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Can my Nevada drivers license be suspended because of vision impairment?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Aug 07, 2018 | 0 Comments

Yes. If the Nevada DMV gets notice that a driver suffers from a vision impairment (including cataracts and macular degeneration) that cannot be helped by corrective lenses, the DMV can take either of the following two measures:

  1. Request that the person take a driving test, written test, and/or vision test. If the results are poor, the DMV may opt to suspend or restrict the person's license and mandate him/her to retake the exam annually; or
  2. Revoke the license immediately, though the person can always reapply for a new license if his/her vision improves.

Drivers aged 71 and up are required to submit to vision exams whenever they have to renew their Nevada license. When they renew in person at a DMV office, the clerk will give the eye exam. If they renew by the U.S. mail, they would need to send in a Nevada DMV Eye Exam Certificate as well as a doctor's note with the renewal application. The Nevada DMV may also require licensees to submit to a vision test at any time at its discretion.

DMV Rules for Senior Citizens

Note that there is no age limit for Nevada driver's licensees. But there are special rules senior citizens must abide by in order to retain their licenses:

  1. People aged 65 and up have to renew their licenses in person at a DMV office, not online;
  2. People aged 65 and up are required to renew their licenses once every four (4) years (whereas younger people can renew them once every eight (8) years); and
  3. Drivers aged 70 and up are required to take a short physical evaluation as a condition of keeping their driver's licenses

DMV Rules re. Physical Disabilities

Also, note that the Nevada DMV may impose restrictions on drivers of any age depending on their physical abilities. The most common restriction is that drivers with less than 20/20 vision use contact lenses or glasses while operating an automobile. Other potential restrictions might include:

  • prohibition on highway driving;
  • mandatory automatic transmission;
  • mandatory additional right side mirror;
  • mandatory left foot accelerator;
  • prohibition against driving at night;
  • prohibition against driving over 45 mph; and/or
  • requirement to wear a telescopic lens

Finally, note that the following medical conditions can also cause a person's Nevada driver's license to be suspended or revoked:

  • Hearing disability that cannot be fixed with a hearing aid or similar medical device;
  • Diabetes that is not well-managed and monitored by a physician;
  • Spells of dizziness or fainting that are not well-managed and monitored by a physician;
  • Heart problems that are not well-managed and monitored by a physician, such as:
    • thrombosis,
    • coronary insufficiency,
    • angina pectoris, and/or
    • myocardial infarction;
  • A mobility disability that cannot be overcome;
  • A physical disability precluding the person from reach the gas and brake pedals;
  • Arthritis that is not well-managed and monitored by a physician; and/or
  • Other kinds of muscular, orthopedic, vascular, rheumatic, or neuromuscular diseases that are not well-managed and monitored by a physician

Driving on a Suspended License

People who continue to drive when their license has been suspended due to vision impairment risk being cited for the Nevada crime of driving on a suspended license. It is a misdemeanor carrying:

  • up to 6 months in jail, and/or
  • up to $1,000 in fines

The DMV will also increase the person's license suspension period.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).

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