Frequently Asked Questions
What is Silver Alert?
How long has Florida had Silver Alert?
What do the Silver Alert highway signs mean?
How can I help when I see one of the Silver Alert highway signs?
What should I do if I see the car described on the highway sign?
How many Silver Alerts have there been?
I have a family member with Alzheimer’s disease. How do I register him for Silver Alert?
Who qualifies for Silver Alert?
What should I do if a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is driving and doesn’t return home when expected?
How does a Silver Alert go into effect?
How long do the highway signs stay active for a Silver Alert?
How does a Silver Alert get cancelled?
Has the Silver Alert Program helped to rescue anyone?
What agency is responsible for Silver Alerts?
How can I find out when a Silver Alert is issued?
I have a family member with Alzheimer’s disease. Where can we get help?
Silver Alert is a statewide initiative, based upon the Amber Alert for missing children, to involve the public in locating a cognitively impaired driver who has gotten lost.
Former Governor Charlie Crist signed an Executive Order on October 8, 2008, enacting the Silver Alert. In 2011, the Florida legislature passed Silver Alert and it became Florida law.
The highway signs notify the public that there is a missing cognitively impaired driver, and they give identifying information about the car they are driving, including the make, model, color and tag number.
Be aware of the cars around you, and look for the car described on the highway sign.
Call 911 or #347 (FHP) to notify law enforcement of the location of the car.
As of April 1, 2011, there have been 296 Silver Alerts. This number is updated on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement monthly reports.
There is no registration for Silver Alert. The program is available to help everyone with Alzheimer’s disease or related cognitive impairment who goes missing while driving a car.
1. The missing person must be 60 years or older and there must be a clear
indication that the individual has an irreversible deterioration of intellectual faculties (i.e., dementia). This must be verified by law enforcement.
2. When a person age 18 to 59 has irreversible deterioration of intellectual faculties and law enforcement has determined the missing person lacks the capacity to consent, and that the use of dynamic message signs may be the only possible way to rescue the missing person.
Call 911 immediately and tell law enforcement that the person has Alzheimer’s disease and is missing. Be prepared to give them a complete description of the car and the license tag number.
If you have a loved one missing, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately. Only a law enforcement agency may activate a Silver Alert. Law enforcement will investigate by asking questions of the person reporting the missing person. The law enforcement officer must conclude that the missing person is cognitively impaired, they are driving a car, and the disappearance poses a credible threat to the person’s welfare and safety. The officer must also verify the vehicle and tag information. The officer will write a report and notify the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) if the person is driving a vehicle.
Signs are active for a maximum of 6 hours unless the missing person is rescued before that time.
If the missing person returns home, it is very important for their caregiver to notify their local law enforcement agency. The law enforcement agency then notifies the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to cancel the Silver Alert.
As of April 1, 2011, 43 missing persons have been rescued as a direct result of the Silver Alert. This number is updated on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement monthly reports.
Silver Alerts are issued as the result of cooperation among the reporting local law enforcement agency, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.
Sign up for the Florida Department of Elder Affairs listserv to receive an email notification each time a Silver Alert is issued. http://lists.elderaffairs.org/listmanager/listinfo/silveralert
You can also visit the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website for a listing of current Silver Alerts and the monthly report of Silver Alerts.
Florida Memory Disorder Centers are designed specifically to provide help and education for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. Please call the Memory Disorder Center nearest you. For a listing of Florida's Memory Disorder Centers, please click here.