Senior Driver Re-testing

Special Instruction Permits

If a Senior driver has experienced a major medical condition or been at fault for an accident, a temporary Special Instruction Permit may be issued by DMV to require a licensed Instructor or California-licensed driver to accompany the Senior while driving until a DMV driving test is passed. American Driving School is authorized by DMV to provide evaluations and brush-up driver training for Seniors with a Special Instruction Permit.

Whenever a driver has inadequate vision test results or has difficulty passing a written test after several attempts, the DMV does not automatically revoke the driver's license. DMV can still renew a license if the driver passes a Supplemental Driving Performance Evaluation. A DMV Examiner will determine whether the driver can operate the vehicle with safe driving habits, follow the law properly while driving, and compensate safely for any physical conditions. If the DMV driving examiner still has concerns about driving skill or safety, the driver may be referred to the DMV Driver Safety office with a Request for Re-Examination or to issue a temporary Special Instruction Permit.


DMV may request Re-Examination through the Driver Safety office to evaluate the ability to drive safely for several reasons, including:

  1. Not passing a DMV Supplemental Driving Performance Evaluation for license renewal
  2. Referral by a law enforcement officer following a traffic stop, traffic accident, or observing unsafe driving behavior.
  3. Doctors are required by law to notify DMV of any health problem that may affect the ability to drive safely, such as uncontrolled Diabetes, Epilepsy, Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia, Cataracts or Macular Degeneration.
  4. Concerned family members, neighbors or friends can also request DMV to retest an individual.
  5. Amputation of limbs that would affect the use of the controls of your vehicle.

The DMV Driver Safety office may contact you about a Re-Evaluation for any of these reasons. They may send you a medical questionnaire or schedule a hearing, by phone or in their office. You are responsible for providing any information they request. Based upon that hearing, they can suspend a license until a medical condition clears up or issue a temporary Special Instruction Permit. They can also require a written test, or a driving test, or both. They can also revoke a driver's license permanently.

The decision from the hearing may be appealed, both at the local office, and in Sacramento. This is explained in the booklet, “Getting Your License, Keeping Your License”. We also have specialized DMV attorney referrals if a legal opinion is necessary.

If a Special Instruction Permit is issued, you are temporarily only permitted to drive with a California-licensed driver over 18 or a licensed driving instructor riding in the car. This Permit is intended to provide time for brushing up on driving skills and prepare to pass a future Supplemental Driving Performance Evaluation at the DMV and regain full driving privileges.


Our Instructors are licensed and trained to evaluate the driving skills of Seniors and help them turn a Special Instruction Permit back into a driver's license. We will evaluate your driving skills, identify what you already do well, and provide step-by-step instruction on techniques you may need to improve so you can pass the upcoming DMV driving test. Sessions may be scheduled for 1 hour or 90-minutes as you wish. We will come to your home or other location you choose, and instruct in your own car for your familiarity and comfort. During the first session, our Instructor will determine your particular needs, estimate whether one or more sessions will be necessary, and suggest when you can be prepared for your Supplemental Driving Performance Evaluation at the DMV. When the lessons are completed, we will prepare a letter on your behalf to the DMV Driver Safety office indicating the skills we have reviewed and that you are ready to schedule your driving test. Our teaching method will help you to become safer and more confident behind the wheel.

Call our Office at 760.736.8288 with any questions or to schedule a lesson

American Driving School, 760.736.8288,
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