Health problems tend to manifest themselves, or become more prevalent as drivers age which is why, beginning at age 80 and every two years thereafter, drivers must be assessed by their doctor and submit a medical report to RoadSafetyBC. Further, cognitive impairment with respect to driving represents a growing public safety issue as BC’s population ages. As a result it is imperative that drivers who show signs of cognitive decline are assessed to ensure that they are fit to drive.
Age 80 Driver's Medical Examination Report (DMER)
The Driver Medical Examination Report (DMER) is the primary tool used by RoadSafetyBC for initial assessment of the severity, progression, treatment or effects of medical conditions that may affect a driver’s fitness to drive. When a driver reaches age 80 and at every 2 years thereafter, RoadSafetyBC requires that the driver have a DMER completed by their physician and sent to RoadSafetyBC.
RoadSafetyBC reviews the completed DMER and informs the driver in writing if any further information or assessment is required. RoadSafetyBC also notifies the driver, in writing, of any driver’s licence status changes which occur as a result of the information on the report. There is more information about RoadSafetyBC’s processes for making driver fitness decisions on our Driver Medical Fitness page.
Below is a sample copy of the Driver Medical Examination Report:
- Driver's Medical Examination (PDF) Note: sample copy only, this is for a physician or Nurse Practitioner to complete
Important: DMERs must be completed and returned to RoadSafetyBC within 45 days of the date that the DMER was issued or the driver’s licence may be cancelled. Information and instructions are provided on the back of the DMER form. There may be situations where it is not possible for the driver to meet the timelines indicated on the form. If the timelines cannot be met, the driver must contact RoadSafetyBC as soon as possible to seek an extension of the time limit. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the driver’s licence.
Resources for Senior Drivers and Their Families
Everyone’s driving skills change over time, but it can be difficult to recognize when adjustments are needed, or when it is time to retire from driving. Similarly, initiating a conversation about driving may be difficult for families or those that support senior drivers.
A number of organizations, including SeniorsBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), and the Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence (the Hartford) provide information and resources for seniors and their families about:
- Staying safe on the road;
- How to self-assess driving skills;
- The impact that medical conditions may have on safe driving ability;
- Having conversations with a senior about their driving;
- Dementia and driving; and
- Planning for driving retirement.
SeniorsBC - B.C. Senior Guide
ICBC – “Tips for Senior Drivers”
CAA – CAA Senior Driving Site
Hartford - We Need to Talk - Family Conversations With Older Drivers (PDF)
Retiring from Driving
If you are no longer eligible to hold a driver’s licence, or you decide to retire from driving and use your driver’s licence as photo ID, you can exchange it for a free official BC Identification card, which is accepted as ID anywhere a driver’s licence is accepted.
The BC Identification card includes your photo and all the same security features as a driver’s licence - you can get one for free at any Driver Licensing Office (ICBC or Service BC).
For a comprehensive list of resources to help you with your transportation needs visit the SeniorsBC.ca website.
*Please note that the above resources are not maintained by RoadSafetyBC, and we, therefore, cannot verify that they are current. These resources may also be subject to change.