Does Michigan Have a Driving Test Requirement for Senior Citizens?

Driving is a privilege that many people cherish, particularly as they age and seek to preserve their independence and mobility. However, various factors such as vision, hearing, reaction time, and health conditions can impact driving skills. Consequently, some states have implemented specific rules for senior drivers, including more frequent license renewals, vision or road tests, and driving privilege limitations.

In Michigan, however, there are no specific driving test requirements for senior citizens based solely on their age. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that senior drivers can operate without any oversight. This article outlines how the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) monitors and assesses all drivers, including seniors, to ensure road safety.

License Renewal for Senior Drivers

To ensure drivers are fit to drive, the SOS requires license renewal every eight years for all ages. In certain situations, an in-person renewal may be necessary, such as if there are health changes affecting driving ability, online renewal at the last renewal, no in-person renewal for more than four years, or unverified Social Security numbers. In-person renewal involves a vision test and an $18 fee, and drivers may need to take additional tests if concerns arise about their skills.

Vision Test for Senior Drivers

Vision tests are mandatory at every renewal. The test, conducted by SOS personnel, checks for a visual acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye and peripheral vision of at least 140 degrees. Failing the test leads to referral to a licensed vision specialist for further examination. If passed, the license may include a corrective lens restriction.

Medical Examination for Senior Drivers

To maintain safety, the SOS requires drivers to meet certain physical and mental standards. Those with health conditions affecting driving may need to submit a medical form completed by their physician. The SOS may request this form based on reports or requests from concerned citizens, law enforcement, courts, or medical professionals. The form details diagnosis, treatment, and the provider’s opinion on driving abilities.

Requesting an Unsafe Driver Investigation

Concerned individuals can request a driver reexamination by providing relevant details to the SOS, either through a signed letter sent by mail or an online form submission. The SOS reviews the request and, if necessary, schedules a reexamination involving tests such as vision, knowledge, road, or medical examinations. The driver pays a $50 fee, and the SOS decides on license status based on the results.

Tips for Safe Driving for Senior Drivers

Though Michigan doesn’t mandate a driving test for seniors, safety remains crucial. Regular health check-ups, maintaining the vehicle, planning trips wisely, following road rules, and being honest about one’s abilities are essential for safe driving. Exploring alternative transportation options is also advisable.


While Michigan lacks a specific driving test requirement for senior citizens, the state emphasizes overall road safety. Senior drivers should stay aware of their capabilities, take steps to ensure fitness, and consider alternative transportation when necessary. By doing so, they contribute to a safer and more efficient transportation system for everyone.


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