Elderly Drivers and the California DMV
How to Keep Your California Driving Privileges

The California DMV may not revoke, suspend, or restrict a person's driver's license just because they are over a certain age.1

But for many California senior citizens, it may not feel like this is true--the California DMV has a number of policies in place that can make it difficult to retain your driving privileges in your golden years.

For starters, the California DMV requires elderly drivers who are seventy (70) or older to submit to more frequent driving tests than everyone else.2

What's more, California's process for suspending the licenses of people who have physical or mental conditions leads to many elderly drivers losing their license.

License_suspended

If you are a senior citizen with a medical condition that could affect your ability to drive safely, the DMV may require you to undergo a process called a “reexamination” or “P&M hearing.”3 This process involves:

  • Completion of a written medical history by you and your doctor,
  • Written, vision, and driving tests, and
  • An in-person hearing at which you may present evidence and arguments supporting your ability to be a safe driver.4

This process is complicated, confusing, and time-consuming. As a result, it frequently leads to driver's licenses being taken away from people whose conditions do not actually harm their driving skills--including many elderly drivers.

Finally, elderly drivers frequently fall victim to California's law that suspends the licenses of people who are deemed to be “negligent operators.” If you accumulate enough moving violations--even minor ones--or cause an accident, you may face a license suspension on this basis.5

In order to help you understand California DMV driver's license suspensions for elderly drivers, our California DMV hearing attorneys will address the following:

1. Driver's License Renewal Requirements for Senior Citizens

2. Elderly Drivers and California “Physical or Mental Condition” License Suspension

2.1. How the DMV learns about senior citizens' physical or mental conditions
2.2. How the DMV addresses senior citizens' physical or mental conditions
2.3. The California DMV reexamination process for elderly drivers

3. Elderly Drivers and California “Negligent Operator” License Suspension

4. How Elderly Drivers Can Protect Their Driving Privileges

4.1. Challenging a DMV license suspension
4.2. “Defenses” against a driver's license suspension

5. Restricted Driver's Licenses for Senior Drivers

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

You may also find helpful information in our related articles on California Driver's License Suspensions Due to Physical or Medical Conditions; The California Crime of Perjury Penal Code 118 PC; Driving on a Suspended License in California Vehicle Code 14601 VC; California's Negligent Operator Treatment System; Misdemeanor Hit and Run in California Vehicle Code 20002 VC; “Wet Reckless” as a Plea Bargain in California DUI Cases; and “Dry Reckless” Plea Bargains in California DUI Cases.

1. Driver's License Renewal Requirements for Senior Citizens

There are countless elderly drivers in California who are perfectly capable of driving safely--and do so on a daily basis.

But unfortunately our society is still heavily influenced by stereotypes about mature drivers. These stereotypes can affect your license--especially when they're held by DMV employees.

One of the more burdensome requirements the California DMV imposes on elderly drivers is the requirement that they renew their driver's licenses in person (instead of by mail or the internet like most people).6

This is so the DMV can personally evaluate you before it decides whether to renew your driver's license. DMV employees will closely scrutinize your physical coordination, vision, hearing, and overall mental state.

And if a DMV employee suspects that a senior driver's medical condition or mental state may prevent them from driving safely--that employee may report this back to the department. As a result, the elderly driver may be forced to undergo an evaluation for a physical or mental condition, as we describe in Section 2 below.

Vision test

The DMV requires drivers to have 20/40 vision (with the help of corrective lenses if necessary). It is common for an elderly driver to be required to take a vision test when s/he renews his or her license.

Limited vision is one of the most common problems facing elderly drivers. For most of us, our ability to see clearly and to focus (especially in the dark) decreases as we get older.

However, that doesn't mean that we still can't see clearly enough to drive safely--or that our vision problems can't be corrected.

Wall_chart

There are several steps to the vision test that the California DMV commonly issues to senior drivers:

  1. The first step is a vision test using a typical “wall chart.”
  2. If you do not pass the wall chart test, you will be required to look into a machine that measures how clearly you see small details.
  3. If you do not pass the machine test, you will be required to see a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist. He/she will need to fill out a DMV “report of vision examination,” which you will bring back to your local DMV office.
  4. If your eye doctor doesn't believe you are capable of driving safely, the DMV may proceed to suspend your license. But if the eye doctor determines that your condition doesn't impair your ability to drive safely, the DMV will re-administer its vision test.
  5. If you don't pass the DMV's vision test this time, you will be required to take a driving test.

