
In some cases, older Texas drivers may have restrictions placed on their driver’s license. These vary, and are based on the results of your vision test and a driver’s test. The most common restrictions include:
- Requirement to wear eyeglasses or corrective lenses;
- Restriction on when you can drive – i.e., between sunrise and sunset;
- Limits on where you can drive — i.e., no freeway driving;
- Requirement to wear hearing aids while driving;
- Requirement to limit speed to 45 mph or lower;
- Requirement for vehicle equipped with outside mirrors, power steering, automatic transmission, etc.;
- Requirement for notification of medical conditions.
Senior drivers under the age of 79 must renew every 12 years and can do so in one of four ways: online, by phone, by mail or in person.
These additional requirements can help ensure the safety of seniors, as well as others in our community. Recent research from Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s Center for Transportation Safety reveals a significant increase in fatalities among drivers aged 80 and older. This age group is 1.2 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in car crashes than drivers aged 75 to 79. Notably, most crashes involving a senior driver (75%) occur during daylight hours, and these crashes are four times more likely to happen in urban areas than in rural areas.
Route planning can be helpful for seniors who are concerned about driving safely. For example, finding routes that minimize the need to turn left at intersections can make the drive safer for seniors. The Center for Transportation Safety’s research revealed that the failure to yield, particularly when turning left at intersections, was a significant factor in crashes involving senior drivers.
The attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have the skill, experience and resources to fully investigate any serious accident or death. If you have a question about an accident involving a serious injury or fatality, please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.
Justin is an attorney at Roberts & Roberts and focuses his practice on mass tort litigation, where he specializes in helping individuals who are harmed by recalled or unsafe pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices. He has earned recognition as a “Top 40 Under 40” Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers. Prior to joining Roberts & Roberts, Justin served as an attorney in all three branches of Texas’s state government, including as a Briefing Attorney on the Texas Supreme Court. He also represented electric and natural gas utilities in complex regulatory proceedings before the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Railroad Commission of Texas. Justin is a published author in the St. Mary’s Law Journal.