June 6, 2003

State Vision Screening and Standards for License to Drive

Posted in: Daily Living

From Summary of Medical Advisory Board Practices-2003. Changes in state requirements may have changed since then. To confirm information found here, we recommend that you contact your state’s licensing agency.

Helpful information about driving with low vision:

Driving Safely
Low Vision Seniors Are Self-Limiting Their Own Driving
The Day I Quit Driving
Former Driver, Retired With Honor
Reclaiming Independence: Staying In The Driver’s Seat When You No Longer Drive (Audio/Visual Presentation)
Summary of Visual Acuity and Bioptic Telescope Requirements by State
 


Select your state for information:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois

Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana

Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire

New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island

South
Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


Alabama

Drivers’ visual capabilities are assessed upon original licensure, and
then again only if they are referred to the Department for reexamination. Renewal drivers do not undergo vision screening. Visual standards for licensing are 20/40 acuity with both eyes and a horizontal temporal field of at least 110 degrees from the center. Original applicants and reexamination drivers who have uncorrected visual acuity of less than 20/40 in each eye, but at least 20/50 in one eye and/or a visual field of less than 100 degrees are referred to a vision specialist for
examination and an advisory recommendation. The person will also complete a driving evaluation, and may be restricted to driving with outside mirrors or driving during daylight hours. Drivers who do not have a visual acuity of at least 20/60 or better in at least one eye, as assessed by a vision specialist will not be licensed to drive.

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Alaska

Drivers undergo vision screening each time they renew their license in-person. The renewal cycle is 5 years, and drivers whose license is in good standing may renew by mail every other cycle until they reach age 69. An applicant must meet the following visual standards:

  • A person with vision of 20/40 or greater in each eye or both eyes together will receive a license without restrictions in regard to corrective lenses, unless medical or other problems affecting vision exist.
  • A person with vision of 20/40 or greater in each eye or both eyes together only with use of corrective lenses will be restricted to driving with corrective lenses.
  • A person with the best possible corrections in both eyes together of less than 20/40 but greater than 20/100 will be required to be examined by an optometrist or other eye specialist; if the report states that the person’s vision cannot be improved, all data will be reviewed by the Department; after review, the Department will, in its discretion, issue a license with restrictions which may include driving limitations as to time of day, type of vehicle, specific area, speed, and other limitations considered necessary by the Department.
  • A person whose best possible corrections in both eyes together of less than 20/100 will not be licensed.
  • A person with vision in only one eye will be licensed if vision in the good eye meets the standards of the department; the department, will, in its discretion, impose restrictions requiring outside rearview mirrors, one mounted on each side of the vehicle, on persons with vision in only one eye.
  • A person with color blindness will not be denied a license for that reason.
  • A person wearing telescopic or compound lenses whose field of vision is less than 60 percent will not be licensed unless he or she is able to meet the requirements for visual acuity without the aid of the lenses; if field of vision is between 60 percent, and 90 percent, outside rearview mirrors will, in the Department’s discretion, be required.

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Arizona

Arizona issues a lifetime license up to age 65, but applicants must come into a license office every 12 years to apply for a duplicate license, and have their vision rechecked. At age 65, applicants must reapply every 5 years. One way that individuals with vision problems would be brought to the Agency’s attention would be a failure on the vision test. Conventionally corrected visual acuity must be 20/40 in at least one eye. The field of vision must be 70 degrees, plus 35 degrees on the opposite side of the nose, in at least one eye. Applicants who fail the Department-administered vision test must have a vision specialist complete a Vision Examination Report, and return it to the Department. The report must be based on an examination that is not older than three months from the date of submission to the Department. It must include:

  • visual acuity and field of vision results;
  • whether the person is monocular;
  • whether the person has retinitis pigmentosa, diplopia, or impaired night vision;
  • diagnosis of any progressively deteriorating eye disease;
  • recommendations on frequency of reporting requirements;
  • suggested restrictions on driving;
  • any recommendations on the person’s functional ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

Persons with conventionally corrected vision must wear corrective lenses at all times when driving. Persons diagnosed with impaired night vision are restricted to daytime driving only. Persons with binocular vision and with corrected visual acuity of 20/50 or 20/60 in both eyes together, are restricted to daytime driving only.

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Arkansas

The Office of Driver Services performs a vision screening test for acuity and visual fields on all drivers renewing their licenses. A person must have a minimum uncorrected (no glasses or contacts) visual acuity of 20/40 to qualify for an unrestricted driver’s license. A person must have a minimum corrected (with glasses or contacts) visual acuity of 20/50 to qualify for a restricted license (drive with corrective lenses). Drivers with visual acuity of 20/60 are restricted to daytime driving only. A person with two functional eyes must have a field vision of 140 degrees. A person with one functional eye must have a field vision of 105 degrees. Applicants who fail the vision test must go to an ophthalmologist or optometrist for visual correction, and bring a form back to the Office of Driver Services from their vision care specialist stating that their vision has been corrected.

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California

Drivers must also pass a vision test and a written knowledge test upon license renewal if they appear in person to renew. Drivers age 70 and older may not renew by mail, so they must appear in person to renew their licenses every 5 years. The knowledge test is useful for determining the driver’s mental competency, and cognitive and language skills. It can indicate when a person with dementia has deteriorating reading and comprehension skills as well as impaired cognitive and perceptual skills that may impact his or her ability to drive safely. The Department’s visual acuity screening standard is 20/40 or better with both eyes together, and no worse than 20/70 in the poorer eye. Drivers who fail the vision screening are referred to a vision specialist who must examine the driver and complete a Report of Vision Examination. Drivers with visual acuity of 20/200 or worse may not be licensed to drive. Drivers may use bioptic telescopes for driving, but may not use them to meet the vision standard. Following review of the Report of Vision Examination, the driver may be scheduled for a Drive Test or Special Drive Test to determine whether the vision condition impairs the ability to drive or whether the driver can adequately compensate for the vision condition. The Guidelines document provides matrices for visual conditions, definitions, range of severity, whether a driving test or special driving test should be administered for a particular acuity level, and what kinds of restriction (including ould be placed on the license. Restrictions could include corrective lenses, sunrise to sunset driving only, no freeway, area restriction, additional mirrors (right side, wide angle, panoramic, right- or left-fender-mounted mirrors). An immediate revocation may
be imposed after an examiner gives a driving test or special driving test to a low-vision driver who has performed dangerously poor and the condition renders the person unsafe to drive.

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Colorado

All original and renewing applicants must take and pass a vision test. To pass the acuity test, applicants must have at least 20/40 vision in either or both eyes. Drivers are also screened for phoria (double vision), unless they have vision in only one eye. Applicants using bioptic telescopic lenses must attempt to pass the acuity test using only the carrier lens (and not the telescope). Drivers who fail the acuity or the phoria test must have a Confidential Medical/Eye Exam Report (DR 2401) completed by their vision specialist. The vision specialist is required to
complete all sections pertaining to vision, indicate whether authorizing a driving privilege would be medically prudent, and recommend licensing restrictions that should apply. The eye specialist may check off any of the following restrictions, or enter a restriction not on the list: daylight driving only; not more than ___ mph; area radius ___ miles from home; right sideview mirror, or left sideview mirror. Bioptic lens users must also pass a drive test using the telescopic lens apparatus.

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Connecticut

New license applicants must take a vision test, and meet the minimum standards of: 20/40 visual acuity in both eyes or the better eye with or without corrective lenses, and an uninterrupted binocular visual field of at least 140 degrees in the horizontal meridian, or a monocular field of at least 100 degrees in the horizontal meridian, and no evidence of any other visual condition(s) which either alone or in combination would significantly impair driving ability. Drivers who fail to meet the minimum standards are required to file an Eye Care Professional’s Medical Report, reflecting the results of the doctor’s personal examination within 90 days of the report being filed with the department. A person who has a best corrected visual acuity of worse that 20/40 but at least 20/70, an uninterrupted visual field of not less than 100 degrees in the horizontal meridian, and no other visual conditions that could significantly impair driving ability may be issued a license restricted to daylight only or as otherwise determined by the Commissioner. A person who has best corrected visual acuity better than 20/200 in the better eye, and has an uninterrupted visual field of at least 100 degrees in the horizontal meridian may be issued a license as the Commissioner deems advisable after consideration of factors including driving ability, driving needs, and the recommendations of the person’s ophthalmologist or optometrist. The person may be required to take a road test, and the opinion of the MAB may be
requested to determine whether a license should be issued and what restrictions should be imposed. If a driver has a visually related health problem that may affect safe driving ability, he or she will be required to submit a Vision Report for evaluation by the Commissioner. No license will be issued to a person who has best correct visual acuity of 20/200 or worse in the better eye, or has an uninterrupted binocular visual field of less than 100 degrees in the horizontal meridian or an uninterrupted monocular visual field of less than 70 degrees in the horizontal meridian, or has any other visual condition(s) which alone or in combination will significantly impair driving ability. Connecticut does not issue licenses to drivers who use spectacle mounted telescopic aids.

A law becomes effective July 1, 2003, which requires the Department to phase in a vision screening program and requires renewal applicants to pass a vision screening every other renewal at either a DMV office or with their eyecare professional and submit a medical report to this effect when they renew. However, because of stringent budgetary issues, it is anticipated no funds may be made available to administer this law. No definitive knowledge of either repeal of this law or extension of the effective date will be available until later on in the legislative session, which ends in June.

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Delaware

All original and renewal applicants must pass a vision screening test before a license is issued. Applicants with visual acuity of 20/40 or better in one eye will be issued an unrestricted license. Applicants with 20/50 vision are restricted to daylight only driving. If corrective lenses are required to obtain the vision standards, a restriction for corrective lenses will be added to the license.