Written test

You may also be asked to take a written driving skills test when you renew your license.

Luckily, the California DMV's written exam for license renewals only has 18 questions, the answers to which can be found in the California Driver Handbook.

Despite the fact that it is called a “written” test, you may take this test by

  1. listening to a cassette tape rather than reading the material, or
  2. having an examiner ask you the questions.

Large-print versions of the test--another accommodation that can be handy for elderly drivers--are also available.

2. Elderly Drivers and California “Physical or Mental Condition” License Suspension

According to the California Vehicle Code, the California DMV may suspend your license if you suffer from:

  1. A disorder that leads to “lapses of consciousness,”
  2. A disorder that has caused you to experience a lapse of consciousness or “episode of marked confusion” in the last three (3) years and could do so again, or
  3. Any other physical or mental condition that can affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.7.
Alzheimers
Alzheimer's disease is a "lapse of consciousness" disorder that commonly leads to California driver's license suspension for senior citizen drivers.

Certain medical conditions that often affect senior drivers can therefore lead to a license suspension. These include:

In addition, senior citizens frequently take prescription and/or over-the-counter medications to help them manage conditions like arthritis, depression, high blood pressure, etc. These medications may have side effects such as:

  • Dizziness,
  • Sleepiness,
  • Blurred vision, and/or
  • Slowed reaction time.

So these medications--which you may have no choice but to take in order to manage a serious condition--can also lead to the DMV initiating the process to suspend an elderly driver's license because of a physical or mental condition.

2.1. How the DMV learns about senior citizens' physical or mental conditions

As we mentioned above, the DMV may decide to evaluate you for a physical or mental condition based on the report of an employee who observes you when you come in to renew your license in person--as is required for elderly drivers.

And other common sources of information about a senior driver's condition include:

  • medical professionals (California doctors are required by law to report anyone who suffers from a condition that can lead to “lapses of consciousness”9),
  • law enforcement officers (such as a highway patrol officer who cited you for a moving violation),10
  • judges, and
  • concerned family members, friends, or other private citizens.

Example: Patty is 70 years old and has just been diagnosed with macular degeneration. Because her condition makes it difficult for her to see in the dark, she has stopped driving at night --but still drives frequently during the day.

A member of Patty's church hears about her diagnosis and contacts the DMV, letting them know that she is concerned about Patty's ability to drive at any time. So the DMV decides to investigate Patty's driving ability.

2.2. How the DMV addresses senior citizens' physical or mental conditions

If the California DMV learns that an elderly driver has a physical or mental condition that could threaten their driving skills, it will take one of three (3) actions:

  1. In cases where the DMV thinks it's unlikely that your condition poses a risk-- they may request that you and your doctor submit a form known as a “DMV driver medical evaluation” or “DME.”

    This document requires you to complete a comprehensive health history. (Providing false information on the form could subject you to prosecution for the California crime of perjury.)
    It also requires your doctor to provide information about your diagnosis, treatment, and any problems as they may relate to your driving ability.

  2. If the DMV is a bit more concerned, it will require you to undergo an in-person evaluation of your driving ability called a “reexamination.”11 The DMV may also require a reexamination if you have submitted a driver medical evaluation form--and your responses on the form give them cause for concern. We discuss the reexamination process in more detail in Section 2.3 below.

  3. In extreme cases, after hearing about your medical condition, the DMV may immediately suspend or revoke your license.12

Medical_history


2.3. The California DMV reexamination process for elderly drivers

A reexamination is an in-person evaluation of your driving skills. It will take place at your local California DMV driver safety office.

For mature drivers, a reexamination will likely include:

  • vision and/or written tests like the ones described in Section 1 above,
  • testimony from you and/or your physician about your medical condition and its effect on your driving ability, and
  • at least one driving “performance” test.13

Driving test

The first driving test you are likely to receive at a DMV reexamination for a physical or medical condition is called a Supplemental Driving Performance Evaluation (SDPE).

To pass the SDPE, an elderly driver must prove that s/he can do the following:

  • Follow multiple directions,
  • Safely change lanes,
  • Concentrate on driving while the examiner is speaking,
  • Drive safely on the freeway, and
  • Remember a route.

