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Driving (and visual acuity)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Group 1 entitlement.

  • Minimum eyesight standards - all drivers

  • the law requires that all licensed drivers meet the following eyesight requirements (including drivers aided by prescribed glasses or contact lenses):

    • in good daylight, able to read the registration mark fixed to a vehicle registered under current standards

      • at a distance of 20 metres with letters and numbers 79mm high by 50mm wide on a car registered since 1 September 2001

      • or

      • at a distance of 20.5 metres with letters and numbers 79mm high by 57mm wide on a car registered before 1 September 2001

    • and the visual acuity must be at least Snellen 6/12 (decimal 0.5) with both eyes open or in the only eye if monocular

  • any driver unable to meet these standards must not drive and must notify the DVLA, which will refuse or revoke a licence
  • the law also requires all drivers to have a minimum field of vision, as set out below
  • certification as sight impaired or severely sight impaired is not compatible with DVLA driver licensing; such certification is notifiable
  • bioptic telescope devices are not accepted by the DVLA for driving

For more details guidance may be obtained from the publication "At a Glance Guide to the Current Medical Standards of Fitness to Drive" and the website


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