Applicants who cannot meet the vision standards must have their optometrist or ophthalmologist complete a Report of Visual Status Form (MV-322). In addition to the visual acuity measures and whether they were obtained with correction, the eyecare specialist is asked to describe any field deficits, recommend restrictions, recommend vision retesting intervals, describe evidence of eye disease or defects of structure that would affect visual performance now or in the future, and to list any circumstances that may assist in the final disposition of the case.

First-time applicants are not issued a license until they either pass a vision screening or submit an acceptable vision test from their doctor; renewal applicants who fail the vision screening test are issued a 60-day temporary license if their license is about to expire, to provide time for the eye exam by an eye care specialist. If the applicant cannot meet the standards when tested by the eyecare specialist, the license is denied, and he or she may appeal the decision to the MAB. The MAB’s recommendations are used by the Medical Review Section to determine the applicant’s license status. The decision made by the Medical Review Section can be appealed to the Court of Common Pleas. Those who must wear bioptic lenses to drive must: be recommended by an optometrist or ophthalmologist; attend specialized rehabilitation training classes; and pass a written and road test administered by the Division. The Medical Review Section will forward the case to the MAB for its recommendation. The Medical Review Section will make the final licensing decision based upon the MAB’s recommendation. Those who operate motor vehicles with bioptic lenses must complete a road skill test upon initial issue, when renewing their license
or when transferring their driver license from another state.

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District of Columbia

Original and renewal applicants must also take and pass a vision test before being (re)licensed. The minimum visual acuity requirements are 20/40 in at least one eye and no less than 20/70 in the other eye, with or without correction. The field of vision must be at least 130 degrees in the horizontal meridian.

Applicants who cannot meet the minimum standards and applicants with only one functioning eye must take an Eye Report form to their ophthalmologist or optometrist for completion and return to the Medical Unit. Applicants with visual acuity of less than 20/40 but not less than 20/70 in the best or only eye and a field of vision of at least 140 degrees in the horizontal meridian may be issued a license upon favorable recommendation from their eyecare specialist, which will be restricted to daytime driving and the use of a left sideview mirror. Applicants being treated for glaucoma or cataracts may be issued a license if they meet the visual standards, and must submit an Eye Report annually, unless the eyecare specialist indicates more or less frequent reports should be submitted. Less frequent reports may be submitted, following three consecutive annual reports which indicate that no appreciable deterioration has occurred.

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Florida

Customers with vision problems are identified by License Examiners at the time of initial application or renewal, as all first-time applicants and renewals must undergo vision screening. Applicants may renew by mail on every other renewal if they have a clean driving record. A new law passed in 2003 provides for mandatory vision screening for drivers age 80 and older who are renewing their licenses.

Applicants who have 20/50 vision or worse in either eye with or without corrective lenses are referred to a licensed practitioner for possible improvement. They are given a Report of Eye Exam to have completed by the eyecare specialist. Applicants who have 20/70 vision in either eye, may pass with or without corrective lenses if vision cannot be improved; however, if one eye is blind, or 20/200 or worse, the other eye must be 20/40 or better.

Applicants who have 20/80 vision or worse, with both eyes, are not licensed. Applicants may not use telescopic lenses to meet the visual standards. The minimum acceptable field of vision is 130 degrees. If an applicant fails an initial vision screening, a temporary 60-day permit is issued, provided the customer does not have a revocation reading. The customer may continue in the licensing process by taking the written test that day, but will not have the license renewned until he or she returns and passes the vision screening. On a subsequent visit if vision is failed, a suspension order for “Failure to Pass Required Examination or Reexamination” is placed on the driving record. The driver may continue with written testing, but the license isn’t renewed until the customer returns and passes vision screening. If the vision screening results in a revocation reading, a revocation order for “Inadequate Vision is placed on the driving record. The driver
may continue with written testing, but the license isn’t renewed until the customer returns and passes vision screening.

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Hawaii

Drivers undergo vision screening each time they come into a licensing center for renewal. The test may be waived with the presentation of a vision report from an ophthalmologist or optometrist within the past 6-month period. If applicants do not meet the acuity standard of 20/40 in at least one eye, and visual field of 140 degrees horizontally, they must have a vision statement completed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

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Georgia

First-time applicants and drivers renewing their licenses in person at every other renewal period are also required to have their vision screened. Individuals must have visual acuity (Snellen) of at least 20/60, corrected or uncorrected, in at least one eye, and a horizontal field of vision of at least 140 degrees binocularly, or in the event that only one eye has usable vision, horizontal field of vision must be at least 70 degrees temporally and 50 degrees nasally. Individuals with visual acuity of less than 20/60 but better than 20/200 using spectacles, contact lenses, or the carrier position of the bioptic spectacles will be considered eligible for licensing under the following provisions: the person can attain a visual acuity of at least 20/60 through utilizing bioptic telescopes; the telescopes are prescribed by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist; the person presents documentation of having satisfactorily completed training in the use of the bioptic telescope as certified by the prescribing doctor; the person completes a standard driver’s education course while using the bioptic telescopes prior to a Department onroad test; and the person passes a written and driver’s test examination at a Department exam station. Persons licensed to drive using bioptic telescopes are subject to license restrictions as determined or recommended by the prescribing eyecare specialist of the driver license examiner.

Restrictions may include daylight driving only, outside rear-view mirrors, area and time restrictions, no interstate driving, yearly reevaluations by an eyecare specialist, or other restrictions as deemed appropriate. Bioptic telescopic drivers must renew their driver’s licenses every 2 years and undergo reevaluation by their optometrist or ophthalmologist and pass the Department road test.

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Idaho

Drivers in Idaho have their vision screened upon initial licensure and each time they come into the sheriff’s office to renew their licenses. This may be done every 4 years, or 8 years if they choose to renew by mail. After the age of 62, drivers may not renew by mail (they must appear in person every 4 years. The visual standard that drivers must meet to be eligible to drive without restrictions is 20/40 or better in one eye. Drivers with acuity between 20/50 and 20/60 must complete an annual vision test and an annual on-road skills test. Applicants with 20/70 acuity or worse are denied a license. Bioptic lenses users must have an acuity of 20/40 or better in one eye, and restrictions are placed that include daylight driving only and annual vision and road tests. Applicants who are required to have an annual visual exam and road test must show a certificate of examination before taking the road test. If minimum standards are not met, the road test is not given.

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Illinois

Initial and renewing drivers are required to pass a vision screening test at each 4-year renewal cycle, unless they are between ages 22 and 74 and are eligible to renew by mail every other cycle because they have a clean driving record. Drivers must also take a knowledge test every 8 years, unless they have a clean driving record. Upon attaining the age of 75, drivers are not eligible to renew by mail, and must come into a Department of Driver Services office to take a road test and a vision test, and possibly a knowledge test. Drivers ages 75 to 80 are issued a 4-
year license. Between the ages of 81 and 85, drivers are issued a 2-year license and must pass a road test and a vision test at each renewal (and possibly the knowledge test). At age 87, drivers are issued a 1-year license, and must take the road test and vision test annually prior to being licensed (and possibly the knowledge test).

Illinois’ vision standards are binocular visual acuity of at least 20/40 and a peripheral visual field of at least 140 degrees binocularly (or 70 degrees horizontal and 35 degrees nasal, if monocular). Drivers who cannot meet the standards when administered the Department’s vision examination must obtain a favorable report from their vision specialist. A favorable vision specialist’s report contains a monocular or binocular acuity reading of 20/70 or better, and a peripheral field of 140 binocular (or 70 degree temporal and 35 degrees nasal monocular.)

Drivers who need corrective lenses to meet the standard are issued a license restricted to the use of corrective lenses. Applicants with binocular acuity readings of 20/41 to 20/70 (inclusive) are restricted to driving during daylight only. Screenings are administered to the left and right eyes individually to determine the need for an outside rearview mirror. Applicants who obtain a monocular acuity reading which is not better than 20/100 with or without standard corrective lenses are restricted to outside rearview mirrors. Applicants who qualify on the peripheral visual field standard only monocularly are restricted to operating a vehicle with left and right outside mirrors. If the vision specialist indicates that the applicant’s eyesight is deteriorating due to a visual disorder and warrants periodic reexamination, the Department follows the specialist’s recommendation, and will issue a license with a periodic visual reexamination requirement.

Applicants using binocular telescopic lenses may be issued a license if the binocular or monocular acuity reading through the telescopic lenses is 20/40 or better in both eyes, monocular or binocular acuity readings through the carrier lenses are 20/100 or better in both eyes, and the peripheral readings meet Illinois’ standards with the lens arrangement in place and without the use of field enhancements. The power of the telescopic lenses may not exceed 3.0X (wide angle) or 2.2 X (standard). Applicants must have been using the telescopic lenses at least 60 days prior to the examination conducted by a licensed vision specialist.

Applicants must provide a statement that they have clinically demonstrated the ability to locate stationary objects within the telescopic field and locate moving objects in a large field of vision; and that they have clinically demonstrated the ability to recall what they have observed after a brief exposure. They must also provide a statement that they have clinically experienced levels of illumination that may be encountered during inclement weather, and when driving from daylight into areas of shadow or artificial light; and that they have experienced being a pedestrian and riding as a passenger to gain practical experience of motion while objects are changing position. Drivers who qualify to drive with the use of a telescopic lens are restricted to daylight only driving and submission of an annual vision specialist report. A special restricted license for a period of 12 months may be issued to telescopic drivers who wish to drive at night, provided that they have operated a vehicle with telescopic lenses during the daytime for the past year, have had no crashes during nighttime hours during the prior 12-month period, and have successfully complete a road test administered at night. Drivers renewing the nighttime restricted license must be crash free in the prior 12-month period, and pass a nighttime driving test.

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Indiana

Initial and renewing applicants are required to take and pass a vision test. Indiana has a 4-year renewal cycle that is reduced to 3 years when drivers reach age 75. If applicants cannot meet the acuity requirement of 20/40, they are given a certificate of vision to take to their eyecare specialist for completion and return to the BMV. There is no visual field size standard, as visual fields are not being tested by the BMV at this time. The Certificate of Vision form lists acuities and restrictions that the eyecare specialist checks as applicable. Drivers with 20/40
acuity or better in each eye with or without visual correction, will be licensed without visual restrictions, unless glasses or contacts were used to pass the test. Drivers with acuity in the best eye of 20/40 or better and 20/50 to blind in the other eye, with or without correction, will receive a visual restriction requiring an outside rearview mirror, and visual correction if used to pass the test. Drivers with 20/50 acuity in each eye, with or without visual correction, will be required to wear glasses or contact lenses when driving, unless a vision specialist certifies in writing that lenses will not improve vision. Drivers with 20/50 acuity in one eye and 20/70 to blind in the other eye will be restricted to glasses, an outside rearview mirror, and daylight driving only.

Drivers with 20/70 in each eye, with or without glasses, will be restricted to wearing glasses, using an outside rearview mirror, and driving in daylight only, but must have normal peripheral visual fields. If the Driver Services Branch cannot make a determination as to what restrictions to place on the license because the applicant has an eye condition or vision falls off the guidelines chart, the certificate is sent to the IDLAC ophthalmologist for review and recommendation.

Indiana developed guidelines for bioptic lenses in 1986, which are summarized below:

  • Vision may be no poorer than 20/200 with best ordinary spectacle correction.
  • Visual acuity must be at least 20/40 through a bioptic telescope.
  • Magnifying power of the bioptic telescope may not exceed 4X.
  • Full peripheral visual fields must be at least 120 degrees in horizontal diameter.
  • Driver must be able to recognize standard traffic signal colors.
  • Cognitive and perceptual skills must be adequate to safely operate a motor vehicle.
  • If applicant has an alcohol or drug problem, a 12-month waiting period is in effect before the applicant can be considered for the program, to allow applicant to submit documentation from a counselor, rehabilitation center, etc., that use/abuse is under control.
  • Individuals must successfully complete vision evaluation and training by a doctor with expertise in low vision care.
  • Individuals must successfully complete driving evaluation and training at a BMV approved bioptic driver rehabilitation program, consisting of 30 hours of specialized driver training.
  • Individuals must pass a BMV-administered extended driving skills test.
  • Once licensed, bioptic drivers must submit a Certificate of Vision for Bioptic Drivers at specified time intervals, as recommended by the low-vision specialist.

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Iowa

Initial and renewal drivers must also take and pass a vision test to be licensed. The renewal cycle is 4 years, up to age 70, when the renewal cycle is reduced to 2 years. Vision statements from eyecare specialists are accepted in lieu of vision screening by the Department.

Iowa’s acuity standard is 20/40 or better with both eyes or with the better eye, and a binocular field of vision of at least 140 degrees. If applicants without corrective lenses attain acuity of less than 20/40 but at least 20/50 with both eyes or with the better eye, they will be restricted to driving during periods when headlights are not required. If acuity without corrective lenses is poorer than 20/50 but not worse than 20/70, applicants will be restricted to driving during periods when headlights are not required and also restricted to maximum speed of 35 mi/h. If
applicants are screened with corrective lenses, the above restrictions apply at each acuity level attained, in addition to the requirement to wear corrective lenses. Applicants who cannot attain 20/40 but can attain 20/70 with at least one eye on the first screening, must consult a licensed vision specialist prior to being licensed. If the vision report recommends a restriction, the Department will issue the restricted license, even though it may not be required by Department standards. Applicants who cannot attain a visual acuity of 20/40 will be issued a 2-year license; however, the restriction can be waived when a vision report certifies that the vision has stabilized and is not expected to deteriorate. Applicants who cannot attain a visual acuity of 20/100 with both eyes or with the better eye will be considered for licensing only upon recommendation by the Medical Advisory Board. Such applicants will be required to drive with an outside rearview mirror if the left eye is not at least 20/100. Applicants with binocular field of vision less than 140 degrees but at least 115 degrees with one eye at least 70 degrees temporal and 45 degrees nasal are restricted to driving with two outside rearview mirrors. If an applicant’s binocular field of vision (sum of temporal measurements) is less than 95 degrees, or if neither eye has a monocular field of vision of at least 60 degrees temporal and 35 degrees nasal, he or she may be considered for licensing only after consideration by the MAB. Applicants who cannot attain a visual acuity of 20/200 with both eyes or with the better eye cannot be licensed. The Department also will not license any person who must wear a bioptic telescopic lens to meet the visual acuity standard.

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Kansas

In addition to answering medical questions, original and renewal applicants must take and pass a vision exam and a written test covering knowledge of traffic signs and laws. Drivers who fail to test 20/40 in at least one eye at the examining station are required to take a vision report form to a vision specialist, and if they fail to test 20/60 in at least one eye by the vision specialist, the report must be forwarded by the license Examiner to the Driver Review Section.

Field of vision must be better than 55 degrees in one eye, or 110 degrees for both eyes. The vision report, in addition to describing the patient’s acuity, visual field, visual correction information, and diagnosis of visual condition, asks the optometrist or ophthalmologist to state whether he or she believes the person can safely operate a motor vehicle (if acuity is 20/60 or worse), whether an annual vision report should be required, whether the applicant’s physical/medical/mental condition should be evaluated, and which restrictions are recommended if the license is issued or continued. A maximum of four restrictions may be chosen from the following list of restrictions: corrective lenses; daylight hours only; no interstate driving; mus drive outside of the business area; must drive within city limits; must be accompanied by a licensed driver in the front seat; driving is authorized within a ___ mile radius of home (from 5 to 30 miles, in 5-mile increments): and must use an outside mirror.

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Kentucky

New drivers must pass a vision test. Vision screening is not required for renewal unless the license is expired for more than one year. The visual acuity standard in Kentucky is 20/40 or better. If an applicant cannot meet the standard, he or she is referred to a vision specialist for examination and possible correction. The visual requirements for driving include acuity of at least 20/60 or better in at least 1 eye with a single lens system; binocular horizontal field of vision of at least 35 degrees to the left and right side of fixation; and binocular vertical field of vision of at least 25 degrees above and below fixation.

Applicants who wear bioptic telescopic lenses may be accepted to participate in a certified driver training program, if they meet the following minimum vision requirements: a distance visual acuity of 20/200 or better, with corrective lenses, in the better eye; a visual field of at least 120 degrees horizontally and 80 degrees vertically in the better eye; a distance visual acuity of 20/60 or better using a bioptic telescopic device; and no ocular diagnosis or prognosis that indicates a likelihood that significant deterioration of visual acuity or visual field to levels below the minimum standards outlined above. Applicants are issued a temporary instruction permit that is valid only when he or she is accompanied by an employee of a certified driver training program. Temporary instruction permits are valid for 1 year. An applicant who successfully completes a certified driver training program must be reexamined by a vision specialist upon completion of the program. The examination shall certify that the applicant continues to meet the visual acuity and visual field standards. An applicant who successfully completes a certified driving training program and passes the visual reexamination is eligible to take a comprehensive operator’s license examination administered by the State Police. The operator’s license examination will include testing of the applicant’s driving skills over a route specifically designed to test the applicant’s competency using a bioptic telescopic device. If an applicant or restricted out-of-state driver fails the operator’s license examination three times, he or she will not be eligible to retake the examination until successfully completing additional training from a certified driver training program and obtaining an affidavit from the program director recommending that the applicant be allowed to retake the examination.

A bioptic driver will be restricted to daytime driving. A restriction to daytime driving in may be removed if the licensed driver: drives for 36 months without any at-fault crashes and without any license suspensions; successfully completes additional evaluation and training specifically designed for night driving from a certified driver training program; and passes a comprehensive night driving examination. A license restricted to the use of bioptic telescopic lenses is valid for 1 year. The license holder shall undergo a comprehensive visual examination
by a vision specialist before a license can be renewed. If the vision specialist certifies that the conditions causing the visual impairment are stable, then the circuit clerk shall issue a renewal license. If the conditions causing the visual impairment are unstable or deteriorating, the license holder may be required to undergo additional testing as required by the department before a renewal license may be issued.

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Louisiana

Initial applicants as well as drivers renewing their licenses must take and pass a vision test. Drivers must renew their licenses every 4 years, and drivers under age 70 and those with no moving violations in the previous 2-year period may renew by mail every other cycle. Drivers who cannot attain at least 20/40 visual acuity in the better eye are referred to their eyecare specialist, who must complete a Vision Examination report and return it to the Department within 30 days. Specialist reports that indicate an applicant’s visual acuity is 20/40 or better may be licensed with no restrictions. Specialist reports that indicate an applicant’s visual acuity cannot be improved better 20/70 may be given limited driving privileges. In addition, a driving test may be warranted to determine any restrictions that should be applied. If the applicant fails the driving test, the driving privileges are suspended. If the visual acuity is worse than 20/70 but not worse than 20/100, the report is referred to the office supervisor for a driving test to determine if the applicant can safely operate a motor vehicle with this visual acuity. Specialist reports that indicate an applicant’s visual acuity is worse than 20/100 are presented for review by the Medical Advisory Board. The applicant is denied a driver’s license until a decision is rendered. If approved by the Medical Advisory Board, the driver must pass a driving exam before being licensed. A vision statement will be required at the time of each 4-year or more often if requested by the specialist or the Medical Advisory Board.

Applicants who can only achieve required visual acuities through wearing telescopic/bioptic lens are not eligible for a driver’s license. Telescopic/bioptic lens cannot be worn for driving in Louisiana.

Depending on the visual condition, one or more of the following restrictions may be applied: corrective lenses; left outside rearview mirror; daytime driving only; restricted to no more than a 5-, 10-, 15-, 20-, or 25-mile radius of home; no interstate highway driving; driving only within parish of principal residence; restricted to driving a maximum of 50, 45, 40, or 35 mi/h; vision medical exam required every 6 months, 12 months, or 24 months; complete medical exam required every 6 months, 12 months, or 24 months; driving only between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.; inside and outside rearview mirror; and left and right rearview mirrors.

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Maine

A mechanism for identifying drivers with visual impairments is the BMV vision screening test required at initial licensure, and then again at the first license renewal after attaining the age of 40, and again at every-other-renewal thereafter until attaining age 62. Upon reaching age 62, vision is screened each time the license is renewed. Drivers under age 65 renew their licenses every 6 years; drivers age 65 and older renew their licenses every 4 years. The visual standards are 20/40 acuity or better in the best eye, with or without correction, and a binocular visual field of 150 or better. Drivers who cannot meet the standards using the BMV screening equipment must have their eyecare specialist complete a Vision Form (MVE-103) based on an examination within the past year. The eyecare specialist is asked to provide acuity, visual field, and color vision readings, indicate whether new lenses are being fitted (including telescopic aids), and whether double vision may result from ocular motility. In addition, the vision specialist is asked to provide a recommendation for periodic reexaminations when a progressive eye disease is present, and to recommend other restrictions as necessary (e.g., corrective lenses, daylight driving only, geographic or area restrictions).

Applicants with visual fields of less than 140 degrees but at least 110 degrees are restricted to driving with right and left outside mirrors. Applicants with permanent visual fields of less than 110 may not be licensed to drive. Applicants with 20/50 acuity are restricted to daytime operation only. Applicants with
20/60 to 20/70 acuity are restricted to daytime operation within a 25 mile radius of their residence; however, the radius may be reduced or enlarged based on the eyecare specialist’s report and the applicant’s performance on a road test. Applicants with acuity less than 20/70 in each eye without a chance of recovery may not be licensed to drive. Correction through the use of telescopic or bioptic lenses is not acceptable for use in meeting the standards, nor may they be used during road testing.

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Maryland

Original and renewal drivers must have their vision screened by MVA staff or bring in a certificate from their vision specialist. Maryland’s visual acuity standard is at least 20/40 (Snellen) in each eye and a continuous field of vision of at least 140 degrees.

Applicants who do not meet the minimum standards are referred to their vision specialist. Restricted licenses may be issued to license holders having visual acuity of at least 20/70 in one or both eyes and a continuous field of vision of at least 110 degrees, with at least 35 degrees lateral to the midline of each side. Individuals with visual acuity levels of less than 20/70, but no worse than 20/100 may be permitted to drive as determined by the Administration in consultation with the MAB. An applicant seeking such a low-vision license must successfully complete a driver’s training course in accordance with regulations of the Administration. The required driver’s training course must consist of at least 20 hours; and may vary based on an applicant’s previous driving experience or the driver trainer’s recommendation. If during the driver’s training, it is noted that spotting is improved by the use of telescopic lenses, the administration may require additional driver’s training using the bioptic telescopic lens.

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Massachusetts

First-time and renewal applicants are required to undergo and pass a test of their vision. If the individual cannot meet the acuity, peripheral visual fields, color vision, and vision impairment (diplopia) standards listed below, a license or learner’s permit will not be issued.

  • Visual acuity and horizontal peripheral field of vision standards (excluding individuals who use bioptic telescopic lenses): Drivers with at least 20/40 distant visual acuity (Snellen) in either eye, with or without corrective lenses, and not less than 120 degrees combined horizontal peripheral field of vision are eligible for a license. A corrective lenses restriction must be put on the license when corrective lenses are used to meet this standard. Drivers with distant visual acuity (Snellen) between 20/50 – 20/70 in either eye, with or without corrective lenses, and not less than 120 degrees combined horizontal peripheral field of vision, are eligible for a “daylight-only” license. A daylight-only restriction must be imposed. Also a corrective-lenses-only restriction must be put on the
    license when corrective lenses are used to meet this standard. If the licensee wishes to have the daylight-only restriction removed from his or her license, he or she must take and pass a night time driving test.
  • Visual acuity and horizontal peripheral field of vision standard for applicants and licensees who use bioptic telescopic lenses: Drivers must have at least 20/40 distant visual acuity (Snellen) through the telescope, and at least 20/100 distant visual acuity (Snellen) through the carrier lens, and at least 20/100 distant visual acuity (Snellen) through the other lens; and not less than 120 degrees combined horizontal peripheral field of vision. The bioptic telescope used by the applicant or licensee must be:
    • Monocular (The telescope must be on one eye only. Telescopes over both eyes
      are not acceptable for licensing purposes.
    • Fixed focus (Telescopes that need to be rotated to focus are not acceptable.
    • No greater than 3x ( Magnification must not exceed three times.
    • Spectacle-mounted and an integral part of the lens(No clip-on or hand-held telescopes are acceptable for licensing purposes.
    • Located so not to occlude the wearer’s line of sight and not to occlude the visual field in the other eye(The telescope must be affixed to the upper quadrant of the lens so that the wearer’s vision while looking through the carrier lens or other lens is not blocked or impeded in any way.

    Drivers who meet the standards for telescopic lenses are eligible for a class D “day light only” license. A daylight-only and a corrective-lenses restriction must be imposed. If the licensee wishes to have the daylight-only restriction removed from his or her license, he or she must take and pass a night time driving test.

  • Color vision standardDrivers must be able to distinguish the colors red, green and amber. If applicants or
    licensees cannot distinguish the colors red, green, and amber, a license is not possible.
  • Vision impairment standardDrivers must not have unresolvable diplopia (double vision which cannot be resolved by
    wearing an eye patch or other suppressive device). If applicants or licensees have unresolvable diplopia, a license is not possible.

If applicants or licensees fail the vision test, decline to take the test, or wear bioptic telescopic lenses, they must submit a vision screening certificate. A vision screening certificate is a form provided by the RMV and must be completed by a physician or optometrist who is licensed to practice in Massachusetts. To be acceptable, the vision screening certificate must: be fully completed by physician or optometrist and the applicant or licensee; be one year old or less from the date of the screening; and contain the original signatures of the applicant or licensee and the certifying physician or optometrist. No photocopies are accepted. The eyecare specialist must indicate on the form whether he or she recommends reevaluation of the patient’s vision during the 5-year period in which a license is valid.

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Michigan

Unless renewing their licenses by mail, which is allowable every other renewal cycle as long as drivers have a clean record, applicants must take and pass a vision test and a written knowledge test. Drivers must still at this time certify that they do not have a physical, vision, or mental condition that affects their ability to drive safely. The caveat is indicated on the license renewal application. Visual standards for licensing are as follows:

  • An unrestricted driver’s license may be issued to an applicant or licensee who has visual acuity of 20/40 and a peripheral field of vision of 140 degrees. Visual acuity less than 20/40 to and including 20/50 and a peripheral field of vision of 140 degrees or less to and including 110 degrees may be accepted if the applicant or licensee submits a statement of examination on a form prescribed by or acceptable to the department signed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
  • A restricted driver’s license requiring the driver to wear appropriate corrective lenses while driving may be issued if corrective lenses are necessary to meet any vision requirement.
  • A restricted driver’s license permitting daylight driving only may be issued if an applicant or licensee submits a statement from an ophthalmologist or optometrist stating 1 of the following:
    (a) He or she has visual acuity less than 20/50 to and including 20/70 with no recognizable progressive abnormalities affecting vision.
    (b) He or she has visual acuity less than 20/50 to and including 20/60 with recognizable progressive abnormalities affecting vision.
  • A restricted driver’s license containing additional conditions and requirements, may be issued to an applicant or licensee who has a peripheral field of vision of less than 110 degrees to and including 90 degrees. The applicant or licensee shall pass an on-road evaluation administered by the Department.
  • A driver’s license shall be denied or suspended indefinitely if the applicant or licensee has visual acuity less than 20/60 with recognizable progressive abnormalities affecting vision; visual acuity less than 20/70 without recognizable progressive abnormalities affecting vision; visual acuity of 20/100 or less in one eye and less than 20/50 in the other; or a peripheral field of vision less than 90 degrees.

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Minnesota

Original and renewal applicants must take and pass a vision screening test. To pass, drivers must have at least 20/40 acuity with either one usable eye or with both eyes, with or without corrective lenses; and a visual field of at least 105 degrees in the horizontal diameter with either one usable eye or with both eyes. Applicants who meet the standards with corrective lenses will have a corrective-lenses restriction placed on their licenses. Drivers who cannot meet the DPS standard using the Department’s screening devices must have their vision specialist complete a vision form based on an examination conducted within the prior 6-month period.

In addition to providing acuity and visual field readings and listing any eye diseases, the eyecare specialist is asked to indicate whether the patient’s vision is adequate to exercise reasonable and proper control of a motor vehicle, and any recommended restrictions (including but not limited to daylight only, maximum speed, miles from home, and no freeway driving). Minnesota Rules specify restrictions based on visual performance. Applicants with acuity of 20/50 or less may be restricted to road type, driving area, and daylight only driving if the commissioner determines that the restriction is necessary for the safety of the applicant and the public. Speed restrictions are placed as follows: applicants with 20/50 acuity are restricted to maximum speeds of 55 mi/h; applicants with 20/60 acuity are restricted to maximum speeds of 50 mi/h; and applicants with
20/70 acuity are restricted to maximum speeds of 45 mi/h and no freeway driving. Applicants with visual fields of less than 105 degrees are restricted to driving with left and right outside mirrors, in addition to other applicable restrictions based on their acuity. When an applicant’s acuity is 20/80 to 20/100 (but not including 20/100), the Driver Evaluation Unit will determine whether a restricted license can be issued. Applicants will not be licensed if: they have corrected acuity of 20/100 or less; they are known to be receiving assistance for the blind; they have a visual field of less than 100 degrees in the horizontal diameter with either one usable eye or with both eyes; the Commissioner receives a recommendation from a licensed physician or optometrist that the applicant’s license should be cancelled or denied; or they fail to submit a required vision examination within the requested time period. Binocular telescopic lenses that do not restrict a driver’s peripheral vision may be used on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must have a recommendation from their eyecare specialist and pass a DPS road test. Currently, there are 2 drivers in Minnesota who are licensed to drive with binocular telescopic lenses.

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Mississippi

First-time applicants (but not renewal applicants) are required to have their vision screened before being licensed to drive. The Department’s vision standard is 20/40 acuity or better with both eyes, with or without corrective lenses, and horizontal visual field of 140 degrees (binocularly) or 70 degrees temporal and 35 degrees nasal (monocularly). If corrective lenses are required to pass the test, then drivers will be licensed with a corrective lenses restriction. Drivers with 20/40 acuity or better in one eye, with or without corrective lenses, but blind in the other will be restricted to driving with an outside sideview mirror and corrective lenses if used to pass the test. Drivers who cannot meet the Department’s standards are referred to their vision specialist, who must complete a Vision Statement form. The vision form requires acuity and field of vision measurements, and the eyecare specialist is asked to check all applicable items from the following list: present vision is adequate for safe driving; the applicant should drive only while wearing bioptic telescopic lenses; driving should be limited to daylight driving only; because of progressive defect, the applicant should be visually reexamined in 12 months; applicant falls within bioptic telescopic lens requirements; the applicant should not be licensed to drive. Because Mississippi does not implement periodic medical/visual reporting requirements, an applicant for whom the eyecare specialist recommended a 12-month reevaluation would actually receive a restriction requiring vision testing at renewal. Based on the eyecare specialist’s report, a driver with 20/50 to 20/70 acuity or better with both eyes will be restricted to driving with corrective lenses and during daylight only. Drivers with 20/70 or better in both eyes, but for whom correction will not improve vision, will be restricted to daylight driving and speeds of 45 mi/h or less. Applicants with 20/50 or better in one eye and 20/60 to permanently blind in the other eye with or without corrective lenses (and without progressive malfunction) will have corrective lenses, daylight, 45 mi/h, and reexamine-before-renewal restrictions imposed on their licenses. Applicants who fail the eyecare specialist’s depth perception test are restricted to 45 mi/h speeds. Applicants who do not have a horizontal visual field of at least 70 degrees temporal and 35 degrees nasal in at least one eye are not qualified to drive in Mississippi

Applicants with vision worse than 20/70 up to 20/200 may be eligible to use bioptic telescopic lenses. Drivers may apply to drive with bioptic telescopic lenses, and if licensed, must submit an updated optometrist or ophthalmologist report at each renewal.

Applicants must have a visual acuity of at least 20/200 in the better eye with the best conventional non-telescopic corrective lens, and must have at least 20/50 acuity through the bioptic telescopic lens. The power of the lens may not exceed 4x. The applicant’s horizontal visual field diameter must be no less than 105 degrees without the use of field expanders. There may be no condition relative to the skeletal, neurological, muscular, and/or cervical spine system(s) that could prevent normal movement of the head and/or eyes. Prior to the driving skills test, the applicant must present certification of having successfully completed a vision rehabilitation program in the use of the bioptic telescopic device (from a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist), and certification of having completed a certified driver education course consisting of a minimum of 6 hours of actual behind-the-wheel training, completed while using the bioptic telescopic lens.

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Missouri

Initial and renewal applicants must take and pass a vision test. The vision standard is 20/40 acuity or better, with or without correction, with either eye or both eyes, and temporal horizontal peripheral vision in each eye of 55 degrees or better. If the applicant does not have at least 20/40 acuity or has less than 55 degrees temporal horizontal peripheral vision in one eye and less than 85 degrees temporal horizontal peripheral vision in the other eye, he or she is referred to a vision specialist to have a complete vision exam conducted, and is required to bring the results back to the licensing office. Applicants with acuity between 20/41 and 20/59 with either eye or both eyes are restricted to corrective lenses and daylight driving only.

Applicants with acuity between 20/60 and 20/74 with either eye or both eyes with corrective lenses are subject to a corrective lens restriction as well as daylight driving only and maximum speed of 45 mi/h restrictions. Restrictions may also include points of operation, times of operation, or any other driving conditions deemed necessary.

For an applicant who has an acuity reading between 20/75 and 20/160, a Driver Condition Report would be completed by the Licensing Employee, and the applicant would be directly referred to the Highway Patrol Examiners to complete the required skills test.

Applicants with vision of 20/161 or less are denied a MO driver’s license, as are applicants with a combined horizontal peripheral vision reading of less than 70.

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Montana

All original and renewal applicants must take and pass a vision exam. If an applicant cannot score 20/40 with both eyes together, with or without glasses, the examiner suspends the license until the applicant has tried to have his or her vision improved by a vision specialist. If applicants’ vision is not correctable with glasses, and they bring in a written statement from a vision specialist, they can receive a restricted license, if their vision falls between 20/50 and 20/70. Restrictions include: renewal drive test required, daylight hours, maximum 45 mi/h except 55 mi/h on controlled access highways, and no driving in inclement weather.

Special cases up to and including 20/100 may be licensed after a special investigation is conducted and approved by the Chief of Field Operations Bureau. No licenses are given for vision worse that 20/100. Examiners do not give special investigation road tests; this is done by the Regional Manager, who sends the findings to Headquarters. If approved by Headquarters, the applicant will be required to drive test in a limited area, and the license will be valid as specified (e.g., home to grocery store, medical needs, attends church). Applicants with telescopic lenses must pass the test with the carrier lens (and not the telescopic lens) and have an acuity of at least 20/100 with both eyes. Telescopic lens wearers may take the road test with the telescopic lens. Drivers with telescopic lenses must submit an annual vision report to the Division.

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Nebraska

Original and renewing drivers are required to take a vision test and to meet minimum standards for acuity and peripheral vision. The visual acuity standard required for an unrestricted license are 20/40 acuity with both eyes together or 20/40 acuity in one eye and no worse than 20/60 in the other eye. The peripheral visual standard is 140 degrees or greater.

Drivers must have at least 20/70 visual acuity with both eyes together (but not with one eye blind) with or without corrective lenses, and at least 100 degrees of visual field. Applicants may be issued a license only when the standards are met as determined using vision testing equipment approved by the Department or as recorded on a statement by an eyecare specialist. Drivers may obtain required levels through the use of bioptic or telescopic lenses, but the field of vision through the carrier lens must meet peripheral vision standards. Drivers licensed with bioptic or telescopic lenses are required to renew their licenses annually and demonstrate driving ability by taking the on-road test. Restrictions for acuity worse than 20/40 and peripheral vision less than 140 degrees may include: corrective lenses, outside mirrors, and speed restrictions. Drivers who don’t meet the visual standards during the DMV-administered tests are given a Statement of Vision to be completed by their vision specialist. Drivers who can not meet the vision standards are denied a license, as are drivers with constant diplopia (double vision).

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Nevada

Original and renewal drivers must pass a vision screening test. Nevada’s renewal cycle runs every 4 years, and drivers may be permitted to renew by mail every other cycle. When drivers physically come into the office to renew their licenses, their vision will be screened. If a driver has a vision restriction on his or her license, he or she will be required to submit results of a vision test every 4 years. Applicants who do not meet the acuity standard of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in both eyes with corrective lenses, must have their eyes examined by an eyecare specialist, and have a Vision Statement completed and returned to the Department. Nevada does a horizontal visual field requirement.

The following summary of vision standards consists of minimum levels of acceptable vision and the restrictions that will be imposed on a driver if he fails to meet those minimum levels.

For drivers who have no progressive abnormalities or diseases of the eye and acuity: better than and including 20/40 – full driving privileges; worse than 20/40 through and including 20/70 – daylight driving only; worse than 20/70 – not eligible to be licensed.

For drivers who have progressive abnormalities and acuity: better than and including 20/40 – full driving privileges; worse than 20/40 through and including 20/60 – daylight driving y and yearly visual examination; worse than 20/60 – not eligible to be licensed.

For drivers with vision of 20/100 or worse in one eye and the vision in the other eye is: better than and including 20/40 – full driving privileges; worse than 20/40 through and including 20/50 – daylight driving only and yearly visual examination; worse than 20/50 – not eligible to be licensed.

To be eligible to receive a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle while wearing a telescopic device, the best corrected vision of the applicant must be at least 20/40 when looking through the telescopic device; and at least 20/120 when looking through the carrier lens. The field of vision of the applicant must be at least 130 degrees. The condition which is the nature of the applicant’s visual deficiency must be stable, and the applicant must pass a comprehensive road test to determine whether he or she is able to operate a motor vehicle safely while using the telescopic device and the carrier lens.

Applicants who fail to meet the minimum levels of acceptable vision for a license may licensed to drive, and the Department will not administer a driving test to these individuals.

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New Hampshire

Drivers with visual impairments come to the Agency’s attention when they appear at a g office to conduct any kind of business. All drivers who visit a licensing office (original and renewal applicants, and applicants for a duplicate license) are required to take a vision test.

Drivers must have 20/40 acuity in both eyes, or 20/30 in one eye if the other is blind to pass the test. If they fail the vision test, they will be required to have an examination by their eyecare specialist to determine whether vision is correctable. A New Hampshire license will be issued to rs with acuity of 20/70 in the better eye with a daylight only restriction

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New Jersey

Drivers have their vision screened upon initial licensure, and may be required to have ir vision rechecked periodically (at least once every 10 years). Visual acuity requirements are 20/50 in the better eye (or in one eye, if monocular), with or without corrective lenses. Drivers meet the acuity requirement are referred to an ophthalmologist.