If you fail the SDPE, you may still be able to retain limited driving privileges by taking--and passing--an Area Driving Performance Evaluation (ADPE).

The ADPE will test your driving only in a specific pre-determined area. It is usually taken near your home and covers the routes you take most frequently.    If you pass the ADPE, you may be issued a restricted license that allows you to drive only those routes--something that can be extremely helpful for elderly drivers.

Example: Stephen is 85 and suffers from mild dementia. When he is called in for a DMV reexamination, he fails his initial SDPE driving test, in part because he cannot drive confidently on the freeway or remember his route.

However, Stephen and his DMV hearing attorney request that he be given an ADPE. This test covers only Stephen's surface-street drive between his house and the three locations he visits the most: his doctor's office, a local pharmacy, and the grocery store.

Stephen is able to pass this second test--so he is able to keep a driver's license allowing him to drive to those locations.

Drive_test

After a reexamination for a physical or medical condition, the DMV may determine that an elderly driver can no longer be on the road safely--and suspend his/her license.

If this happens to you, you must not drive unless your license gets reinstated. Driving on a suspended license in California is a crime and could subject you to jail time, an impounding of your car, fines and other penalties.14

3. Elderly Drivers and California “Negligent Operator” License Suspension

Medical condition license suspensions are the most common ways elderly drivers lose their licenses in California. However, some older drivers also lose their licenses because of California's "negligent oeprator treatment system."

A negligent operator is someone who has accumulated a certain number of “points” on their driving record. You accumulate points for

  • Moving violations such as speeding or running stop signs (these typically lead to one (1) point on your record),
  • Vehicle-related criminal convictions such as driving on a suspended license, hit and run, “wet reckless” or “dry reckless” driving , etc. (these typically lead to two (2) points on your record), and
  • Being involved in an accident in which you were at fault (this typically leads to one (1) point on your record).15

An elderly driver's license may be suspended or revoked if s/he accumulates:

  • Four (4) points in a 12-month period,
  • Six (6) points in a 24-month period, or
  • Eight (8) points in a 36-month period.16

Example: At 72 years old, Ruth qualifies as an elderly driver. She has always been a competent driver, but lately her eyesight and concentration aren't what they used to be. In one year, she is pulled over three times – twice for running hard-to-see stop signs, and once for speeding. Then, later that year, she rear-ends another vehicle.

Ruth has accumulated three (3) points for her three traffic violations, and one (1) more point for her accident. Because she earned four (4) points in 12 months, she runs the risk of losing her license as a negligent operator.

4. How Elderly Drivers Can Protect Their Driving Privileges

Between the requirement of frequent renewals, the California DMV's system of license suspension for physical or mental conditions, and the negligent operator system--it is all too easy for an elderly driver to face the prospect of losing his or her driving privileges.

For many people, including senior citizens, driving is a basic need--not a “privilege” they can do without. Public transportation is inadequate in many parts of California. Moreover, mobility restrictions can make it difficult or impossible for many older adults to use public transit.

Ca_dmv
It can be difficult for senior citizens to navigate DMV procedures without help.

DMV procedures are famous for being complicated and frustrating--all the more so for elderly drivers. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent the worst-case scenario—a total loss of driving privileges—from occurring. For most senior drivers, the best first step is to seek the advice of an experienced DMV hearing attorney.

Unlike a California criminal case, the state will not provide you with a free attorney if you are unable to afford one. However, you are still entitled to have a California DMV hearing lawyer defend you in a DMV hearing if you have the financial means to retain one.

4.1. Challenging a DMV license suspension

Vehicle Code 14100 hearing

If your driver's license is suspended or revoked because of a physical or mental condition--or because you have accumulated enough points to be considered a “negligent operator”--you may challenge the suspension at a DMV administrative hearing. (These hearings are provided for under Vehicle Code 14100 VC.17

But an elderly driver facing this situation must act fast. You need to request a hearing within ten (10) days of receiving notice of a license suspension.18 If you do so, then your license will remain effective until the hearing is completed.

Like the reexamination for a physical or mental condition, this hearing will require you to travel to a California DMV driver safety office to make your case. You may present evidence on your behalf and can be represented by an attorney. A DMV hearing officer will preside over the hearing.

