Driving eyesight requirements

Before you start to learn to drive or ride, make sure you meet the eyesight requirements. If you need glasses or corrective lenses to meet the requirements, it’s a legal requirement that you wear them every time you drive or ride.

Letting Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) know about eyesight conditions

When applying for your driving licence you should let DVA know if you have:

  • any condition that affects both eyes (not including short or long sight or colour blindness)
  • any condition that affects your sight (not including short or long sight or colour blindness), for example, if you have sight in one eye only

Wearing glasses or corrective lenses

If you wear glasses or corrective lenses for the eyesight test, the law requires you wear them whenever you are driving/riding and during your test. You are not allowed to remove your glasses or corrective lenses at any time during the test, including carrying out the manoeuvres.

If you do try to remove them during the test, your examiner will remind you that it is a legal requirement and if you refuse to wear them, the test will not continue.

If you have broken, forgotten or brought the wrong glasses, you should tell your examiner at the start of the test.

Eyesight requirements for the practical car and motorcycle test

At the start of the test the examiner will ask you to read a number plate on a stationary vehicle. This will contain letters and figures 79mm high and 57mm wide, at a distance of 20.5 m or a distance of 20 m if the letters and figures are 50mm wide.  For category K (mowing machine or vehicle controlled by someone on foot) the distance is 12 m or 12.3 m

If you are unable to read the number, the examiner will ask you to read another number plate. If you are still unable to read the second number plate, the examiner will measure out the precise distance from a third plate.

If you fail to read the third plate and the examiner is satisfied of your inability to meet the eyesight requirement, the test will not go any further.

The examiner will ask you to sign a declaration to agree that you were unable to meet the eyesight requirement.

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