In certain cases, a number of restrictions may be placed onto your drivers license. Restrictions may limit your driving privileges to operating a certain type of motor vehicles or driving only under specific conditions. Restriction codes vary between states and you can always check the codes specific to your state by contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles in your states. Don't confuse these restrictions with the regular permit and license restrictions that apply to your permit or license under the graduated license law.
California CDL Classifications. ODD-BALL Drivers License Restriction Codes and Descriptions. In addition to the California CDL (commercial driver's license).
Restrictions Codes List
In order to provide you with an example of what the drivers license restriction codes may be like, here is a list of restrictions that work in Wyoming. Drivers license restriction may be different in your state, please make sure to check your state-specific restrictions:
- B restriction. Requires corrective lenses to be worn while operating a motor vehicle.
- C restriction. A license holder may ONLY operate a motor vehicle specially equipped with certain mechanical aids. Special equipment may include special brakes, hand controls and/or other adaptive devices.
- D restriction. Requires the license holder to wear an artificial limb while operating a motor vehicle.
- E restriction. Allows ONLY the operation of a motor vehicle with an automatic transmission.
- F restriction. Allows ONLY the operation of a motor vehicle equipped with both left and right outside rear view mirrors.
- G restriction. Restricts driving to daylight hours. No driving after sunset is permitted.
- I restriction. Allows for restrictions not covered by other more specific restriction codes. It may involve a restriction, for instance, on mileage, speed, or alcohol or drug use following a doctor’s medical regimen.
- J restriction. Makes a driver license issued without a photo valid.
- K restriction. Limits a commercial driver to operating a commercial vehicle intrastate only (within the borders of a state.)
- R restriction. Means the license holder may ONLY operate a “motorcycle” vehicle equipped with four wheels and only for recreation.
- Y restriction. Means the license holder must submit a Driver Vision Evaluation form, completed by an eye specialist, every year.
- Z restriction. Means the license holder must submit a Driver Medical Evaluation form, completed by a physician or medical specialist, every year.
One or more drivers license restrictions may be placed onto your drivers license. You can always check the restriction codes in the official drivers manual or by calling your nearest DMV office.
Provisional Drivers License Restrictions
Provisional drivers license restrictions are somewhat different from the restriction codes that are provided above. Provisional drivers license restrictions mandate that teen drivers go through a number of stages when applying for a drivers license as opposed to being granted full driving privileges right away. In most cases, an applicant would start by taking a drivers permit test and receiving a learners permit. This permit must be held for a certain period of time and a number of permit restrictions apply during this stage. Once this requirement is met, an applicant may take a drivers test and receive a provisional drivers license. Unlike a permit, a provisional drivers license allows unsupervised driving, but still holds a number of restrictions that limit the drivers ability to operate a vehicle. The most common provisional drivers license restrictions are as following:
- Curfew. A drivers is not allowed to operate a vehicle during certain hours.
- Passenger restrictions. A provisional license holder may only carry a limited number of passengers. Sometimes the age of passengers is also limited by law.
- Seat belts restrictions. In most states, everyone in the vehicle operated by a provisional license holder must wear a seat belt.
- Cell phones. By now, cell phone usage while driving is banned in most states.
Failure to observe provisional license restrictions may incur a number of penalties on top of a regular fine. In some cases, the driving privilege is suspended for a short period of time, on others it is withdrawn altogether.
In California, there are more than 5.5 million drivers over the age of 55—and more than 2.5 million of them are 70 or older. While the myriad rules and regulations enforced by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) apply to drivers of all ages and stages, the state imposes some special requirements and restrictions on older drivers.
California state rules are explained in more detail below, but a number of them focus on identifying and handling older drivers who may have become unsafe. Specifically, California:
- requires drivers age 70 and older to renew their licenses in person and to take both a vision test and written test when doing so
- accepts requests from family members and others for the DMV to conduct unsafe driver investigations, and
- requires doctors who diagnose patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions that may make them unsafe drivers to report the diagnosis.
License Renewal Rules for Older Drivers
Special rules apply to drivers who are 70 and older who seek to renew their licenses.
Time limits: Drivers age 70 and older must renew in person every five years.