After the hearing, the DMV will notify you in writing as to whether it will uphold the suspension of your license . . . or allow you to maintain your license.

Departmental review

For elderly drivers whose licenses remain suspended after a Vehicle Code 14100 hearing--the next step is what is called a DMV “departmental review” of the decision. You must request this review within fifteen (15) days of finding out about the results of your hearing.19

If you request a departmental review of a license suspension, the suspension won't go into effect until the review is finished.20

The DMV will review the reexamination and hearing records, including all the evidence presented, in order to determine whether the hearing officer made the correct decision. You do not need to attend another hearing if you request a departmental review.

Challenging your license suspension in court

If all else fails, you can take your case to California Superior Court.

Hearing_gavel

A senior citizen driver has

  • Thirty-five (35) days after notice of the results of a hearing, or
  • Ninety-five (95) days after notice of the results of a departmental review (if they requested one),

to challenge a license suspension by filing something with the court called a “Petition for Alternative Writ of Mandate.”21

The deadlines and process for this procedure are complicated--so a good DMV attorney is highly recommended if you go this route.

4.2. “Defenses” against a driver's license suspension

Many DMV hearing officers are biased against senior drivers and wrongly assume that anyone over a certain age can't safely drive a car. Experienced legal representation can help you convince the DMV that this assumption is wrong--that any medical conditions you have are under control and do not impact your ability to drive safely.

Here are some ways in which a DMV hearing attorney can help you save your driver's license.

Preparing for testing

It is a very good idea for any elderly driver in California to enroll in and complete a mature driver improvement program.

Successful completion of such a program before you run into trouble with your driving privileges is helpful in two ways. First, it will demonstrate to the DMV that you are taking your driving skills seriously.

Second, it will help you perform well on any testing you may have to complete to renew your license--or pass a physical or mental condition reexamination.

Some older drivers may have developed non-ideal driving habits over their decades of driving--not because of any medical condition related to their age, but just because they have been driving for so long. A “refresher course” in basic driving skills can help you identify and eliminate these.

Student_driver

Presenting evidence and testimony

At either a physical or mental condition reexamination--or a Vehicle Code 14100 hearing to challenge your license suspension--you have the right to present live testimony or documentary evidence in support of your case.

According to Beverly Hills DMV hearing attorney John Murray22:

"Senior drivers often present testimony from their doctors or optometrists. The medical professionals who treat you are the ones that know your condition best. They can testify to the fact that your condition does not affect your driving ability--or does not have to affect it in the future if you take steps to control it (medication, wearing glasses, etc.).”

Focusing on your present ability to drive safely

Another way to accomplish your goal—maintaining your driving privileges –is to focus on your present ability to drive safely.

Maybe an elderly person's driving was less than perfectly safe in the past because s/he had not yet gotten a diagnosis and effective treatment for a medical condition.

But you can overcome this by emphasizing the changes you have made--and the fact that, as a consequence, you are presently able to drive safely.

Maybe you have gotten a new pair of glasses, or equipped your car with larger mirrors. Maybe you have started taking medication for depression that great improves your ability to concentrate.

Example: Mark is in his late 60s and has developed Type 2 diabetes and depression. For a while, his depression keeps him from sleeping, and he is often very tired when he drives. His diabetes is also not well-controlled, and swings in his blood sugar affect his ability to concentrate.

One day when he is exhausted and distracted, Mark crashes his car on the freeway. A highway patrol officer reports him to the DMV as possibly having an unsafe physical or mental condition.

The accident is a wake-up call for Mark. He starts seeing a psychiatrist and receives a prescription for antidepressants. He also talks to his doctor, who puts him on insulin to regulate his diabetes.

So when Mark attends his reexamination, he and his DMV hearing attorney offer testimony from his psychiatrist and doctor. These medical professionals argue that Mark's ability to drive safely in the future will be greatly increased from what it was in the past thanks to his current treatment. As a result, the DMV decides to allow Mark to keep his license.

Reviewing and cross-examining any DMV evidence and witnesses

The DMV may be trying to suspend or revoke your license based on fundamentally flawed evidence.

Maybe there are innocent explanations that make your driving record seem worse than it actually is. Maybe the doctor who reported you to the DMV really doesn't know your medical history and hadn't done a thorough examination. Maybe the police officer who reported you has a personal bias against senior drivers.

In this area especially, an aggressive, experienced DMV hearing attorney could perhaps make the difference between keeping and losing your license.

5. Restricted Driver's Licenses for Senior Drivers

In some cases, an elderly driver may simply not be able to keep his or her license on an unrestricted basis. But losing the license altogether isn't the only possible outcome in those cases.

If you have a medical condition that will affect your driving no matter what you do, you and your attorney may be able to convince the DMV to issue you a“restricted” or “probationary” license. This still allows you to keep your license--but under closer supervision and more limited circumstances.23

Large_mirror
Extra-large rearview mirrors are one restriction that may help an elderly driver drive more safely and keep his/her license.

Here are some examples of the restrictions that might be placed on a restricted license for a senior driver:

  • A requirement that you wear glasses or contact lenses,
  • A requirement that you drive a car with special equipment, like extra-large mirrors or hand pedals,
  • A requirement that you only drive on surface streets (no freeway driving),
  • Limitations on the time of day when you may drive (no driving at night, no rush-hour driving, etc.), or
  • A requirement that you follow a treatment plan for a medical condition.

Call us for help…

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If you or loved one is an elderly driver and want to keep your California driving privileges and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.

Additional Resources:

California DMV senior driving “self evaluation” : A 15-question self-assessment test to help you evaluate the safety of your driving

Legal References:



1 See Vehicle Code 12814 VC – Renewal of licenses; examination [of elderly drivers]; extension; terms and conditions; selective testing. (“(a) . . . The age of a licensee, by itself, may not constitute evidence of a condition requiring an examination of the driving ability.”)

2 See same. (“(c) The department may adopt and administer those regulations as shall be deemed necessary for the public safety in the implementation of a program of selective testing of applicants, and, with reference to this section, the department may waive tests for purposes of evaluation of selective testing procedures.”)

See also California DMV, Senior Driver: Your Driver License. (“All customers age 70 or older must renew their driver license in person at a DMV office.”)

3 Vehicle Code 12806(c) VC – Refusal to issue or renew driver's license [because of a physical or mental condition, including for elderly drivers]; discretionary grounds. (“The department may refuse to issue to, or renew a driver's license of, any person: . . . (c) Who has a disorder  characterized by lapses of consciousness or who has experienced, within the last three years, either a lapse of consciousness or an episode of marked confusion caused by any condition which may bring about recurrent lapses, or who has any physical or mental disability, disease, or disorder which could affect the safe operation of a motor vehicle unless the department has medical information which indicates the person may safely operate a motor vehicle. In making its determination, the department may rely on any relevant information available to the department.”)

See also Vehicle Code 13359 VC – Grounds for suspension or revocation. (“The department may suspend or revoke the privilege of any person [including elderly drivers] to operate a motor vehicle upon any of the grounds which authorize the refusal to issue a license.”)

4 Vehicle Code 13800 VC – Investigations by the [DMV, including reexamination of elderly drivers]. (“The department may conduct an investigation to determine whether the privilege of any person to operate a motor vehicle should be suspended or revoked or whether terms or conditions of probation should be imposed upon receiving information or upon a showing by its records: . . . (d) That the licensee is a reckless, negligent, or incompetent driver of a motor vehicle. . . . (f) That any ground exists for which a license might be refused. The receipt by the department of an abstract of the record of conviction of any offense involving the use or possession of narcotic controlled substances under Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code shall be a sufficient basis for an investigation by the department to determine whether grounds exist for which a license might be refused.”)

5 Vehicle Code 12809 VC – Grounds permitting refusal; operative date. (“The department may refuse to issue or renew a driver's license to any person:  . . . (e) If the department determines that the applicant [for example, an elderly driver] is a negligent or incompetent operator of a motor vehicle.”)

6 See endnote 2, above.

7 See Vehicle Code 12806(c) VC – Refusal to issue or renew driver's license [because of a physical or mental condition, including for elderly drivers]; discretionary grounds, endnote 3, above.

8 National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration – “Medical Conditions and Driving: A Review of the Literature. Section 9: Metabolic Diseases; 9.1 Diabetes Mellitus.” (“…studies done in the United States generally show either an increased crash risk or a trend toward increased crashes for individuals [including senior drivers] with diabetes mellitus (Crancer and McMurray, 1968; Hansotia and Broste, 1991; Koepsell, Wolf, McCloskey, et al., 1994; Songer et al., 1988; Waller, 1965).”)

