The Nevada DMV applies special rules to elderly drivers. Those age 65 and older must renew their license more frequently – every four years. Drivers age 71 and older may not renew their license online, and they must submit to vision tests. Moreover, drivers of any age face license revocations from the DMV for exhibiting dementia, blindness, physical incapacity, or impairments from medications.
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. Can drivers age 65 and older get driver’s licenses in Nevada?
- 2. How often do elderly drivers have to renew?
- 3. Can licenses be renewed online?
- 4. Can licenses be renewed by mail?
- 5. Can licenses be renewed in person?
- 6. How can the elderly lose their driving privileges?
- 7. How can someone request an unsafe driver investigation?
- 8. How can the elderly get suspended licenses reinstated?
- 9. Are vision tests required?
- 10. Are road tests required?
- 11. Are written tests required?
- 12. What restrictions are placed on elderly drivers in Nevada?
- 13. How do drivers get disability plates and placards?
- 14. Is driving without a license a crime in Nevada?
1. Can drivers aged 65 and older get driver’s licenses in Nevada?
Yes. There is no age limit for Nevada driver licenses. Nevada only restricts licenses based on physical incapacity and driving record.
2. How often do elderly drivers have to renew?
Drivers aged 65 and older must renew their Nevada licenses every four (4) years. Note that four years used to be the normal renewal requirement for drivers of all ages; but by 2018, younger drivers can get Nevada licenses valid for eight (8) years.1
3. Can licenses be renewed online?
Drivers aged 71 and older may never renew their Nevada licenses online. Younger drivers may be able to, depending on when they last renewed their license…
All Nevada drivers regardless of age must renew in person at least once every eight (8) years. So drivers holding a license valid for four years (and who are younger than 71) should be able to renew online every alternate four years. If they last renewed in person, then in four years they should be able to renew online; if they last renewed online, then in four years they will be required to renew in person.
4. Can licenses be renewed by mail?
It depends on the driver’s age. Recall that all Nevada drivers must renew their licenses in person at least once every eight (8) years,2 and that drivers 65 and older are eligible only for four-year licenses. For drivers aged 70 and younger who hold a four-year license, they may renew by mail every alternate four years. Therefore if they last renewed in person, then in four years they should be able to renew by mail; if they last renewed by mail, then in four years they will be required to renew in person.
For drivers aged 71 and older in Nevada, they may also renew their licenses by mail every alternate four years if they also submit the following:
- a vision-screening report (official form: Nevada DMV Eye Exam Certificate), and
- a doctor’s note signing off the person’s driving ability
Otherwise, drivers aged 71 and older must renew in person at a Nevada DMV.
5. Can licenses be renewed in person?
Yes. Nevada drivers of any age are always allowed to renew in person. In fact, it is mandatory that Nevada drivers renew in person at least once every eight (8) years. During these in-person renewals, the DMV will give an eye exam and may require that the person take a written and/or road test upon suspicion that the person is impaired.
6. How can the elderly lose their driving privileges?
Yes, but not for being senior citizens. Nevada may revoke the driving privileges of anyone suffering from a medical condition that impairs their ability to drive safely. Such conditions include:
- blindness or any visual impairment that cannot be corrected with lenses
- diminishing physical ability
- impairment from medications
7. How can someone request an unsafe driver investigation in Nevada?
Concerned family members should submit the Nevada DMV request for Re-Evaluation along with a doctor’s affidavit that the driver requires re-evaluation. The signature on this application for reevaluation has to be witnessed by either a notary or DMV representative (the DMV representative does not charge a fee for witnessing the signature).
Note that concerned police may request that a driver be re-examined for driving privileges. And any Nevada DMV representative who has “good cause to believe” that a driver is too incapacitated to drive can order a Nevada DMV Confidential Physician’s Report on the driver.
8. How can the elderly get their licenses reinstated?
The requirements for possibly getting a revoked or suspended Nevada driver’s license reinstated depend on the specifics of the driver’s circumstances. Consult with an attorney and refer to the Nevada DMV article on License Suspensions & Revocations and Nevada DMV Driver’s Handbook.
9. Are vision tests required?
Drivers aged 71 and older must get vision tests in order to renew their Nevada license. If they renew in person at the DMV, the clerk will administer the eye exam. If they are eligible to renew by mail, they must submit a Nevada DMV Eye Exam Certificate and a doctor’s note with their renewal application.
Drivers aged 70 and younger only need to get vision tests when they renew their Nevada licenses in person at the DMV. The DMV clerk administers the eye exam. (All Nevada drivers are required to renew in person every eight years.)
Note that vision tests may be required at any time at the DMV’s discretion.
10. Are road tests required?
Road tests are required in Nevada only for drivers getting their license for the first time. However, DMV officials may order that drivers of any age take the road test if they believe the person may be incapable of driving safely due to medical or driving history.
11. Are written tests required?
Written tests are required in Nevada only for drivers getting their license for the first time. However, DMV officials may order that drivers of any age take a written test if they believe the person may be incapable of driving safely due to medical or driving history.
12. What restrictions are placed on elderly drivers in Nevada?
Nevada drivers of any age may face restrictions depending on their physical ability, medical history or driving record. The most usual restriction is that drivers with imperfect vision wear contact lenses or glasses while operating a vehicle. Other possible restrictions include:
- prohibition on highway driving
- requirement that vehicle have automatic transmission
- requirement for an additional right-side mirror
- requirement for vehicle to have a left foot accelerator
- requirement to drive only with a prosthetic
- prohibition against nighttime driving
- prohibition against driving over 45 mph
- requirement to wear telescopic lens
Furthermore, the Nevada DMV may require that drivers submit to a vision test, driving test or medical test every six months or every year as a condition of keeping the license.
13. How do drivers get disability plates and placards?
Drivers of any age can get disability plates and placards in Nevada if their doctor signs off on their impaired mobility. The DMV typically grants disability plates and placards to people with the following conditions:
- inability to walk 200 feet without needing to rest
- inability to walk without assistance
- severe heart problems
- severe lung problems
- requirement of portable oxygen
Applicants for a disabled placard or plate in Nevada must complete the Nevada Disabled Persons License Plates and/or Placards Application along with his/her physician. First-time applicants are required to apply in person at a local DMV office and to bring their vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
14. Is driving without a license a crime in Nevada?
Driving without a license or on a suspended license in Nevada is a crime at any age. Both driving on a suspended license (NRS 483.560) and driving without a license (NRS 483.230) are misdemeanors, carrying:
- Up to 6 months in jail, and/or
- Up to $1,000 in fines
For a first-time offense, judges typically do not demand incarceration.
For information on California elderly driver laws, read our article on California elderly driver laws.
- NAC 483.430; NAC 483.043; NAC 483.832.
- NAC 483.084.