Right Driver

Can you drive with eyesight problems?

There’s a minimum eyesight standard that you must meet in order to keep (or get) a driving licence. Most of the time this can be corrected by glasses, contact lenses or surgery, but for some issues you must tell DVLA.

DVLA requires you to tell them if you have any of the following problems with your eyesight. Use form V1 for car and motorbike or V1V for coach, bus or lorry:

  • Double vision (diplopia)
  • Reduced visual acuity
  • Tunnel vision
  • Optic neuritis
  • Optic atrophy
  • Macular degeneration if it affects both eyes
  • Branch retinal vein occlusion in both eyes
  • Night blindness
  • Nystagmus
  • Myasthenia gravis

You don’t need to tell DVLA for the following conditions, UNLESS you have a bus, coach or lorry licence, as long as they don’t affect your driving. Use form V1V to report it.

  • Monocular vision (i.e. vision out of only one eye)
  • Macular degeneration if it affects one eye
  • Retinopathy (e.g. diabetic or hypertensive)
  • Branch retinal vein occlusion in one eye

You must stop driving temporarily if you have any of the following which may affect your vision

  • Transient ischaemic attack (TIA) – for car and motorbike licences you must stop for at least 1 month after the last TIA, and be cleared by your doctor; for bus, coach or lorry licences you must stop for at least one year and be cleared by your doctor.
  • Retinal treatment – use form V1for car and motorbike licences, and V1v for coach, bus and lorry licences.

You don’t need to tell DVLA about the following, but you do need to ensure you still meet the required driving standard

  • Shortsightedness (myopia) – you must wear corrective lenses
  • Longsightedness (hypermetropia) – you must wear corrective lenses

Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

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