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Your Eyesight and Driving

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 11 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Driving And Eyesight Rules Regarding

There are strict rules regarding driving and eyesight. If you fail to meet them, the Driver and Vehicles Licensing Agency (DVLA) considers you to be an unsafe driver and can ask you to give back your driving license. This article offers some advice on the rules for eyesight and driving.

Is My Eyesight Good Enough?

The current UK rules regarding eyesight and driving state focus on the number plate test. This involves being able to read a car number plate from 20.5m (67 feet) away in good daylight . For the new-style number plates, this distance is 20m.

Decreased Sight in One Eye

If you have a condition that affects your vision in one eye only, you don't necessarily need to inform the DVLA of this, as long as your vehicle is a car. This also applies to those who only have sight in one eye, as long as you have adequate sight in your other eye. In both cases, you still need to be able to pass the number plate test.

Informing the DVLA of Vision Problems

If you're a learner driver, you will have to take an eyesight test as part of your practical test. You will usually be given three opportunities to do this. If you fail this, your examiner will note this on their driving test report form, and you will fail the driving test on the spot. You also won't be granted a driving license.

If you currently hold a UK driving license, you are required to fill in a medical questionnaire giving more information on your condition. Once this has been sent to the DVLA, they will decide whether it is safe for you to continue driving. If they decide that it isn't, they will revoke your license. For most cases, this will take less than a month.

Glasses and Contact Lenses

If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses to pass the number plate test (see above), you are obliged to wear these whenever you drive, so that you can be sure of seeing number plates from the required distance.

Eye Tests

Experts recommend that you have eye tests every one to two years to monitor your eyesight. This is particularly important if you drive. Your optician should be able to advise you on your suitability for driving if your eye test throws up anything of concern.

Once you have passed your driving test, there are no official checks on your eyesight for driving purposes until you are seventy. Because of this, many people continue to drive for many years when their eyesight isn't quite good enough, as they may not realise that this is the case. It's worth carrying out a number plate test on a regular basis to make sure. Eyesight can start deteriorating from the age of thirty, so you don't need to be old to have less than adequate vision for driving. If you notice that you no longer meet the required rules for driving, you should inform the DVLA of this.

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[Add a Comment]
drivingeyes - Your Question:
My son has nystagmus and his vision is 6/75 re & 6/10 le. We have been told that he is above the required standard but he does struggle with the reg plates because of how close together the letters/numbers are. I dont want him to get to the final examination stage and fail on eyesight. Will DVLA do a test to ascertain the standard before? It's pointless to continue if he is going to fail at the last hurdle.Thanks

Our Response:
We don't have any information on specific cases but your son will have to perform the sight reading number plate test, so if he cannot see this (he can wear his normal spectables for this), then it's unlikely he will be given a pass.
DrivingExpert - 14-Jun-17 @ 11:21 AM
My son has nystagmus and his vision is 6/75 re& 6/10 le. We have been told that he is above the required standard but he does struggle with the reg plates because of how close together the letters/numbers are.I dont want him to get to the final examination stage and fail on eyesight.Will DVLA do a test to ascertain the standard before?It's pointless to continue if he is going to fail at the last hurdle. Thanks
drivingeyes - 11-Jun-17 @ 10:15 AM
Im really worried about failing with this being my only issue - I have +7.25 vision in both eyes with astigmatism. My vision will never be that great and even with glasses I find it quite difficult to read the number plates. My first instructor tried this with me on the first lesson and I couldnt read the plate yet he still taught me for 33 lessons. Im worried if I fail with this Ill never get to drive :/ I can see well generally, just long distance reading that trips me up
ReRe - 23-May-16 @ 7:19 PM
@nospamplease. An eye test may be sufficient, but the DVLA may ask for more information such as an opthalmist report etc.
DrivingExpert - 27-Aug-14 @ 11:56 AM
My eyes have improved to where I can read plates at more than 20 metres. If I get an eye test to prove this, can I get my license amended to show I no longer need glasses to drive?
Nospamplease - 26-Aug-14 @ 6:37 PM
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