Driving Safety: Using State DMVs

How the DMV can help make sure an older adult drives safely

First do the research

If you're worried about whether an older adult is driving safely, using your state DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) resources may help. Many state DMVs now have websites that offer information and resources on older adults and driving issues, including driver-improvement programs and driver self-assessments. For example, California's Department of Motor Vehicles even has a "senior ombudsman" who's available to assist older adults and their families.

Our state-by-state driving calculator provides contact details for your state DMV, along with other useful information regarding older adults and driving.

When all else fails

If the person in your care flatly refuses to stop driving and you believe he poses a significant safety risk, you can file an unsafe driver report with your state DMV. A DMV representative will then contact him and request a medical evaluation; a driving test may also be required. Depending on the findings, his license may be restricted or revoked altogether. Some states conceal the identity of the individual who makes the report; others do not. Even if yours doesn't, his potential anger at you for "interfering" is preferable to letting him injure -- or kill -- himself or a pedestrian through a driving error.

Connie Matthiessen

Constance (Connie) Matthiessen, senior editor, has worked as a healthcare and environmental journalist at the Center for Investigative Reporting and has written for WebMD, Consumer Health Interactive, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, BabyCenter. See full bio