Background. Driving cessation can lead to myriad negative consequences for older adults. The purpose of these analyses was to examine driving status as a predictor of mortality among community-dwelling older adults. Methods. This prospective cohort study included 660 community-dwelling adults ranging in age between 63 and 97 years. Between 2000 and 2004, participants completed performance-based assessments of vision, cognition, and physical abilities and indexes of health, depression, self-efficacy, and driving habits. Follow-up telephone interviews were completed approximately 3 years later. Results. Among community-dwelling older adults, older age, health, poor near visual acuity, depressive symptoms, compromised cognitive status, and being a nondriver are associated with increased risk for a 3-year mortality. Nondrivers were four to six times more likely to die than drivers during the subsequent 3-year period. Conclusions. The ability to drive represents both a sign of cherished independence and underlying health and wellbeing for older adults. Retaining this ability is an important health concern in the United States. © The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved.