Driving eyesight rules

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) have merged to form the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

You must wear glasses or contact lenses every time you drive if you need them to meet the ‘standards of vision for driving’.

You must tell DVLA if you’ve got any problem with your eyesight that affects both of your eyes, or the remaining eye if you only have one eye.

This doesn’t include being short or long sighted or colour blind. You also don’t need to say if you’ve had surgery to correct short sightedness and can meet the eyesight standards.

Check if you need to tell DVLA about your eyesight problem by searching the A to Z of medical conditions that could affect your driving.

You could be prosecuted if you drive without meeting the standards of vision for driving.

Standards of vision for driving

You must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres.

You must also meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving by having a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) using both eyes together or, if you have sight in one eye only, in that eye.

You must also have an adequate field of vision – your optician can tell you about this and do a test.

Lorry and bus drivers

You must have a visual acuity at least 0.8 (6/7.5) measured on the Snellen scale in your best eye and at least 0.1 (6/60) on the Snellen scale in the other eye. You can reach this standard using glasses with a corrective power not more than (+) 8 dioptres, or with contact lenses. There’s no specific limit for the corrective power of contact lenses.

You must have a horizontal visual field of at least 160 degrees, the extension should be at least 70 degrees left and right and 30 degrees up and down. No defects should be present within a radius of the central 30 degrees.

You must tell DVLA if you’ve got any problem with your eyesight that affects either eye.

The practical driving test eyesight test

At the start of your practical driving test you have an eyesight test. You’ll have to correctly read a number plate on a parked vehicle.

If you can’t pass the eyesight test you’ll fail your driving test and the test won’t continue. DVLA will be told and your licence will be revoked.

When you reapply for your driving licence, DVLA will ask you to have an eyesight test with DVSA. This will be at a driving test centre. If you’re successful, you’ll still have to pass DVSA standard eyesight test at your next practical driving test.

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Source: gov.uk