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New Mexico

All applicants (new and renewal) must take and pass a vision screening test. Driver’s licenses are issued for 4- or 8-year cycles, depending on whether the applicant wishes to pay for the 8-year license and will not reach age 75 during the last four years of the 8-year license period. Vision is rechecked, therefore every 4 or 8 years. However, drivers who are age 75 and older must renew their licenses annually, and have a vision test every year. For an unrestricted license, drivers’ visual acuity must be at least 20/40 in the better eye, with or without corrective
lenses. Drivers who cannot meet the 20/40 acuity standard are given a “Request for Ophthalmologic or Optometric Information” form which they must take to their eyecare specialist and return to the MVD. Drivers with acuity between 20/50 and 20/80 in the better eye may be licensed with restrictions. Drivers must have a visual field of 120 degrees in the horizontal meridian, with at least 30 degrees in the nasal field of one eye. Bioptic telescopes may not be used to meet the acuity standard.

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New York

Initial and renewal applicants are also required to take and pass a vision exam before being issued a license. Drivers who renew by mail must submit a statement from their eyecare specialist. New York’s minimum visual acuity standard is 20/40 (Snellen) in either or both eyes with or without corrective lenses. If a person fails to meet the minimum acuity when tested by the DMV, he or she must obtain a statement from a licensed physician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist indicating that he or she has a minimum acuity of less than 20/40 but not less 20/70 (Snellen) in either or both eyes with corrective lenses and has a horizontal field or vision of no less than 140 degrees. The statement must also indicate whether or not the person vision condition which is deteriorating; must include recommendations for driving restrictions that the Commissioner should consider, if any; and recommendations relating to a examination on a 6-month or 12-month basis, if any.

If an individual has a satisfactory visual acuity based upon 20/40 with telescopic lenses and a corrected visual acuity through the carrier lenses of 20/100 and a horizontal field of vision of no less than 140 degrees with the telescopic lenses in place without the use of field expanders, a statement must be submitted by a physician, ophthalmologist, or optometrist. The statement must specify that the person has been fitted for telescopic lenses and that they have been in the person’s possession at least 60 days prior to application for the NY driver’s license, and that the person has received training at least equal to the suggested training. Telescopic lens wearers must pass a road test wearing the telescopic lenses; the test will be waived for lens wearers upon renewal. The minimum training requirements are as follows:

  • The person has been trained so that he or she can locate stationary objects within the telescopic field by aligning the object directly below the telescopic lens and then moving
    his or her head down and his or her eyes up simultaneously.
  • The person has been trained so that he or she has mastered the ability of locating a moving object in a large field of vision by anticipating future movement, so that by and eyes in a coordinated fashion, he or she can locate the moving object within the telescopic field.
  • The person has been trained to remember what he or she has seen after a brief exposure, with the duration of exposure diminished constantly to simulate short looking time while
    driving.
  • The person has experienced levels of illumination such as daylight, dusk, and nighttime.
  • The person has experienced walking, and riding as a passenger in a motor vehicle so that he or she has actually experienced moving while objects are changing position.

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North Carolina

Original and renewing applicants must take and pass a vision screening test. Drivers who cannot meet the 20/40 acuity standard are referred to an eyecare specialist. Drivers whose vision is correctable to 20/50 or better are restricted to wearing corrective lenses when driving. If vision is correctable to 20/50 or better, but could deteriorate soon as a result of a progressive disease, a follow-up report from an eyecare specialist will be required every 1 to 2 years, upon the recommendation of the Medical Advisors and eyecare specialist. Drivers whose vision is correctable to 20/70 are restricted to wearing corrective lenses, driving on roads with a speed limit of no more than 45 mi/h, and no driving on interstate highways. They may be required to submit an annual report from their eyecare specialist. Drivers whose vision is correctable to 20/100 are restricted to all of the above restrictions, plus daylight driving only. They may be required to submit a report from their eyecare specialist at 6-month or 1-year intervals.

Applicants whose vision is not correctable to at least 20/100 may not drive. In North Carolina, telescopic lenses may not be used to meet the standard, but are allowed to be used for driving if an applicant can meet the standard without the telescopic lens. The telescopic lens must be prescribed by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist, who will ensure that the applicant can look around the telescopic lens and view the full traffic pattern.

The visual field requirement in North Carolina is 60 degrees in one eye, or 30 degrees on each side of the central point of fixation. Persons with homonymous hemianopsia (cannot see out of the left side of either eye or the right side of either eye) may not drive.

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North Dakota

Visual requirements for an unrestricted license are 20/40 with both eyes together without glasses, or vision in one eye not worse than 20/200 but vision in both eyes together is 20/40 or better without glasses. The minimum visual field standard is 105 degrees. If vision in both eyes together is 20/50 or worse with or without glasses, the driver is referred to a vision specialist.

Restrictions may include corrections or an outside mirror. If vision is between 20/50 and 20/60 a daylight driving restriction may also be added. A report is sent to the Medical Coordinator in the Central Office, if vision is poorer than 20/60 in both eyes, with or without glasses, or if the visual field standard cannot be met.

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Ohio

Original and renewal applicants are required to take and pass a vision examination prior to being licensed. The Department’s vision standards follow. Individuals with binocular acuity of 20/40 (both eyes together) without corrective lenses are issued a license without visual restrictions. Persons with binocular acuity poorer than 20/40 but not worse than 20/70 are restricted to daylight driving only. Persons with binocular vision worse than 20/70 will be denied a license. Persons with monocular vision whose visual acuity is 20/30 or better without corrective lenses will be issued a license without visual restriction. Those with monocular vision poorer than 20/30 but not worse than 20/60 will be issued a license restricted to daylight driving.

Those with monocular vision who are unable to attain acuity of at least 20/60 will be denied a license. Visual field requirements for a non-restricted license consist of 70 degrees of visual field on both sides of the fixation point. If the visual field on one side of fixation is less than 70 degrees, the applicant must demonstrate a visual field of at least 70 degrees on one side of fixation and 45 degrees on the other side of fixation. Such an applicant is restricted to driving a vehicle with an outside mirror mounted on the side of the more limited visual field.

Those who cannot meet the Department’s standards are referred to their eyecare specialist for visual correction, and/or more sensitive testing. Unless applicants go to an eyecare specialist affiliated with the Ohio State University School of Optometry, who provide an independent vision evaluation at the patient’s cost, they will be retested with the Department’s equipment, and will not be licensed unless they can attain acuity of at least 20/70, and a peripheral visual field of at least 70 degrees on one side and 45 degrees on the other. The Department will accept a reading provided by one of the OSU-contracted eyecare specialists.

Applicants must return within 30 days or their license will be suspended for failure to comply. Drivers with progressive eye diseases are subject to periodic vision exam requirements, as recommended by their physician/eyecare specialist.

Ohio will allow an applicant to be licensed if he or she can pass the Ohio vision standard with a bioptic telescopic device, and can demonstrate the visual, mental, and physical skills necessary for safe driving. Bioptic telescopic drivers must successfully complete an initial vision exam at one of two centers (OSU College of Optometry or Vision Rehabilitation of Akron) and a training and evaluation session with a mobility instructor from one of two approved vision centers (Vision Center of Central Ohio or Vision Rehabilitation of Akron). Bioptic drivers are restricted to daylight driving for the initial year. They may apply for nighttime driving privileges if, after the first year of driving with the bioptic lenses, they have had no at-fault crashes or driving convictions, they satisfactorily complete a nighttime driver training program, and they pass a nighttime driving test.

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Oklahoma

Original applicants must take and pass a vision screening test. Renewal applicants do not undergo vision screening. An applicant may be considered for a license if visual acuity is 20/60 or better with or without corrective lenses, or 20/50 or better in one eye, with or without corrective lenses. Individuals who cannot met the acuity requirements may apply for a restricted license (e.g., speed limit, locale, time) if the visual acuity is no worse than 20/100 in one eye or both eyes, with or without corrective lenses. The visual field requirements are at least 70 degrees in the horizontal meridian in one eye alone or with both eyes. A person who cannot meet the standard may apply for a restricted license if the field of vision is not narrower that 60 degrees in the horizontal meridian in one eye alone or in both eyes.

Individuals who wear telescopic lenses may not be licensed. Applicants with progressive eye diseases must meet the standards, and submit periodic vision reports. Those who cannot meet the Department’s standards when screened by a Driver Examiner must have their eyecare specialist complete a form based on an examination performed within the past 60 days. In addition to providing acuity and field of vision readings, the eyecare specialist is asked whether the patient has any eye disease or injury (and what steps are being taken to correct the condition); how often the patient should be reexamined for driving purposes; what restrictions should be placed on the license as a result of the visual exam; whether, in the eyecare specialist’s judgment the patient’s condition is controlled; and whether the eyecare specialist is aware of any other significant medical conditions.

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Oregon

Drivers have their vision screened upon initial licensure and again at each 8-year renewal cycle upon reaching age 50. The Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division of the Department of Transportation tests acuity and field of vision, and will issue a driver permit or driver license only to persons whose eyesight, with best possible correction, meets the following standards:

  • Acuity: The person must have a visual acuity level of 20/70 or better when looking through both eyes (or one eye if the person has usable vision in only one eye). Persons with usable vision in two eyes will meet the standard if the visual acuity level in one eye is worse than 20/70 so long as the visual acuity level in the other eye is 20/70 or better.When the visual acuity of the person’s best eye is worse than 20/40 and no worse than 20/70, DMV shall restrict the person to daylight driving only, unless, in the written opinion of a licensed vision specialist (ophthalmologist, oculist, or optometrist), the person’s driving should not be restricted to daylight driving only; and
  • Field of vision: The person must have a field of vision of 110 degrees.Except in the case of bioptic-telescopic lenses, drivers may meet the eyesight check standards with the use of corrective lenses. When a driver must wear a corrective lens or corrective lenses to meet the eyesight check standards, the DMV will restrict the person to driving only when wearing corrective lenses. The DMV will issue a driver permit or driver license to persons who wear bioptic-telescopic lenses only if the person can meet the eyesight standards when looking through the carrier lens (not the telescopic device). If a person’s eyesight does not meet the eyesight standard, the DMV will issue the person a Temporary Driver’s Permit which is valid for 60 days. A person who is issued a Temporary Driver’s Permit will have his or her driver license renewed only if the person submits a vision examination form (Certificate of Examination by Competent Authority on Vision as Provided for in ORS 807.090, Form 24) signed by a licensed vision specialist (ophthalmologist, oculist, or optometrist) indicating that the person’s eyesight is satisfactory for driving; and the person complies with all other driver license renewal requirements. The vision specialist is asked to provide a opinion based on the examination, and to check one of the following statements: the applicant should not be permitted to drive; driving should only be permitted during daylight hours, with/without corrective lenses; driving should not be restricted to driving during daylight hours only, with/without corrective lenses; present vision without correction meets the eyesight standard; the applicant should drive only while wearing corrective lenses. The vision specialist is also asked to indicate whether a person’s vision should be periodically reevaluated, and if so, at what intervals, for individuals with a degenerative eye disease or disorder.

