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  • Posted May 10, 2019

Is it fair that seniors get tested more often by the DMV?

By JIM RADCLIFFE | | Orange County Register

PUBLISHED: May 9, 2019 at 2:27 pm | UPDATED: May 9, 2019 at 8:13 pm


Q. Dear Honk: This month I will turn 72 and am required to take a written test and an eye exam in order to get my license renewed. Why does California discriminate against seniors by having them take the written test every five years after they reach 70? It seems to me that those who should be required to take the test are those of any age who have been involved in accidents or have been issued tickets for driving infractions. In fact, the only ticket I ever received was in the ’70s, and I’ve never been in an automobile accident. Friends who live in Tennessee and Florida say their states do not discriminate because of age. Changing this law would also alleviate the traffic in our Department of Motor Vehicles offices. What do you think?

– Kathleen Ervin, Huntington Beach


A. In its driving guide for seniors, the DMV walks a fine line: It says aging alone doesn’t play into whether we can have a license, but it also says that aging can affect our ability to drive.

Honk confirmed with Jaime Garza, a DMV spokesman up in Sacramento, the law and you have it nailed.

Remember: The DMV just carries out the laws, the agency can’t make them.

In 1986, Garza said, the Legislature and the governor enacted the law requiring those 70 and older to head into a DMV office to renew a license. The rest of us, if our records are clean, can usually renew without going in most of the time, only having to make appearances every 15 years.

Driving can so quickly turn into tragedy. Honk is OK with those of us 70 and older having to take extra steps. But he also thinks you have a dandy idea – others should be forced to take tests more often, too, especially those who have had problems on the road.

For what it’s worth: Honk would be much more comfortable in Leisure World or Laguna Woods traffic than driving near a high school or college after the last bell.