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What standard of vision is needed for driving a car or motorbike?

Posted on 9th October 2018 in News

How often do you check if you can read a car number plate that is 20 metres away?

If you drive a car or motorbike then this check is something that you should do regularly to ensure your vision meets the required standard for driving. There are different rules that apply to lorry and bus drivers that can be found here.

Current rules state that car drivers and motorcyclists (group 1) must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses if necessary) a car number plate from 20 metres. It’s a good idea to regularly check this.

It goes without saying that you must wear your glasses or contact lenses every time you drive if you need them to meet the ‘standards of vision for driving’.

You must also inform the DVLA if you have a problem with your eyesight that affects both your eyes, or the remaining eye if you only have one eye. This does not include being short or long sighted or colour blind. You do not need to inform the DVLA if you’ve had surgery to correct short sightedness and can meet the eyesight standards.

These are the driving eyesight rules:

  • You must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate from 20 metres.
  • You must also meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving by having a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) using both eyes together or, if you have sight in one eye only, in that eye.
  • You must also have an adequate field of vision – your optician can tell you about this and do a test.

You can check if you need to tell DVLA about your eyesight problem by searching the A to Z of medical conditions that could affect your driving.

You could be prosecuted if you drive without meeting the standards of vision for driving.