Vision Standards for Driving

Standards of vision for driving (Group 1)

The new vision standards for all drivers (car and motorcycle) include:
  • Reading a number plate from 20 meters
  • Having a binocular visual acuity of 6/12 (on the letter chart), with corrective lenses (spectacles or contact lenses) if required. This can be using both eyes together or, if you have sight in one eye only, in that eye.
  • Individuals are still not permitted to use telescope devices when driving
  • Visual field: the present standard of a total field width of 120 degrees remains but in addition, there will need to be a field of at least 50 degrees on each side (see below for more information)
The DVLA has further stipulated that if a driver has been advised by their doctor or optometrist that they cannot meet the required 6/12 with corrective lenses they must inform the DVLA.

Standards of vision for driving (Group 2)

The new vision standards for all drivers (lorry and bus drivers) include:

  • Applicants and license holders must have a visual acuity, using corrective lenses (spectacles or contact lenses) if necessary, of at least 6/7.5 in the better eye and at least 6/12 in the other eye.
  • If corrective lenses are worn, an uncorrected acuity in each eye of at least 3/60 is needed. Where glasses are worn to meet the minimum standard for driving, they should have a corrective power of no more than plus eight (+8) dioptres.

All Group 2 drivers must also meet all the Group 1 visual acuity standards as outlined above.

Visual Field Requirements for Group 1 & 2 Drivers

The DVLA may require you to have a special test to measure the extent and completeness of your peripheral (side) field of view if you have told them about any eye or medical condition that may affect your safeness to drive.

The Estermann Visual Field Test is usually carried out wearing your normal driving prescription glasses and with both eyes open. The test normally takes about 15-20 minutes to complete and consists of the person responding to small flashes of light by pressing a button whilst looking straight ahead.

The results are usually known immediately and can give a strong indicator to the safety of an individual to continue or resume driving. The test is free when specifically requested by the DVLA, but is also available privately for all drivers.