Vision test: Required at in-person renewal. DMV personnel will conduct a test free, or drivers can have an exam performed by an outside ophthalmologist or optometrist, who must complete a Report of Vision Examination and conduct the exam within six months of the renewal request.
Written test: Required at in-person renewal.
Road test: Required only if there are indications of driver impairment, based on a report by a law enforcement officer, a physician, or a family member.
Possible License Restrictions
The DMV can place restrictions or conditions on a person’s driver license after administering a driving test and discussing possible restrictions with him or her.
The most common restriction for older drivers is to require glasses or corrective contact lenses.
In California, other common requirements the DMV may impose on older drivers include:
California Driver's License Restriction Codes
- no freeway driving
- an additional right side mirror on a vehicle
- no nighttime driving
- time of day restrictions—for example, no driving during rush hour traffic
- supports to ensure a proper driving position
- geographic area restrictions, and
- wearing bioptic telescopic lens when driving.
How to Request an Unsafe Driver Investigation in California
The California DMV will accept information from the driver him or herself, courts, police, other DMVs, family members, and virtually any other source. While anonymous reports of unsafe driving will not be accepted, anyone can ask that his or her name be kept confidential, and the DMV vows to honor that confidentiality “to the fullest extent possible.”
There are two ways to request that the DMV review driving qualifications:
- Write a letter identifying the driver who is causing the concern, giving specific reasons for making the report, and mail it to the local Driver Safety Office.
- Complete a form, Request for Driver Reexamination, and mail it or take it to one of the DMV locations listed on the form.
Mandatory Reporting for Doctors
California is one of only a few states that require doctors who diagnose a patient with a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness, Alzheimer‘s disease, or any other condition likely to impair driving to report that diagnosis to the local health department, which must forward it to the DMV, which in turn has the discretion to pull the patient’s license or require a driving test.
California Driver Improvement Programs
Drivers can improve their skills by taking an education and training class specifically developed for older drivers. Look for local course offerings called Mature Driver Improvement Programs.
Nc Driver's License Restrictions Codes
How to Get a License Reinstated
For information on how to get back a license that has been suspended or revoked in California, contact one of the DMV Driver Safety Offices located throughout the state.
California Ombudsman Program for Senior Drivers
The California DMV has a Senior Ombudsman Program aimed to keep older adults driving as long as they can do so safely.
The ombudsmen, located in several offices throughout the state, can help ensure that senior drivers are treated fairly and respectfully, and consistently with laws and regulations. They can assist in individual cases, and also conduct outreach seminars to groups aimed at promoting driver safety for seniors.
DMV Senior Ombudsmen are available at the following locations:
- Sacramento, Northern California—916-657-6464
- San Francisco, Oakland—510-563-8998
- Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego—714-705-1588
- Los Angeles, Oxnard—310-412-6103
How to Get Parking Placards or License Plates for a Disabled Driver
Disabled person parking placards and license plates can be issued to drivers who have impaired mobility if a licensed physician, surgeon, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse midwife certifies the condition.
The placards and plates are also available for those who have:
- severe heart or circulatory disease
- severe lung disease
- a diagnosed disease or disorder that significantly limits the use of lower extremities
- specific visual problems, including low-vision or partial-sightedness, or
- the loss, or loss of the use, of one or both lower extremities or both hands.
To obtain a disabled placard or plate:
- Complete and sign an Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates.
- Have a licensed physician, surgeon, chiropractor, optometrist, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or certified midwife sign the Doctor’s Certification portion of the application—unless the driver has lost a lower extremity or both hands and appears in person at a local DMV office or has been previously assigned license plates for a disabled person.
- Include a fee of $6 for a parking placard for a temporary condition; permanent plates and placards are free.
- Mail the original application to the address on the form.
Learn More About California Driving Rules for Seniors
The DMV website has a wealth of information for California drivers, including links to the controlling laws and driver license handbooks in several different languages. Of special interest is the Senior Guide for Safe Driving, which includes advice on recognizing and assessing vision and cognitive impairment and conditions that may affect driving and the DMV web page dedicated to Senior Drivers.
You can find the nearest DMV office through an online search of Public Offices By Location.
Where to Find a Lawyer for Help
You can use Nolo’s Lawyer Directory to find local lawyers experienced in representing older people who need help with auto accidents or traffic tickets.