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Old 04-02-2015, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,747,361 times
Reputation: 32309

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In California, drivers licenses are good for five years, and whether you can renew them by mail or not depends on your driving record. Some years I renewed by mail, but once or twice I had to go in and take the vision test and the written test.

But by law all renewals occurring past age 70 require the written test and the vision test. I found that out recently when I got my renewal information in the mail. But there is no age-related requirement for a driving test! I wouldn't have minded or objected if I had been required to take a driving test, but the lack of that requirement made the process easier and quicker for me. In fact, I think all renewals after 70 OUGHT to require a driving test.

Anyway I missed one question on the regular license written exam and missed none on the motorcycle license written exam. I had no trouble passing the vision test. Total fee = $33.00. Total time = one hour, 20 minutes (most of that waiting in various lines).

The written testing is now done via touch screen, so no one is handling any pieces of paper connected with the testing and no human spends time grading the test. The machine tells you right away if you have missed a question, and when you have correctly answered enough questions to pass, the machine announces you passed the test and terminates the testing process.

How about your state?
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Old 04-02-2015, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,297 posts, read 3,343,271 times
Reputation: 4829
Just renewed mine the oher day.

Drove the 15 miles to the town that had the Drivers License Office. Walked in at 3:15 p.m. No one else in the office, just the two female employees, filled out the One page request form for renewal (age 83), the lady took my picture and asked if I wanted my motorcycle endorsement to be renewed....I said yes. She gave me a temporary paper license good until I receive the plastice one in the mail in ten days.Paid $20.00 and left.............Total time: 10 minutes.
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Old 04-03-2015, 03:57 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,848 posts, read 18,874,270 times
Reputation: 33760
Try to avoid it in Massachusetts. My husband is from England and was advised to go to driving school--this to a person who prides himself on his safe driving, has driven race cars all his life, repairs vintage MGs.

To save the $800 school fees, that seemed unnecessary, he just went to a registry, filled in the forms and tried to take the test. He had passed the written test on a computer already. Well, they treated him like a criminal and flunked him on some technicality before he ever got out of the parking lot.

He had to pay money, go home and try to book another appointment. It took about three months. He tried again. This time we went to a different registry. Treated like dirt again, no one to tell you what to do. Someone came to give him his road test and we didn't know we should have filled out a form, we did it quickly and took the test. FAIL.

No good reason but what can you do? My husband talked with the local police and they told him that since he is over 60 the registry doesn't like to give out drivers licenses. Great. They said to sign up with a school for a few lessons and that's what he did. Apparently it's the usual corruption and the drivers ed teachers probably pay the registry guys. We were kind of disgusted but sure enough, he found a nice lady who let him practice in the drivers ed car and she said he was a good driver.

He booked another test, waiting a few months and -- FAIL. The teacher was outraged. She said NEXT time she would book the test and go with him in the drivers ed car. She was able to get another test scheduled within days. She said people usually pass when she goes with them, hee hee hee. The day before the test, the phone rang and it was her. She said--The last time you FAILED, they have you down as PASSED, Get to a registry before they change their minds.

So we went, paid the money, and got the license. It's a corrupt system. The eye test and the written test he passed easily but you are at the whim of the sadistic registry guys for the road test and they like to throw their weight around. If we had known how the system really works we wouldn't have bothered trying to save $800 for driving school. Then you pay for the license and of course there will be car inspections, yearly excise tax, registration, high insurance. In a word, it was a nightmare. Then they don't even bother testing older people again.
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Last edited by in_newengland; 04-03-2015 at 06:13 PM..
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Old 04-03-2015, 04:33 AM
 
1,577 posts, read 2,204,023 times
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I'm not sure of the requirements in my state (Iowa) for older people, but my neighbor is 90 years old and still driving. She just bought a new car too. A very active retired teacher who is hardly ever home, busy with volunteering.

My mom's significant other who lives in Southern California is also 90 years old. He got his license renewed at 89 (last year). It's good for 5 years! He seems like a good driver and is very alert and healthy, but still it's in the LA area. I don't know what to make of that.
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Old 04-03-2015, 04:35 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,747,361 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post
Just renewed mine the oher day.

