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Do I Need an Eye Test to take the Driving Test?

Road crashes caused by poor driver vision are estimated to cause 2,900 casualties each year in the UK. If you’re caught driving without the minimum eyesight requirement you could be prosecuted, and could cause an accident. 

Do I Need an Eye Test to take the Driving Test?

Before taking the Driving Test an examiner will check that you meet the minimum eyesight requirement for driving. They’ll do this by giving you an eye test before the driving test starts.

At the start of the official driving test you will be asked to read a number plate on a parked vehicle from 20 meters away. If you get it wrong after three tries you will fail the entire test immediately and not proceed any further. The DVLA will be notified and your licence will be revoked. 

Standards of Vision

You must meet the minimum eyesight requirement for driving by having a visual acuity of at least 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale. This can be with glasses or contact lenses if necessary and using both eyes together or, if you have sight in one eye only, in that eye. You must also 

have adequate field of vision, which your optician can tell you about and test you on.

To be sure of your vision you should book an appointment with an optician, but to give you an idea of whether you can see adequately or not take a look at our TikTok video on the Driving Test Eyesight Test.

Eyesight Rules when Driving

If you require contact lenses or glasses to meet the driving requirements then you must wear these at all times when driving. You must tell DVLA if you’ve got any problem with your eyesight that affects both of 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 also do not need to say if you’ve had surgery to correct short sightedness and can meet the eyesight standard.

Eyesight deterioration can be slow which is why it’s so important to have your eyes tested at least every two years, or straight away if you notice a problem. Drivers aged over 70 have to declare when renewing their licence that their eyesight meets minimum legal standards. They don’t have to provide evidence of this but could be held liable if they’re in an accident and it’s thought that poor eye health was a contributing factor.


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