You are advised to wear your glasses or contact lenses whenever you drive, if your eyes don’t meet the minimum standard for driving.
Driving standards have been set by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency). The standards below refer to Group 1 vehicles (cars). Stricter standards are set for Group 2 vehicles (larger vehicles/ LGVs) and details of these can be viewed on the DVLA website.
Vision for DVLA standards is measured with BOTH eyes open. You need to be able to see a number plate from 20 metres away, which is the equivalent of 6/12 on our optician’s chart (see below). If these standards cannot be achieved without glasses or contact lenses, then you will be required to wear glasses when driving.
Visual field is a measure of how good your peripheral vision is, and the DVLA has a minimum requirement for drivers. Your optician will be able explain what these requirements are, and can also test if you meet the DVLA’s standards.
There are certain conditions which may affect the standard vision requirements for Group 1 (car) drivers. You must inform the DVLA if you have any problems with your eyes that affect your vision. Especially if you suffer from the conditions listed below, as they affect your field of vision:
- Glaucoma: Visual field defects can be similar to tunnel vision. If they are encroaching the central parts of the vision it may stop you from driving, but if it is affecting just one eye, then it is not necessarily going to stop you from driving
- Macular Degeneration and Cataracts: If the vision is less than the stated DVLA standards above, your optician will let you know if you are no longer safe to drive
You do NOT need to inform the DVLA if you have become short or long sighted, or if you are colour blind, nor if you have had corrective eye surgery or any eye operations.
IT IS THE DRIVER’S RESPONSIBILTY TO INFORM THE DVLA OF ANY CHANGES TO THEIR EYE CONDITION
If the standards above are not met, and you continue to drive without informing the DVLA, you are not only affecting public safety, your insurance cover may be become void.
For any further information or concerns you may have about your vision standards for driving, please do not hesitate to contact our optometrists, or book an appointment for an eye test.