There have been news stories in the past about older drivers who have had serious accidents, sometimes with dire consequences.  That got me thinking.

No Age Restrictions for Keeping Your License in the United States

Currently, there are no age restrictions for keeping your driver's license in the United States.  Maine, however, does have "renewal rules" for older drivers.

Maine Has Driver's License Renewal Rules

According to, if you are over 40 in the state of Maine, a vision test is required at the first renewal, then at every second renewal until age 62 and older.  At that point, you have to take a test every year.

New Hampshire Has Driver's License Rules

Here in New Hampshire, according to, all drivers must renew their license every five years.  Everyone must have a vision test, but no written test.   A road test may be required, however, it's at the discretion of the DMV personnel.  There are issues with that last sentence, don't you think?  What if the DMV personnel doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings and doesn't say anything?  What if it's a relative trying to renew and they don't say anything?  Hey, it can happen.  I don't know a lot of things, but I know people.

What about New Hampshire Driver Under the Age of 16?

Let's flip this conversation and see what happens, shall we?  As you're reading this, you may say that you shouldn't take someone's license away just because they are old (and I wholeheartedly agree, by the way).  Why, then, do we restrict the age to obtain a drivers license?

I was a tall girl in school.  I could reach the pedals on my mom's car at the age of 11 years old, but certainly couldn't get a license until I was 16.

Dangerous Roads in New Hampshire

There are roads here in New Hampshire that are difficult to navigate, no matter your age.  For instance, Route 101 going from Hampton Beach to Manchester, New Hampshire.  There are only single lanes in both directions, and everyone is driving like bats outta hell.  Then, once you get to Manchester, there's that section of road that my sister Wendy calls "Lunatic Fringe Highway."  It's the section of the road where you have to quickly cross four lanes of traffic to get to where you want to go.  For instance, if you're going from Route 101 and need to get to Bedford, God bless you.  It's a mess.

At Hampton Beach, especially when you are trying to navigate onto the Boulevard from one of the side streets, people literally WALK IN FRONT OF YOUR CAR.  It's frustrating and dangerous.

Definitely a difficult question.

I have a dear friend of mine who is by no means old.  She's in her 50's and has severe dementia, so she cannot drive anymore.  Then there's my dear, sweet mother-in-law, Kitty.  That woman is 89 years old, takes care of pit bulls every day, and drives herself everywhere.  She is showing ZERO signs of slowing down.

I've read that you can give up your license voluntarily.  Unless I knew that I could not or should not drive for a medical reason, there is no way that I would voluntarily give up my license just because of my age.  Our culture treats older people like crap as is.  But don't even get me started.

What do you think?  Should there be an age limit set for driver's licenses?

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