Rhode Island bill would raise age to 75 for two-year license renewals

| 1/31/2008

If a Rhode Island state lawmaker gets his way, drivers in the state who turn 70 would get another five years before being required to renew their driver’s licenses every two years.

Sen. James Doyle, D-Pawtucket, has introduced a bill that would stop 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 bill – SB2022 – would move back the two-year requirement to age 75.

“State law already allows the administrator of the division of motor vehicles the right to require an examination of any license renewal applicant considered incompetent or otherwise unqualified to continue driving,” Doyle said in a written statement.

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

The bill would require drivers 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.

Doyle also 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 compared with those aged 65 to 69. It is above age 75 that those numbers begin to grow significantly.

The bill is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor