Eyesight Requirements


As you can imagine, ensuring your eyesight is up to a good standard is an essential part of driving.  Not only will this mean you are less likely to have an accident but you also need to ensure you can read road signs from a suitable distance to give yourself plenty of warning of hazards and road conditions. 

There are two main types of eyesight requirements that you should follow to enable you to be safe on the roads and meet the DVLA basic requirements.

Firstly, if you have any visual condition which affects both of your eyes or any visual condition which affects your sight.  An example of this would be if you have no sight out of one eye.  It is important to disclose this information, it will not disadvantage you in any way but will mean that your record is kept up to date and your examiner and instructor are made aware, additionally you will be required to provide details that your eyesight is up to the required standard. 

The second eyesight requirement is to ensure that you have a good level of sight for both when you are learning to drive and also for the day of your test.   

As a basic requirement on the day of your test you will be asked to read a number plate of a vehicle from a distance of 20 metres.  If you are asked to read the old style number plate then this will be from a distance of 20.5 metres due to the difference in size. 

It is therefore important that in advance of our driving test you ensure your eyesight is up to the required standard.  The best way to test this is to go to a car park and pace 21 large steps or around 29 walking pace steps.  See if you can read the number plate clearly.  If not then you need to pace the steps out again to make sure you have the correct distance.  Again if you cannot read it successfully it is essential that you visit the opticians prior to your test date. 

On your actual practical driving test you will be given three chances to correctly read the number plate.  If you fail to read the first number plate correctly you will be asked to read a second number plate.  If you fail to be able to read this after the second attempt you will be asked to walk forward until you’re at a more precise required distance.  If again you fail to read it correctly a third number plate will be pointed out for you, this time the distance will be precisely measured.  Again if you are unable to successfully read it then you will fail your practical driving test before it properly begins. 

Many people will wear glasses and contact lenses and you are required to wear them if your vision is below this standard.  Also please note that if you wear your glasses to read the number plate, you must then wear them for the remainder of the examination.  

As well as failing your driving test, you will be required to sign a form stating your eyesight does not meet the standards required by the DVLA.  In this instance your licence will be revoked and you must reapply for your licence and the DVLA will instruct the Driving Standards Agency to conduct an eyesight test before you are reissued with your licence.  

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