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Older drivers

Statistics tell us that the crash rate for older drivers is relatively low due to the fact that most older drivers tend to self-regulate by taking simple but important precautions.

Table of Contents

Overview

Many older drivers are able to self-determine if they should drive based on their mental and physical ability. 

Massachusetts is a self-reporting State. If you have a medical condition or are taking any medication that affects your driving, you must self-report to the RMV upon learning of your condition. You can discuss getting adaptive driving equipment with your physician. You can also apply for a disability plate or placard through the RMV.

The Your Health and Driving Safely brochure provides important information about driver fitness and lists hospitals and rehabilitation centers that offer driver evaluation and assessment programs. The RMVAAA and AARP offer older driver safety programs. Professional driving schools provide driving instruction to all ages.

Shifting Gears

Learn how age-related changes can impact a person’s ability to drive safely and how you can support older driver safety and mobility. The RMV’s safe driving workshop, Shifting Gears, explores the warning signs of unsafe driving, Massachusetts licensing policies, and provides information on driving retirement and various transit options. Here is a recording of the RMV’s Shifting Gears workshop, which was made possible by our collaboration with the MBTA Statewide Accessibility Office. Please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ7wRcSNYog&t=14s 

Additional Resources

Safe driving workshops and travel instruction training

Safe driving workshops

The RMV offers free, one-hour safe driving workshops across the state. To request a workshop in your community, complete and submit the Community Outreach Workshop Request Form.

For more information, see the RMV's safe driving presentation schedule or contact the RMV at (857) 368-9457.

Travel instruction training

The MBTA offers free travel instruction training to help seniors and people with disabilities travel independently on the bus, train, and commuter rail.

MBTA Transit Option video Description:  

If you would like more information about transit options for older adults in the Greater Boston Area, click here: https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/files/2021-06/2021-05-05-slides-webinar-for-older-adults.pdf)

Additional Resources

Appointments Required for License/ID Renewal

Massachusetts law requires drivers who are 75 years of age or older to renew in person.

If you are a AAA member, you can renew your license or motor vehicle registration at AAA. Visit AAA's website make a reservation to visit a AAA office near you.

To better serve our customers, the RMV has expanded hours of operation at many locations to include Saturdays and some evening hours. For detailed RMV location information and hours of operation, visit Mass RMV Locations and Hours

To renew a Driver’s license/ID Card in person at the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), you need an appointment in advance.

Note that Registration-related transactions can be performed at an RMV Service Center (except Natick) without a reservation. Examples of Registration transactions include registering a vehicle; transferring vehicle to surviving spouse; amending a registration; reinstating a registration; and confirming identity for a registration renewal.

Below are ways to book an appointment to visit the RMV:

  • Online: Follow the step-by-step instructions below to help you book your own appointment online:
  1. Go to Mass.Gov/RMV  
  2. Select ‘Make or Cancel a Reservation’
  3. Select ‘Reservations/Appointments’
  4. Select ‘Schedule a Service Center Appointment’
  5. Click on box next to ‘I’m not a robot’ and complete Captcha
  6. Enter your contact information
  7. Select ‘Driver’s Licenses and ID Services for Existing MA Driver’s License and ID Holders’
  8. You will receive an email from Do Not Reply with a personal link to schedule your appointment

New to Massachusetts? Click here for information on how to transfer an out-of-state driver’s license/ID. To book your own appointment to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license/ID card to Massachusetts, follow steps 1 through 5 above, then select ‘First Time Driver’s License, ID Card or Learner’s Permit’ and then select ‘Transfer My Out of State License to MA.’ You will receive an email from Do Not Reply with a personal link to schedule your appointment.

Other ways to book an appointment to visit the RMV:

  • Call 857-368-8005, the RMV’s dedicated appointment line for customers who are at least 65 years of age or have a disability. The RMV’s Senior License Renewal Appointment Line warns customers that they will not be served if do not meet the above qualifications.
  • Email the RMV for assistance at MassDOTRMVSeniors@dot.state.ma.us.

Reminder:  Customers conducting motor vehicle registration transactions, do not need an appointment to visit the RMV. Registration customers will be served on a first come, first served basis.

Warning signs of unsafe driving

You may want to consider driving less or not at all if you have difficulty:

  • Seeing clearly in dusk and dark
  • With vehicle headlights obstructing your sight
  • With passing vehicles intimidating you
  • Reading road signs
  • Following detours or seeing police on detail
  • Seeing train crossing signals or hearing train whistles
  • Keeping up with the posted speed limit
  • Concentrating or staying alert behind the wheel
  • Hearing other vehicles
  • With driving basics like seat belts or head lights
  • With parking
  • With slow reaction times or reflexes

Drivers who voluntarily surrender their driver's licenses are eligible for a free Massachusetts ID card. To surrender your driver's license, contact the Medical Affairs division of the RMV at (857) 368-8020.

Additional Resources

Resources for Medical Providers, Law Enforcement, and Caregivers

The RMV accepts reports by health care providers and law enforcement officials to evaluate drivers to ensure safety on the roads.

Medical Affairs division of the RMV sets the policies and procedures regarding minimum physical qualifications to operate motor vehicles. Learn how to report a medically impaired driver https://www.mass.gov/how-to/report-a-medically-impaired-driver

How Tos

Use these instructions to assist your family member, friend, or person you are caring for with common RMV transactions.

Replace a Lost/Stolen Disability Placard Instructions

Registration Renewal Instructions

Driver's License/ID Renewal Instructions

Change of Address Instructions

Order Replacement Plates Instructions

Additional Resources

Contact   for Older drivers

Online

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