When Should your Aging Loved One Retire their Driver’s License?

shutterstock_238722553Are you beginning to notice that your aging loved one is having difficulty driving? Not sure if you’re just worrying about their well-being? The state of Illinois has implemented a list of regulations to help identify whether or not your loved one is becoming an unsafe driver, and to take some of the burden of making that decision off your hands.

Unlike the usual standards, a person aged 75 or older must renew their license in-person, not by mail. Vision and road tests are also mandatory for drivers over the age of 75—when they are renewing their licenses.

Drivers between the ages of 21-80 are issued licenses that do not expire for 4 years. Drivers who are 81-86 must renew their license every 2 years, while drivers who are 87 or older must renew their license annually.

This repetitive testing and renewal can become time-consuming and often difficult. In order to help, the Illinois Secretary of State operates the “Super Seniors Program”. This is a voluntary mobile program that visits libraries, senior centers, and parks. It helps seniors aged 74 or older to renew their licenses. They achieve this by providing them with a class outlining road test procedures, and also providing them with a free eye exam.

Also, if your loved one brings a “vision specialist report” that has been completed by a licensed optometrist, ophthalmologist or physician within the last six months of the renewal request, it will be accepted.

The most common barrier between seniors and their license renewal is their eyesight. Don’t let a pair of glasses prevent your loved one from being mobile and independent.

Even though the state of Illinois has imposed rules regarding seniors and older drivers, there still comes a point where the decision may lie with you.  Testing does occur more frequently with age, but there is still a one-year minimum where your loved one is not tested for their driving ability. Your loved one’s driving ability can change a lot in one year.

The state accepts requests from physicians and members of law enforcement or the judicial system to conduct an unsafe driver investigation to determine if the driver is fit to operate a motorized vehicle. This means you can talk to a doctor or a member of law enforcement if you feel your loved one should be retested.

Road safety is extremely important, not just for your loved ones, but for everyone else who is also on the road. If you are concerned that your aging loved one is becoming unsafe on the road, contact us today. We’re always here to lend a supportive, informative, and helping hand.