Eyesight requirements for driving guide

Eyesight requirements for driving guide

Driving eyesight requirements


If you’re caught driving without the high enough standard of vision for driving, you could be prosecuted, or even cause an accident.

There are driving eyesight requirements that all motorists must meet by law. You can and should wear glasses or contact lenses in order to fulfil the criteria.

Road crashes caused by poor driver vision are estimated to cause 2,900 casualties each year in the UK1.

Eyesight deterioration can be slow which is why it’s so important to have your eyes tested at least every two years, or straight away if you notice a problem.

If you have any problems with your eyes other than being long or short sighted or colour-blind, you must inform the DVLA.

You may need to tell the DVLA about your eyesight problem, so check their list of medical conditions that could affect your driving.

What are the driving eyesight requirements?


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 have a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale and an adequate field of vision. Your optician will be able to test for all three of these factors.

Drivers aged over 70 have to declare when renewing their licence that their eyesight meets minimum legal standards.

They don’t have to provide evidence of this but could be held liable if they’re in an accident and it’s thought that poor eye health was a contributing factor.

Driving test eye test


Every learner driver is subjected to a quick eye test at the beginning of their official driving test which involves correctly reading a number plate on a parked vehicle from 20 meters away.

If you get it wrong after 3 tries, you'll fail the entire test immediately. Also, the DVLA will be told and your licence will be revoked.

You can reapply for a driving license but you’ll be asked to have an eyesight test with DVSA at a driving test centre. If you pass, you can then go on to take the driving test.

Read more about learning to drive in our handy guides.

 


https://www.rospa.com/RoSPAWeb/docs/Advice-Services/Road-Safety/drivers/eyesight-factsheet.pdf

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