9 Health & Safety Code 103900 H&S – Reporting disorders characterized by lapses of consciousness [for DMV P&M hearings for elderly drivers]. (“(a) Every physician and surgeon shall report immediately to the local health officer in writing, the name, date of birth, and address of every patient at least 14 years of age or older whom the physician and surgeon has diagnosed as having a case of a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness. However, if a physician and surgeon reasonably and in good faith believes that the reporting of a patient will serve the public interest, he or she may report a patient's condition even if it may not be required under the department's definition of disorders characterized by lapses of consciousness pursuant to subdivision (d). (b) The local health officer shall report in writing to the Department of  Motor Vehicles the name, age, and address, of every person reported to it as a case of a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness.”)

10 Vehicle Code 21061 VC -- Notice of reexamination [for senior drivers]; evidence of incapacity to operate vehicle (“…a traffic officer may issue a notice of reexamination to any person who violates any provision of this division and who, at the time of the violation, exhibits evidence of incapacity to the traffic officer which leads the traffic officer to reasonably believe that the person is incapable of operating a motor vehicle in a manner so as not to present a clear or potential danger of risk of injury to that person or others if that person is permitted to resume operation of a motor vehicle. For purposes of this section, “evidence of incapacity” means evidence, other than violations of this division, of serious physical injury or illness or mental impairment or disorientation which is apparent to the traffic officer and which presents a clear or potential danger or risk of injury to the person or others if that person is permitted to resume operation of a motor vehicle.”)

11 See Vehicle Code 13800 VC – Investigations by the [DMV, including reexamination of elderly drivers], endnote 4, above.

12 Vehicle Code 13953 VC – Alternative action [for license suspensions of elderly drivers]. (“…in the event the department determines upon investigation or reexamination that the safety of the person subject to investigation or reexamination or other persons upon the highways require such action, the department shall forthwith and without hearing suspend or revoke the privilege of the person to operate a motor vehicle or impose reasonable terms and conditions of probation which shall be relative to the safe operation of a motor vehicle. No order of suspension or revocation or the imposition of terms or conditions of probation shall become effective until 30 days after the giving of written notice thereof to the person affected, except that the department shall have authority to make any such order effective immediately upon the giving of notice when in its opinion because of the mental or physical condition of the person such immediate action is required for the safety of the driver or other persons upon the highways.”)

13 Vehicle Code 12814 VC – Renewal of licenses; examination [of elderly drivers]; extension; terms and conditions; selective testing. (The department, in its discretion, may require an examination of the applicant as upon an original application…, or an examination deemed by the department to be appropriate in relation to evidence of a condition that may affect the ability of the applicant to safely operate a motor vehicle.”)

14 Vehicle Code 14601 VC – Driving when privileges suspended or revoked for certain offenses [or because of an elderly driver's medical condition]; knowledge; punishment; driving on private property; requiring installation of ignition interlock device. ("(a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at any time when that person's driving privilege is suspended or revoked for reckless driving in violation of Section 23103, 23104, or 23105, any reason listed in subdivision (a) or (c) [covering physical and mental conditions] of Section 12806 authorizing the department to refuse to issue a license, negligent or incompetent operation of a motor vehicle as prescribed in subdivision (e) of Section 12809, or negligent operation as prescribed in Section 12810.5, if the person so driving has knowledge of the suspension or revocation. Knowledge shall be conclusively presumed if mailed notice has been given by the department to the person pursuant to Section 13106. The presumption established by this subdivision is a presumption affecting the burden of proof. (b) A person convicted under this section shall be punished as follows: (1) Upon a first conviction, by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than five days or more than six months and by a fine of not less than three hundred dollars ($300) or more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). (2) If the offense occurred within five years of a prior offense that resulted in a conviction of a violation of this section or Section 14601.1, 14601.2, or 14601.5, by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than 10 days or more than one year and by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) or more than two thousand dollars ($2,000).”)

