NYS DMV Re-Evaluation of Skills & Abilities

NYS Department of Motor Vehicles Re-evaluation of Driver Skills and Abilities DMV does not re-evaluate driver skills and abilities based only on the age of the driver. Age alone is not a good indicator of driving ability. The best indicator of driving skills and abilities is the performance of the driver on the highway.

Two of the most important performance abilities for drivers of all ages are the ability to see hazards clearly and the ability to respond quickly to changes in driving conditions. Both of these abilities can decrease to a large degree in older drivers.

For the benefit of highway safety, the NYS DMV can require an evaluation of a driver whose skills and abilities are in doubt. The DMV will examine reliably reported information to determine if a driver needs to be re-evaluated. Below are questions and answers about the NYS DMV driver re-evaluation program.

What is the purpose of the driver re-evaluation program?

The purpose of the driver re-evaluation program is to allow a driver to demonstrate that the driver is qualified to drive. The purpose of the program is not to remove driving privileges based on age or based on any standard except driving performance.

When can a driver be re-evaluated?

NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law Section 506 (1) states that: "If the Commissioner has "reasonable grounds" to believe that a person holding a license is not qualified to drive a motor vehicle, the Commissioner may require such person submit to an examination to determine their qualifications."

What are "reasonable grounds"?

"Reasonable grounds" means that the DMV must have a "specific reason" related to driving performance why a driver needs to be contacted for a driving re-evaluation. A "specific reason" is a driving incident, behavior, action or other cause reported to the DMV by a physician, a police officer, or someone who knows or has observed the driver.

How is a report sent to DMV?

Form DS-5 can be sent by a police officer, to report reasonable grounds for a driver re-evaluation.

Form DS-6 can be sent by a doctor to report a medical condition that can affect the ability of the driver to operate a motor vehicle safely.

Form DS-7 can be sent by any person who has seen the driver operate a vehicle in a manner that could make the driver a danger on the highway. The person who sends the report must include their name. Form DS-7 must also be signed by the person who completes the report, and the form must be notarized. The DS-7 report is available under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). However, the DMV does not disclose the name of the person who completed the DS-7. DMV does not take action on DS-7 reports that are not complete or that do not include the name and signature of the person who made the report. The DMV determines any actions to take and decides each case individually. The DMV does not accept re-evaluation requests by phone or by e-mail.

Where are the forms sent?

The forms are mailed to:

Medical Review Unit
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles 6
Empire State Plaza Room 220
Albany, NY 12228

What happens after the Driver Improvement Bureau receives a report form?

The Driver Improvement Bureau forwards the report form to the DMV Testing and Investigation Office in the area where the driver resides. A license examiner from the DMV Testing and Investigation Office reviews the form to determine if there is a reason to re-evaluate the driver. If the examiner determines that there is a valid reason, the DMV examiner sends the driver a certified letter to request that the driver to come to the DMV office for an interview. The letter explains the reason for the interview and informs the driver of the items and information to bring to the interview. The letter advises the driver that if they do not appear for the interview, the DMV will suspend the driver license.


Phone: (716) 858-8526

Erie County Department of Senior Services
95 Franklin Street, 13th Floor
Buffalo, New York 14202