Rhode Island OKs change to license renewal period for older drivers

| 7/16/2008

Gov. Donald Carcieri has signed a bill into law that gives drivers in Rhode Island who turn 70 another five years before being required to renew their driver’s licenses every two years.

The new law, previously SB2022, stops the practice of requiring those 70 and older to renew their driver’s licenses, including CDLs, every two years. Younger drivers are required to renew their licenses every five years.

The two-year requirement has been moved back to age 75.

State law already allows the Division of Motor Vehicles to require an examination of any license renewal applicant considered incompetent or otherwise unqualified to continue driving.

Fees are $8 per renewal every two years. That amounts to $24 for renewals by the time drivers turn 75.

Drivers will be required to pay $30 for a five-year renewal at age 70 – the same fee all license holders in the state pay for a five-year renewal.

Sen. James Doyle, D-Pawtucket, referenced figures from the Federal Highway Administration that show little difference in certain statistics, such as highway fatalities, for those drivers age 70 to 74 as compared to those age 65 to 69. It is above age 75 that those numbers begin to grow significantly.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Rhode Island in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor