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Thursday, December 18, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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(Special to the American Press)

(Special to the American Press)

OMV has form for relatives of unsafe drivers

Last Modified: Monday, April 28, 2014 3:04 PM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

What are the standards for renewing an elderly person’s driver’s license?

My uncle’s driving ability and skills have diminished.

We went to the DMV to renew his license, and all they asked him to do was take the eye exam.

After he passed the eye exam they just gave him his license again when clearly he shouldn’t be driving.

Louisiana law — like statutes in several other states — prohibits people age 70 or older from renewing their licenses by mail or online. But it places no other restrictions on senior citizens’ license renewal.

People who believe a family member is behaviorally or medically unfit to drive may submit a form — numbered DPSMV 3005 — to the state Office of Motor Vehicles.

The form, known as a driver behavior report, can also be submitted by the courts and police.

“Form DPSMV 3005 or its equivalent is not considered a public record. The Department will not divulge any Information contained in the reports, even if the case has been cleared or suspended,” reads the OMV’s website.

“The licensed driver must seek an order from a court of competent jurisdiction for the release of the name of the reporting individual.”

Stephen Campbell, state OMV commissioner, said the definition of “elderly” is fluid, and he noted that some 90-year-olds are better drivers than some 60-year-olds.

But, he said, family members of unsafe drivers have a responsibility to all other drivers to report that unfitness to officials.

Requirements for the behavior report, as listed online:

The report must be completed in its entirety and must contain firsthand knowledge of the driver’s behavior or medical/physical condition, which may render him unable to safely operate a motor vehicle.

Reports submitted by courts or law enforcement officers must identify the specific court, law enforcement officer or agency.

Applicant requirement

State law requires a license applicant who is 60 or older to submit to the OMV “a detailed report from a duly licensed physician or optometrist indicating his visual ability and a detailed medical report from a duly licensed physician indicating his physical condition and specifying any defects in connection therewith which might impair the applicant’s ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motor vehicle.”

But, the law says, “it shall not be a breach of duty to the public or the individual if the department inadvertently fails to require a report from such applicant or if the department issues a license under the mistaken belief that such applicant is capable of driving safely.”

Online: https://omv.dps.state.la.us.

The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com.

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