DC DMV understands that mobility and independence are crucial to all District residents, and seniors are no exception. We will work with you to ensure you can continue to safely drive. In some cases, you may have to restrict your driving to daylight hours or to install special equipment on your vehicle. In other cases, your physician may make recommendations to us about ways in which you can continue to drive. Please note that DC DMV issues REAL ID compliant credentials. The process to obtain a REAL ID driver license is explained at the link below:
A brochure about REAL ID is available at the link below:
More information about REAL ID is available in the FAQs at the link below:
Many of you elect to stop driving when you believe you are no longer able to safely operate a vehicle. If you decide to discontinue driving, we encourage you to exchange your driver license for an identification card (ID). For seniors 65 years and older, identification cards are free of charge.
If you are 70 years or older you must:
- Renew your driver license in person at a DC DMV Service Center. A list of DC DMV service centers is available at the link below:
- DC DMV Service Centers
- Bring the required documentation to the Service Center. DC DMV is now issuing REAL ID compliant credentials, and you must provide one proof of identity, one proof of Social Security Number, and two proofs of DC residency. The documents DC DMV will accept for proof of identity, proof of Social Security number, and proof of DC residency are available at the links below:
- Proof of Identity
- Proof of Social Security number
- Proof of DC Residency
- Have your physician complete the certification on the driver license application, which is available at the link below:
- Driver License/Identification Card Application
- Pass the vision test
If necessary, DC DMV may issue you a 45-day temporary license to give you time to get your physician's certification on the driver license application.
Older Adult Driver Safety Course
DC DMV recommends an online safety course for drivers 50 and older as a refresher or to enhance driving knowledge and skills. When you complete the course and receive a completion certificate, you may be eligible to receive discounts on motor vehicle insurance.
An online course can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be found at the links below:
If you need any other information, you can call the District’s Citywide Call Center at 311.
Safety Tips for Senior Drivers
Driving can sometimes be challenging for older adults. As you get older, you'll likely notice physical changes that can make actions such as turning your head to look for oncoming traffic or driving at night more challenging. Still, getting older doesn't mean your driving days are over. Consider the following tips for older drivers.
- Stay physically active
Staying physically active improves your strength and flexibility, which may help you turn the steering wheel and look over your shoulder. If you have not been active, get your doctor's permission before increasing your activity level.
- Manage any chronic conditions
Work with your doctor to manage any chronic conditions that might affect your ability to drive safely. Follow any driving restrictions suggested by your doctor—and be sure you understand your medications. Many drugs can affect your ability to drive safely, even when you're feeling fine.
- Schedule regular vision and hearing tests
Ask your doctor how frequently to schedule vision and hearing tests. Even if you think your hearing and vision are fine, stick to your doctor's recommended exam schedule. Problems may be easier to correct if caught early.
- Drive under the best conditions
When possible, drive during the daytime, in good weather, on quiet roads and in familiar areas. Avoid rush-hour traffic, and delay your trip if the visibility is poor. Beyond road conditions, make sure you're in the best condition to drive, too. Don't drive if you're tired or angry, and never drive after drinking alcohol.
- Plan ahead
Plan your route ahead of time so that you don't find yourself trying to figure out the way or read a map while driving.
- Know when it is time to consider other alternatives
If you become confused while you're driving or you're concerned about your ability to drive safely—or your loved ones or others have expressed concern—consider other alternatives. Perhaps you can take the bus, the subway, use a van service, or take advantage of other local transportation options. You can give up your car, and not your independence.
AARP offers a screening tool to help you determine your fitness to drive, available at the link below:
Resources for Senior Drivers
The following links provide additional information for senior drivers: