Driver License Renewal Requirements Predict Driving Mobility Among Older Drivers With Health-Related Travel Difficulties

Sara Freed, Lesley Ross, Jacqueline Mogle, Alyssa Gamaldo, Yiqi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Given the importance of driving mobility for older adults in the United States, it is important to examine how license renewal policies are related to driving mobility and whether the driving mobility of older adults with health limitations may be especially affected by such policies. The present study examined the association between license renewal requirements and driving mobility in a national sample of 89,757 older adults aged 62 and older in the United States (M age = 71.57, standard deviation age = 7.48). Using generalized estimating equations, the associations between two driver licensing requirements (in-person renewal and length of renewal cycle) and two indicators of driving mobility (driving status and annual driving mileage) were examined. Results indicated that in-person license renewal was significantly associated with lower driving mileage but not driving status. The association between in-person license renewal and lower driving mileage was greater for people who reported a health-related travel difficulty: in states requiring in-person license renewal, drivers with a health-related travel difficulty had driven 590 fewer miles in the previous year compared with drivers without such difficulties. Among people who experienced in-person license renewal requirements, a longer time between renewals was not significantly associated with driving status or annual mileage. The findings of the current study, combined with previous work showing a lack of safety benefits of in-person license renewal, suggest that in-person license renewal requirements may unnecessarily restrict the driving mobility of some older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this