Drove the 15 miles to the town that had the Drivers License Office. Walked in at 3:15 p.m. No one else in the office, just the two female employees, filled out the One page request form for renewal (age 83), the lady took my picture and asked if I wanted my motorcycle endorsement to be renewed....I said yes. She gave me a temporary paper license good until I receive the plastice one in the mail in ten days.Paid $20.00 and left.............Total time: 10 minutes.
Your experience was the opposite of mine! "No one else in the office" other than the two employees? Wow! What a dream come true. When I went yesterday, there must have been well over 100 people in the office, not including the employees. The main windows, at which you pay and at which the vision test is administered, were 22 in number and they were all opened and manned. One first receives a number at the very first line, then waits for one's turn at one of the 22 windows by watching one of the large screens and/or listening to the PA announcements: "Now serving number G181 at window number eleven". Having the picture taken is a separate line, as is taking the written test(s).

At least my experience will need to be repeated only once every five years, unless some question about my driving competency arises. I felt lucky that it only took one hour and twenty minutes; I had been told it could easily take up to three hours!

Ah, the joys of living in urban California! However, what In_newengland describes is far, far worse. I couldn't believe my eyes as I was reading that. If such conditions prevailed here, the Los Angeles Times would do a hard-hitting exposť series on it. At least, as far as I can determine, things are relatively honest here.
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Old 04-03-2015, 04:42 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,747,361 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rigizug View Post
I'm not sure of the requirements in my state (Iowa) for older people, but my neighbor is 90 years old and still driving. She just bought a new car too. A very active retired teacher who is hardly ever home, busy with volunteering.

My mom's significant other who lives in Southern California is also 90 years old. He got his license renewed at 89 (last year). It's good for 5 years! He seems like a good driver and is very alert and healthy, but still it's in the LA area. I don't know what to make of that.
What I make of that is that the safety interests of the public are not being adequately protected. As I stated, the ONLY added requirement that comes with age in California is that automatic renewals by mail are not allowed (and the vision and written tests are required).
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Old 04-03-2015, 04:50 AM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
17,628 posts, read 11,189,868 times
Reputation: 37672
Here in Florida you basically have to have a pulse. Sometimes, they even waive that requirement.

Don
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Old 04-03-2015, 05:46 AM
 
1,577 posts, read 2,204,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
What I make of that is that the safety interests of the public are not being adequately protected. As I stated, the ONLY added requirement that comes with age in California is that automatic renewals by mail are not allowed (and the vision and written tests are required).
I agree. I just don't know why they don't make tougher regulations for the elderly. It was rather shocking when my brothers and I found out about his renewal. What's preventing tougher laws? Don't understand it.
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,788 posts, read 4,843,885 times
Reputation: 19484
I was shocked when I watched a clerk helping a woman of about 80 years, who clearly couldn't see for squat, basically cheat on the eye exam in rural CA. Each time she had her read the line of letters, the lady would miss a couple letters and then she would ask her to "look again at the third letter" and then coach her on it. After the fourth or fifth row of letters was attempted, she again asked her "are you sure the third letter is an E?" or some such, "could it be an F?". Then yes of course it's an F! Amazingly she passed her, after attempting the test for about 15 minutes, and gave her a license. Clearly the lady could not see well enough to read traffic signs.
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,056 posts, read 17,376,569 times
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I do not believe that Wisconsin has special requirements for the elderly, except for eye exams when the license is renewed (every five years).

There was just a brief story on our local news about several elderly drivers and their accidents, in one the 87 year old driver ran into several parked cars and his passenger, his wife, was killed in the accident.

Frankly, I think that there should be mandatory written & behind the wheel tests starting at age 75 (give or take five years).

Of course, some older people are excellent drivers. My brother in law still safely drives a huge truck pulling an enormous recreational vehicle at age 83. While my mother could not even walk, let alone drive, by her late 60s.

If you are an excellent driver then you shouldn't be worried about taking and passing a driver's test.
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