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Pennsylvania

Vision is screened only at original licensure (unless drivers are randomly selected for random reexamination). Applicants who fail to meet the 20/40 acuity standard are referred to their eyecare specialist, who must complete a form which the applicants bring back to the licensing center. A person who must wear corrective lenses to meet the standard is restricted to driving with corrective lenses. Individuals with visual acuity poorer than 20/40 with both eyes may drive with a daylight-only restriction if one of the following conditions is met: (1) the combined vision has been corrected to 20/60 or better; (2) the combined vision is less than 20/60 but at least 20/70 , and recommendation is obtained from a licensed optometrist or licensed physician who has equipment to properly evaluate visual acuity; (3) the combined vision is less than 20/70 but at least 20/100 , and recommendation is obtained from a licensed optometrist or licensed physician who has equipment to properly evaluate visual acuity. Drivers licensed under the third condition must pass a driving test, may not drive on freeways, may be limited to driving within a specific geographic area, and may have the license suspended if involved in one at-fault crash or receives two violations during a 1-year period. Telescopic lenses may not be used to meet the standards.

The horizontal visual field requirement is at least 120 degrees (combined) in the
horizontal meridian, excepting the normal blind spots.

A person may be adequately sighted in one eye and still meet the requirements, however, the license will be restricted to vehicles with outside mirrors that provide a view of the highway for a distance of 200 feet to the rear.

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Rhode Island

Drivers must undergo vision screening at each renewal, and must have at least 20/40 visual acuity in the better eye, with or without corrective lenses, and a minimum visual field of 115 degrees in the horizontal meridian. For monocular drivers, visual fields must be 40 degrees nasally and 75 degrees temporally.

Applicants who cannot meet the State’s standards must have their eyecare specialist complete a Vision Form and return it to the Department, based on an examination in the prior 90-day period. Applicants with bioptic telescopic lenses may use them to meet the standard.

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South Carolina

Original applicants and applicants renewing their licenses in person must take and pass a DMV-administered vision screening test. South Carolina’s acuity standard is as follows: each eye by itself must score 20/40 or better with or without glasses, or if one eye is blind, the other eye must score 20/40 or better with or without glasses. If glasses are used to meet the standard, a driver is restricted to corrective lenses. If a driver cannot meet the standard, he or she is referred to an eyecare specialist. The eyecare specialist must provide acuity and visual field readings, in addition to providing the following information: whether glasses are needed for near and distant vision and whether they are being fitted; whether vision is attained with conventional lenses, contact lenses, telescopic lenses, or other attachments; whether the applicant has double vision, and if so, whether it is correctable with glasses; whether there is evidence of eye disease or injury; and whether there is difficulty seeing at night. The eyecare specialist is also asked to provide recommendations regarding whether the Licensing Agency should restrict the driving privilege to daylight driving only, and how frequently the applicant’s vision should be rechecked to determine fitness to drive (6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 5 years at renewal, or other).

Applicants renewing by mail must submit a visual acuity form completed by an eyecare specialist with the license application form.

Drivers reporting back to the Agency after being referred to their eyecare specialist must have at least 20/70 acuity in both eyes together, or 20/70 in the better eye (as long as the other eye is better than 20/200). If one eye is blind (i.e., 20/200 o worse) the other eye must be at least 20/40. Drivers who are blind in one eye are restricted to outside mirrors. Other restrictions include corrective lenses and daylight driving only (if recommended y the eyecare specialist).

Applicants may not use telescopic lenses to meet the standards. If a telescopic driver can meet the standard through the use of conventional lenses, he or she may be issued a licensed.

South Carolina does not have a visual field standard, but visual field measurements are requested of eyecare specialist completing DMV forms. If the total angle is 140 degrees or more, the applicant automatically passes. If the total angle is between 110 and 140 degrees, the case is referred to the MAB. If the total angle is 110 degrees or less, the applicant does not automatically pass. This standard was adopted in 1989, based on the recommendation of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Automotive Safety of the American Medical Association in 1969, and the fact that at least one other State had adopted the standard as of 1989.

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South Dakota

Drivers applying for an original license as well as those applying for renewal licenses every 5 years must take a vision screening test. To qualify for an unrestricted license, an applicant’s visual acuity must be at least 20/40 with both eyes, but no worse than 20/50 in either eye. There is no visual field requirement.

Applicants whose acuity is less than 20/40 in both eyes, with or without correction are referred to an eyecare specialist, who must complete a Vision Statement and return it to the Department, based on an examination performed within the past 6 months. In addition to providing acuity measurements, the eyecare specialist is asked whether the patient has any difficulty seeing in dim light or at night; how frequently visual reexaminations should occur (1 year, 2 years, 3 years, or other); what recommendations can be given regarding the applicant’s ability to drive safely (without restrictions, with restrictions, limited, or inadequate); and what restrictions are recommended (corrective lenses, left outside rearview mirror, 50 mile radius of residence, no driving outside of city limits, daylight driving only, or other). Applicants who cannot attain a visual acuity of 20/60 or better with both eyes are denied a license. There are a few drivers in South Dakota who drive with bioptic telescopic lenses. Such drivers must be able to meet the acuity standard (they may use the lenses during the vision test), and they must also pass a road test.

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Tennessee

Original applicants (but not renewal applicants) must take and pass a vision test. Tennessee’s visual acuity standard is 20/40 (Snellen) or better with each eye separately, and both eyes together. Applicants who fail to meet the standard are given an Eye Specialist Form for completion by their eyecare specialist. Completed forms are sent to the Driver Improvement Section for review. Applicants with 20/60 or better, each eye separately and both eyes together, will pass with or without corrective lenses, but will be restricted to driving motor vehicles with both left and right outside rearview mirrors, and corrective lenses if applicable. Applicants with 20/40 or better in one eye, with the other 20/60 to blind, will pass with or without corrective lenses, but will have dual mirror and corrective lens restrictions. Tennessee has detailed low vision guidelines for bioptic and telescopic lens wearers. Generally, applicants may not have any mental impairments or any impairment of the head, neck or movement of the eyes, and must complete training in driving with a bioptic telescopic lens from a driving instructor certified in the field. Applicants must also have a visual acuity of at least 20/200 with the best conventional non-telescopic lens and a full visual field. Visual acuity through the bioptic telescope must be at least 20/60, and the applicant must have a horizontal visual field diameter of no less than 150 degrees without the use of field expanders. Restrictions may include: daylight driving only; 50 mi/h maximum speed; left and right outside rearview mirrors; certain area and time restrictions; and no interstate driving. Minimum training requirements are also specified in the State statutes (nearly identical to those described in this report for New York). Training in the use of bioptic telescopes lenses does not entitle the wearer to a driver license. It only assists the applicant to qualify on the vision portion of the testing.

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Texas

New applicants and renewal applicants not renewing by mail are required to pass a vision test. Visual standards for passenger car drivers are as follows. For drivers with visual acuity without correction of the better eye of 20/40 or better, a license will be issued with no restrictions. The visual field standard is recognition of the visual field test object within an uninterrupted arc of 140 degrees, with both eyes open during the test. Applicants with corrected visual acuity of the better eye of 20/50 to 20/70 may drive with restrictions (i.e., corrective lenses, daytime only, max speed of45 mi/h). Applicants whose acuity is between 20/50 and 20/70 without corrective lenses are referred to a vision specialist. Applicants whose vision is worse than 20/70 with the best eye or both together, with or without corrective lenses and with no further improvement possible may not be licensed, except in “meritorious circumstances.”

Applicants requiring the use of telescopic lenses to pass vision tests must successfully complete a comprehensive road test before licensure. The standard for monocular drivers licensed without visual restriction is 20/25 acuity or better in the best eye without corrective lenses. Applicants with vision poorer than 20/25 without correction are referred to an eyecare specialist. Applicants with progressive eye disease must be periodically reevaluated at the discretion of the MAB.

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Utah

New applicants and renewal applicants not renewing by mail are required to pass a vision test. Visual standards for passenger car drivers are as follows. For drivers with visual acuity without correction of the better eye of 20/40 or better, a license will be issued with no restrictions. The visual field standard is recognition of the visual field test object within an uninterrupted arc of 140 degrees, with both eyes open during the test. Applicants with corrected visual acuity of the better eye of 20/50 to 20/70 may drive with restrictions (i.e., corrective lenses, daytime only, max speed of45 mi/h). Applicants whose acuity is between 20/50 and
20/70 without corrective lenses are referred to a vision specialist. Applicants whose vision is worse than 20/70 with the best eye or both together, with or without corrective lenses and with no further improvement possible may not be licensed, except in “meritorious circumstances.”

Applicants requiring the use of telescopic lenses to pass vision tests must successfully complete a comprehensive road test before licensure. The standard for monocular drivers licensed without visual restriction is 20/25 acuity or better in the best eye without corrective lenses. Applicants with vision poorer than 20/25 without correction are referred to an eyecare specialist.

Applicants with progressive eye disease must be periodically reevaluated at the discretion of the MAB.

