Michigan Mature Driver Laws

Michigan Mature Driver Laws

Some states require aging drivers to take special measures in order to continue to drive into their senior years. While Michigan does not have special requirements for seniors, the state encourages older residents to stay active and independent for as long as they are confident in their skills and continue to drive safely.

Licensing Requirements

All Michigan drivers must renew their driver’s license every four years before it expires, usually on their birthday. Every other renewal must be completed in person at the Secretary of State office, where a vision test will be given. If you normally wear glasses or contacts, be sure to wear them to your renewal. You may be asked some general questions about your health during the process. If the Secretary of State has questions about your health or your vision in regard to your ability to drive safely, you will need to see your physician or ophthalmologist and have them fill out an evaluation.

License Restrictions

Before a condition or restriction is placed on your license, the office of the Secretary of State will contact you and explain the concerns. If the SOS requires it, you may have to take the road test. The most restrictions that are placed on mature drivers is the requirement of contacts or glasses when driving.

Other restrictions or conditions that can be placed on your license include –

  • the addition of side mirrors on your vehicle
  • no driving at night
  • day driving restrictions such as only driving in a certain geographic area, no interstate driving, or no driving during rush hour
  • supports that ensure you are properly positioned

If you are concerned about the driving abilities of a senior in your life, you can request a driver reexamination by sending a letter that has the driver’s name, date of birth, current address, and driver’s license number if you know it. You must also include your name, address, phone number, and signature along with detailed information regarding why you believe their skills need to be evaluated along with descriptions of any incidents or behaviors that would warrant a reevaluation to:

Traffic Safety Division
Michigan Department of State
P.O. Box 30810
Lansing, MI 48909-9832

The form can be requested online at http://www.michigan.gov/documents/OC-88_16727_7.PDF. Completed forms can be emailed to medicalforms@michigan.gov

Warning Signs

If you are a senior driver, pay attention to these warning signs as they could indicate that you are doubting your skills and may need to take a driver’s refresher course to assure yourself of your skills and boost your confidence. Your instructor can help you make sure you are positioned properly in the vehicle.

  • You get lost when driving in familiar places
  • Your family members or friends are worried about your driving abilities
  • Other drivers often pass you, honk at you, or make gestures
  • You are uncomfortable or unsure of your skills behind the wheel
  • You get tired when driving
  • You avoid left-hand turns or get scared if you have to make one
  • The glare from headlights bother you
  • You are too cautious when driving
  • You are having more fender benders, or your vehicle is getting more dings and dents than normal

Many senior drivers change their driving habits as they age that doesn’t mean they should give up driving, it means they should reevaluate their skills and consider taking a senior driving class.

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