A rapidly growing number of senior drivers on our nation's highways has prompted many states to develop special tools, programs and resources to assist older adults and their families to better manage safe driving.
Many states also have enacted driver's licensing laws with special provisions for older adults. Summarized below are programs and licensing laws that exist in the great state of Tennessee.
Licensing policies for older adults vary from state to state. In Tennessee, motorists are required to renew their driver’s licenses every five years, in person every other renewal. Motorists are required to pass a vision test at initial licensure, but not for renewal. There are no additional requirements for senior drivers.
Almost every state, including Tennessee, has a process for reporting a potentially unsafe driver to its licensing office or department of motor vehicles. Law enforcement officers and physicians represent the majority of individuals submitting reports, although concerned citizens also can do so. If a state agency finds a complaint reasonable and credible, it may ask the reported driver to submit additional information, which could be used to help determine if a screening or assessment is justified.
Visit the Tennessee Department of Safety website to learn more about the process and possible outcomes. You will be required to provide your name and contact information.
State-Specific Programs for Senior Drivers
AAA SENIOR DEFENSIVE DRIVER PROGRAM (CLASSROOM)
Designed to help senior drivers aged 55 and older be safer while staying behind the wheel longer, this classroom course teaches experienced drivers how to compensate for changing vision, reflexes and response time; understand how prescription medications may affect driving; and drive defensively. Completion of the course may reduce auto insurance premiums. Learn more >>
The AAA Senior Defensive Driver Classroom Program is offered in Knoxville and Maryville. Click here for the schedule.
TENNESSEE MATURE DRIVER PROGRAM (ONLINE)
This web-based course is designed to positively affect driving behavior, help seniors learn about age-related physical changes that may impact their ability to drive safely and provide tips on how to adjust for those changes. The course can be taken in the comfort of your home. Completion may reduce auto insurance premium. Learn more >>
TENNESSEE AREA AGENCIES ON AGING & DISABILITY
The local agencies listed here provide information and assistance for seniors in Tennessee. Learn more >>