When applying for a drivers licence, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) need to be made aware of any visual condition which affects:
- both eyes – excluding colour blindness, short-sightedness and long-sightedness
- your overall sight, i.e. if one eye is partially impaired and is unable to see
If you have had corrective surgery on your eyes, you should say so when applying for your provisional licence.
The eyesight test
There is a practical driving test eyesight test to ensure you meet the required eyesight standard. If you happen to fail the eyesight test, you will fail your driving test and it will not continue. You will be asked to sign a form stating you were unable to comply with the eyesight requirements, the DVLA will be notified and your licence will be revoked.
You will be referred to an optometrist, ophthalmologist or GP. From them you will need to obtain an eyesight certificate, and then take it to the driver licensing agent within a period of time before you can get your licence.
The eyesight certificate needs to:
- show you meet the required eyesight standard
- be the original document, not a copy
- be issued by a registered optometrist, ophthalmologist or GP
To shortcut this long winded process, learn the eyesight rules before learning to drive. If glasses or contact lenses are needed in order for you to meet the requirements, it will be stated on the reverse side of your licence, reaffirming that they have to be worn every time you drive. This in turn means that, without your glasses or lenses, you will be unable to drive.
Should you lose or damage your glasses, you will have to find other means of transport for the time it takes to have them either replaced or fixed. This can take up time, depending on what needs to be done and where your glasses were from.
Clarity by 20/20 is an eyewear warranty that will cover you for, among others, accidental loss or damage and the consequent repairs or replacement of your glasses. This will both get you on the road faster, and save you the worry and expense of having to paying for an unintentional inconvenience.