Supporting a loved one through the decision to stop driving can be difficult. If it’s time for this conversation, we’re here to help guide you.

When someone can’t drive safely anymore, it’s a big change that can bring feelings of loss. We understand how sensitive this topic is. Instead of focusing on the negatives, think about how to help your loved one transition smoothy and maintain their independence as much as possible.

Explain why retiring from driving is crucial, especially as we age and risk of accidents increases. If the transition is challenging, consider talking to a professional for a comprehensive evaluation.

Below is information to help you identify what phase of transitioning from driving you and your loved one face, and resources to help guide these conversations.

Understand the 5 Stages of the Retiring from Driving Conversations

  1. The Driving Conversations – Ideally, you’ve begun having these conversations before any issues are present. Talk about your vision and concerns for the future and be an advocate of your parent and loved one
  2. The First Signs of Change – Look for changes in driving behavior and utilize self-assessment tools. Continue to provide support and let them know their safety, mobility, and independence is your priority.
  3. The Warning Signs – Learn the signals that are more serious concerns, when to seek advice from a medical professional, referrals to driving rehabilitation specialists, and what adaptive devices for vehicles may benefit your loved one.
  4. When It’s Time to Retire from Driving – Know the critical questions to ask and what methods can help ease the transition. Learn what alternative approaches are available if retiring from driving will not be voluntary.
  5. Preserving Independence after Retiring from Driving – Plan for their future and consider alternative modes of transportation to maintain their highest level of freedom and independence.

What to do if someone you know may no longer be safe to drive


Help them voluntarily retire from driving or limit their driving. Resources for having that conversation and helping them make a good decision can be found at The Hartford.

two If your loved one decides to quit driving, it’s a good idea to have them formally surrender their license. They can do that at any DMV service center in Iowa. There’s no penalty or sanction for doing so, and we will issue them an ID card to replace it at no cost

My loved one refuses to quit driving

We know some people, despite your best efforts, won’t be willing to do that. If that happens, you still have options for getting them help.

Your Options — You have three

Option 1 — Submit a request for re-examination

Anyone can submit a signed and written request for re-examination. You just need to complete and submit in writing, form 431030. When we receive the form, we go through the following steps.
  1. Evaluate the provided information to determine whether a reassessment of their driving privileges is warranted.
  2. If deemed necessary, a notification for re-examination will be sent, and they will need to visit a service center for a comprehensive re-examination, which may include cognitive screening, a written test, and a drive test with a licensing examiner. As part of the re-examination process, we may also request information from a medical professional about their health condition and their driving capabilities.
  3. If the results of the re-examination indicate their driving privileges should be terminated or limited, we will either suspend their license or re-issue it with additional restrictions.
Again, there is no penalty, and if their license is suspended they can get a replacement ID at no cost.

Option 2 — Have a health care professional submit information to us


If a healthcare provider is aware with a physical or mental condition that impairs safe driving, they have the option to submit relevant information directly to our office.

If they provide information suggesting the person's driving ability needs reviewing, we'll follow our standard re-examination process. However, if they state the person isn't fit to drive in writing, we'll promptly suspend their driving privileges and issue a free ID if requested.

If a health care professional is involved in the person’s care, you might explore their willingness to request re-examination or recommend suspension of driving privileges. This can be an important option to consider when the threat of a crash or injury is imminent, and the person is not willing to voluntarily surrender their driving privileges.

Option 3 — Have a law enforcement officer submit a request for re-examination

law enforcement

Law enforcement officers may submit a request or recommendation for re-examination to us, either through an accident report form or by completing form 431030. If either form is received, we will take the same course of action when any person submits a request for re-examination. If the person has been in a crash, been cited, or warned for a traffic violation, you might explore the officer’s willingness to request or recommend re-examination.

I'm worried they will be mad at me.

Two people talking

There’s no way around that – they might. However, we cannot act on any request unless it's in writing and includes the identity of the person making the request. We'll try to keep your name confidential if we can, but legally, the person has the right to know the source of the request if they inquire.


What if I’m a power of attorney or guardian and conservator for my loved one?
If you're designated as a durable power of attorney, or if you're their court-appointed guardian and conservator, you can surrender their license for them. We'll then provide a replacement ID at no charge, to the applicant. Simply bring the original power of attorney or a certified copy of the court order that authorizes you to act on their behalf as proof of your authority.


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