15 Vehicle Code 12810.5 VC – Traffic violation point count; number for presumption of negligent operation; proof of financial responsibility [can affect elderly drivers' driving privileges]. (“(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), a person whose driving record shows a violation point count of four or more points in 12 months, six or more points in 24 months, or eight or more points in 36 months shall be prima facie presumed to be a negligent operator of a motor vehicle. In applying this subdivision to a driver, if the person requests and appears at a hearing conducted by the department, the department shall give due consideration to the amount of use or mileage traveled in the operation of a motor vehicle.”)

See also Vehicle Code 12810 VC – Traffic violation point counts; allocation of points [for purposes of senior drivers' negligent operator designations]. (“In determining the violation point count, the following shall apply: (a) A conviction of failure to stop in the event of an accident in violation of Section 20001 or 20002 shall be given a value of two points. (b) A conviction of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153 shall be given a value of two points. (c) A conviction of reckless driving shall be given a value of two points. (d)(1) A conviction of a violation of subdivision (b) of Section 191.5 or subdivision (c) of Section 192 of the Penal Code, or of Section 2800.2 or 2800.3, subdivision (b) of Section 21651, subdivision (b) of Section 22348, subdivision (a) or (c) of Section 23109, Section 23109.1, or Section 31602 of this code, shall be given a value of two points. (2) A conviction of a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 23140 shall be given a value of two points. (e) A conviction of a violation of Section 14601, 14601.1, 14601.2, 14601.3, or 14601.5 shall be given a value of two points. (f) Except as provided in subdivision (i), any other traffic conviction involving the safe operation of a motor vehicle upon the highway shall be given a value of one point. (g) A traffic accident in which the operator is deemed by the department to be responsible shall be given a value of one point. (h) A conviction of a violation of Section 27360 or 27360.5 shall be given a value of one point. (i)(1) A violation of paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (5) of subdivision  (b) of Section 40001 shall not result in a violation point count being given to the driver if the driver is not the owner of the vehicle. (2) A conviction of a violation of paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 12814.6, subdivision (a) of Section 21116, Section 21207.5, 21708, 21710, 21716, 23120, 24800, or 26707 shall not be given a violation point count. (3) A violation of subdivision (d) of Section 21712 shall not result in a violation point count. (4) A violation of Section 23136 shall not result in a violation point count. (5) A violation of Section 38301, 38301.3, 38301.5, 38304.1, or 38504.1 shall not result in a violation point count. (j) A conviction for only one violation arising from one occasion of arrest or citation shall be counted in determining the violation point count for the purposes of this section.”)

16 See same.

17 Vehicle Code 14100 VC – Demand for hearing [to challenge an elderly driver's license suspension]. (“Whenever the department has given notice, or has taken or proposes to take action under Section 12804.15, 13353, 13353.2, 13950, 13951, 13952, or 13953, the person receiving the notice or subject to the action may, within 10 days, demand a hearing which shall be granted, except as provided in Section 14101.”)

18 See same.

19 Vehicle Code 14105.5 VC – Department review [of senior drivers' hearing decisions]. (“a) The person subject to a hearing may request a review of the decision taken under Section 14105 within 15 days of the effective date of the decision. (b) On receipt of a request for review, the department shall stay the action pending a decision on review, unless the hearing followed an action pursuant to Section 13353, 13353.2, or 13953. The review            shall include an examination of the hearing report, documentary evidence, and findings. The hearing officer or hearing board conducting the original hearing may not participate in the review process. (c) Following the review, a written notice of the department's decision shall be mailed to the person involved. If the action has been stayed pending review, the department's decision shall take effect as stated in the notice, but not less than four nor more than 15 days after the notice is mailed.”)

20 See same.

22 Beverly Hills DMV hearing attorney John Murray has earned a statewide reputation for representing elderly drivers at DMV hearing locations throughout southern California,including those in the City of Commerce, Covina, El Segundo, Oxnard, San Bernardino, and Van Nuys. He has extensive expertise with the California Vehicle Code and physical/mental condition reexaminations and has saved the driver's licenses of countless grateful senior citizens.

23 Vehicle Code 12813 VC – Restricted licenses [for elderly drivers]. (“(a) The department may, upon issuing a driver's license or after issuance whenever good cause appears, impose restrictions suitable to the licensee's driving ability with respect to the type of, or special mechanical control devices required on, a motor vehicle which the licensee may operate or impose other restrictions applicable to the licensee that the department may determine to be appropriate to assure the safe operation of a motor vehicle by the licensee.

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