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Vermont

Initial applicants (but not renewals) must take and pass a vision test. The Department’s acuity standard is 20/40 binocularly or 20/40 monocularly. The field of view standard is 60 degrees or more external, each eye, or 60 degrees or more external and 60 degrees or more nasal. Drivers who cannot meet the DMV’s standards must take a form to an eyecare specialist for completion and return to the Department.

An ophthalmologist may recommend that a driver is able to drive safely with vision poorer than 20/40, and the Department will grant driving privileges; there is no Department specified minimum acuity if an ophthalmologist provides a favorable Eye Report.

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Virginia

Drivers renewing their licenses in person must take and pass a vision screening test. Drivers may renew their driver’s license by alternate means (internet, touchtone telephone, mail or extraTeller) no more than every other 5-year renewal cycle. The vision test requirement is ed for alternate renewals. Virginia’s visual standard is 20/40 acuity or better in one or both eyes (with or without corrective lenses), and 100 degrees or better horizontal vision in one or both eyes. Telescopic lenses may not be used to meet the standard. Applicants who cannot meet the standard must have a vision specialist complete a Vision Screening Report based on an examination within the past 90-day period. The eyecare specialist is asked to provide acuity and horizontal visual field measurements. The specialist is also asked whether there are any visual defects that would affect the operation of a motor vehicle, whether the patient is capable of operating a motor vehicle, whether the applicant should be restricted to driving during daylight only and/or with corrective lenses, and whether (and how often) an applicant should be required to submit periodic Vision Screening Reports to the DMV. Drivers who cannot meet the standard but have visual acuity of 20/70 or better in one or both eyes and 70 degrees of horizontal vision or better in one eye (or 40 degrees or better temporal and 30 degrees nasal for monocular drivers) will be restricted to driving during daylight hours only.

Virginia allows the use of telescopic lenses for driving, provided that visual acuity is 20/200 or better in one or both eyes through the carrier lens, and 20/70 or better in one or both eyes through the bioptic telescopic lens, which must be mounted to the carrier lens. Horizontal vision (without field expanders) must be 70 degrees or better (or 40 degrees or better temporal and 30 degrees nasal for monocular drivers). An eyecare specialist must certify that the applicant has:

  • Been fitted for a prescription spectacle mounted telescopic lens arrangement and has had this arrangement in his/her possession for at least 60 days prior to the application date.
  • Clinically demonstrated the ability to locate stationary objects within the telescopic field within one to two seconds.
  • Clinically demonstrated the ability to locate a moving object in a large field of vision by anticipating further movement, so that by moving the head and eyes in a coordinated
    fashion is able to locate the moving object within the telescopic field within one or two seconds.
  • Clinically demonstrated the ability to remember what has been observed after a brief exposure, with the duration of the exposure progressively diminished to simulate reduced
    observation time while driving.
  • Experienced levels of illumination which may be encountered during inclement weather or when driving from daylight into areas of shadow or artificial light and the patient has
    clinically demonstrated the ability to adjust to such changes.
  • Used the lens while walking for practical experience of motion while objects are changing position.

The applicant must certify that he or she has been using the bioptic lens: daily for at least 60 days; while walking or riding a bicycle daily for at least 6 weeks; for spotting objects and identifying road signs successfully as a motor vehicle passenger for at least 6 weeks; to locate and identify objects within the telescopic field within one to two seconds. Bioptic drivers must wear the bioptic and carrier lenses while driving, and driving is permitted during daylight hours only, at least for the first year. After one year of driving with the telescopic lens, the restriction may be lifted if visual acuity is 20/40 or better in one or both eyes without field expanders and the licensee can pass a night driving road skill examination.

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Washington

A quick acuity test is also performed for drivers renewing their licenses, and is used to determine whether a driver meets the acuity standard of 20/40 with or without corrective lenses with both eyes. Customers with bioptic lenses must pass the exam without the use of the bioptic telescope. A complete vision screening is given to drivers applying for an original license and for those undergoing a reexamination or special examinations, consists of testing both eyes together, left eye, and right eye for visual acuity, phorias, horizontal field, and color. Horizontal field of vision must be at least 110 degrees with both eyes, or 55 degrees with one eye. Customers who fail the vision-screening test (except color) are issued a Certificate of Visual Examination. They must take the certificate to an ophthalmologist or optometrist for completion, and then take or mail it back to the driver’s license office that issued the Certificate within 30 days. The information provided by the vision specialist must be based on an examination performed within the past three months. The LSR enters a code into the computer Vision Certificate was given to the customer, which starts a pending cycle.

When a Vision Certificate is returned, the LSR ensures that the examination is current and the form is complete. The LSR will determine whether the vision recertification should be cleared for an unrestricted license issuance, whether a restricted license should be issued, whether a Reexamination or Special Examination should be given, or whether the driving privilege should be denied. If a Medical Certificate was also issued, the LSR will need to wait until the Medical Certificate is received, and then process both Certificates together. Two chapters in the LSR Manual are devoted to issuing and evaluating Vision Certificates. If acuity is 20/40 or better with corrective lenses, then a license will be issued with a corrective-lenses restriction. If acuity is 20/50 to 20/80, the driver is referred for Reexamination. If acuity is worse than 20/80, or the customer uses bioptic lenses, the driver is referred for a Special Examination. If the vision specialist indicates that the customer has a visual condition that could impair night driving, then the driver is referred for a Reexamination including both a day and night drive test, unless the customer waives the night drive test and accepts a daylight driving only restriction. If the total field of vision is less than 110 degrees, then a reexamination is required. If the vision specialist indicates that the driver should be required to submit periodic vision certificates, then the LSR will notify the Medical Section, which will coordinate review cycles with Medical Certificates, if both are required. Restriction codes and codes for required Reexaminations are entered into the computer record. The LSR will contact the driver by phone to advise that the license can be issued, or that he or she will need to come in to take a written and/or drive test. Washington’s vision standards are approved by the Academy of Ophthalmology Traffic Safety Committee; the Washington State Medical Association Committee on Vehicle Safety; and the Washington Optometric Association Motorist’s Vision Committee.

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West Virginia

Original applicants must take and pass a vision test, but there is presently no vision testing requirement for renewal applicants. Numerous attempts to pass legislation requiring vision testing upon license renewal have failed. The visual acuity standard is at least 20/40 in both eyes, with or without corrective lenses. There is no minimum visual field requirement.

Applicants who do not meet the minimum visual acuity standard must submit a Report on Visual Examination to the Division, completed by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. The eyecare specialist must provide an acuity measure, and answer the following questions:

  • Are corrective lenses needed for distant vision? For near vision?
  • Is there any double vision?
    • If so, is it correctable with glasses or other treatment?
  • Is there any evidence of eye disease or injury?
    • If so, describe.
    • Can this be compensated for?
  • Is there any visual difficulty in seeing at night?
  • In your opinion, does this person have sufficient vision to operate a motor vehicle safely?
    • If yes, should there be any restrictions imposed?
    • If so, what restrictions?

The Division will approve an applicant for licensing if the eyecare specialist certifies that: vision can be corrected to a visual acuity level of at least 20/60 in one eye; there is no evidence of disease or rapid deterioration of vision; and the applicant can safely operate a motor vehicle with appropriate restrictions. Applicants whose acuity does not measure 20/60 but for whom the eyecare specialist indicates are able to safely operate a motor vehicle, may be licensed if recommended by the Medical Advisory Board. The Board will consider peripheral vision, depth perception, and color recognition in its recommendation to the Commissioner. The Commissioner may require applicants to pass a road test before being licensed. Drivers may be restricted to driving with corrective lenses, outside mirrors, daytime-only driving, driving during certain times of the day, driving within a specific radius of home, or driving on restricted routes. Bioptic telescopic lenses may not be used to meet the standard and may not be used to drive.

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Wisconsin

Drivers with vision problems are identified when they renew their licenses every 8 years, and are required to undergo a vision test. The vision standard for drivers of passenger vehicles is 20/40 acuity in each eye, corrected or uncorrected, and a horizontal temporal field of vision of 70 degrees or more from center in each eye. Applicants may not use a bioptic telescopic lens to meet the visual acuity standards if the lens reduces the field of vision below the standard.

Applicants who cannot meet the acuity or visual field standards are referred to a vision specialist for a recommendation, and may be required to take a complete Driving Evaluation, if recommended by the vision specialist. Drivers must have 20/100 visual acuity or better in at least one eye, and 20 degrees field of vision from center in at least one eye. Drivers may be restricted to driving with corrective lenses, during daylight hours only, or driving a vehicle with outside mirrors, depending on recommendations made by the vision specialist and the results of a Driving Evaluation demonstrating compensation for the loss of vision. The eyecare specialist must provide an opinion regarding whether the person is able to drive safely (yes, no, or only if a road test is passed) and to indicate restrictions (corrective lenses, daylight driving only, ___ miles from home, or other). Drivers who have a progressive eye disease (e.g., cataracts, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy, or glaucoma) may be required to file periodic vision reports with the Department, at 6-month, 12-month, or 24-month intervals.

Persons applying for or holding a special restricted operator’s license with visual acuity between 20/100 and 20/200, but not including 20/200 in the better corrected eye, as certified by a vision specialist, shall be restricted to daylight hours of operation only.

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Wyoming

All driver license applicants, including renewing drivers, must take and pass a vision test. When applicants are unable to meet the minimum required acuity of 20/50 (for passenger vehicle licenses) or better with both eyes, with or without corrective lenses, or if the minimum total combined horizontal field of vision requirement of 120 degrees cannot be met, they are given a driver vision evaluation form that must be completed by the driver’s vision specialist. Outside mirror and corrective lens restrictions are placed on the license for drivers with acuities falling between 20/50 and 20/100, and daylight only and annual reexam restrictions may be imposed, depending on the vision specialist’s recommendations. Telescopic lenses must provide 20/100 acuity.

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