John R. Bullis: Some considerations for senior drivers

In Nevada most drivers age 65 and old must renew their driver’s license every four years and some special rules apply.

Senior drivers who usually renew their license in person will be asked to do a basic vision test to ensure they are able to safely operate a motor vehicle. Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a vision standard of 20/40 in at least one eye (wearing glasses).

In some cases, a written test and/or a road test may be required based on the medical or driving history.

A disabled driver can get disabled person parking placards and license plates if they have impaired mobility and a licensed medical practitioner certifies the condition. Placards and plates are available if you cannot walk 200 feet without stopping for rest; need a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair or other device; have a severe cardiac condition, severe lung disease, use portable oxygen, have a significant visual disability or other conditions that limit your ability to walk.

The Nevada DMV can place restrictions on your driver’s license if your medical conditions or history indicate that is necessary for safety reasons. Some of the possible restrictions include: no freeway driving, daylight driving only, speed restricted to 45 miles per hour or less, vehicle must have an automatic transmission and other restrictions.

A lot of drivers over age 65 are driving OK. They have experience that helps them avoid problems. They value their independence and have reduced their driving voluntarily.

Taking away the keys for an older person is difficult. But for the safety of the driver and others, it may be time to have a family discussion to plan for the time when they will no longer drive. Maybe there is a family member that could benefit from having the car. The gift tax rules are favorable if the older person wants to gift the car to someone.

Driving is a privilege. If you would like a copy of an “Advance Driving Directive,” please let me know. It can help start the discussion of driving safely in the future. It allows us to plan for the time our abilities are reduced, for safety of others as well as of the driver. It is sort of like a Power of Attorney form that plans for the time I will need help.

Did you hear? “To be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble,” by Mark Twain.

John Bullis is a certified public accountant, personal financial specialist and certified senior adviser who has served Carson City for 45 years. He is founder emeritus of Bullis and Company CPAs.


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