Mature Driver FAQs

  1. Is there a certain age at which I have to be retested at the RMV?
    No. (with an exception to in-house license renewal/vision screening for persons aged 75 and over- see below). The Medical Affairs Board sets its driver license policies without regard to age and therefore has no policies based on age alone. Licensing standards are based on a person's functional ability. The Physical/Medical standards for Operator Licensing are published on the Medical Affairs section of our website. If you have a concern about the functional ability of an elder driver, please refer to our Reporting Requirements section.

  2. Do I have to take the eye test at the RMV?
    First time license applicants and persons renewing their license at a branch have to pass a vision screening that checks visual acuity and peripheral vision. The RMV will also accept a completed Vision Screening Certificate (VSC) in lieu of the screening test. The certificate must be completed by your physician or optometrist, licensed in Massachusetts. In addition, operators 75 years of age or older must renew in person at an RMV branch or AAA location. The operator must either pass a vision test or present a completed Vision Screening Certificate.

  3. When is it time to stop driving?
    The ability to drive is determined by one's physical and mental ability. Most experts agree that it is not necessarily one's age that determines if an individual is safe to operate, but one's cognitive and physical ability. Listen to your medical professional, family, and friends. The RMV will accept a personal request in writing for a Competency Driving Test from a licensee (a negative outcome of this test may affect your license status). Or you may wish to have your driving assessed through a private, professional driving school. AARP and AAA have courses for drivers to become reacquainted with the rules of the road. To assist you in assessing your own driving, here is a list of the warning signs of unsafe driving.

  4. How do I get a disability placard or disability plate?
    The Medical Affairs section on disability placard and plates describes this process.

  5. I am interested in adaptive equipment. Where do I start?
    In some instances, adaptive driving equipment may be necessary to allow a person to drive. Adaptive driving specialists may be able to help.Talk with your physician about any physical limitations you may have that may affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. If adaptive equipment is necessary, the RMV may require a Competency Road Exam to assess for the safe use of the equipment.

  6. Do I need to report my medical condition to the RMV?
    Yes. A person is legally responsible for their actions behind the wheel. There are no mandatory reporting laws for physicians to report persons who may be unsafe to the RMV. Massachusetts is a self-reporting state. That means it is your responsibility to report any medical condition that may affect your ability to drive.

  7. Are there places that offer driving evaluations?
    Yes. AARP and AAA offer courses that review good driving habits and the rules of the road. A professional driving school may be helpful in helping you determine if you should seek additional training or to stop driving. If a clinical assessment is needed then many hospitals and rehabilitation centers offer driving evaluations. Here is a brochure listing driving evaluation programs in Massachusetts.

  8. What are the Most Common Crashes for Elder Drivers?
    Intersections prove to be the most dangerous for elder drivers. In particular, statistics show the two most common reasons for collisions are: 1) failure to yield the right of way; and 2) left-hand turns (trying to turn left against on-coming traffic). These situations result in a significant number of collisions for elder drivers.

  9. I am 75 years old and my license is up for renewal. Can I renew online?
    Beginning September 30, 2010, the Safe Driver Law requires all operators 75 years of age or older to renew a driver's license in -person at an RMV branch or AAA location. You must either pass a vision test or present a completed Vision Screening Certificate.


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