Eye test certificate for your driving licence: everything you need to know
Good vision is vital for driving. When driving any vehicle, you need to see what is going on. With good vision, you can react to potential hazards appropriately and ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road. For these reasons, everyone needs to complete an eye test and meet standards of vision when driving, whether you wear glasses or contact lenses, or not. Here is an overview of what you need to know about eye test certificates for driving licences.
What is the eye test certificate for driving?
An eye test certificate confirms the condition and suitability of your vision for driving. It allows you to obtain a driver’s licence. Usually, you are required to visit an optometrist and have your vision tested in order to receive an official certificate proving that you meet vision standards for driving. For example, in the European Union, Directive 2009/113/EC sets a minimum eyesight standard for driving.
In most places, you are also required to complete a vision test to renew your driving licence. Commercial and truck drivers need to be particularly aware of safety when driving. In addition to the usual standard driving eye test, professional drivers are often required to take eye tests periodically.
How do I pass an eye test driver?
Requirements for eye tests to be valid for a driving licence vary from country to country, but in general, you are required to have 20/40 vision or better. For example, in the United Kingdom, you need to show that you can read a car number plate from 20 metres, and meet minimum eyesight standards, which means a visual acuity to at least 0.5 decimals (these standards include anyone who wears contact lenses or glasses).
Similarly, in the United States, although it varies between states, in order to qualify for an eye test certificate for a driving licence, you need to show that you have 20/40 vision or higher. Most DMV centres use the Snellen eye chart - the famous chart with large letters at the top and gradually smaller ones as you go down. Why not prepare beforehand? You can download an online copy of the Snellen eye chart and try it at home.
What happens if you fail your vision test?
If you fail your vision test, you will most likely be required to take more in-depth eye exams with an optometrist. Some common eye problems that could affect your driving vision test are glaucoma, issues with peripheral vision, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or problems with colour vision. Your optometrist can determine if the condition affects both eyes, the severity of your condition, if it may worsen over time, and if glasses or surgery can improve it.
In this case, you may still qualify for an eye test certificate for a driving licence, although with restrictions. These restrictions can include the time of day when you can travel, a shorter validity period, or the need to wear glasses while driving. Keep in mind that this will be noted on your driving licence, so if the police stop you for any reason, you will need to be in line with the specified restrictions.
No one likes taking tests - we know - but an eye test for a driving licence just takes a few minutes.
Need more information about what is a driving risk assessment? Read our complete guide about driving assessment. See also: information and advice about driving test certificate, driving test programme: all you need to know, complete guide about eye test certificate for driving licence, online driving examiner assessment: all you need to know.
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