Minimum Eyesight Requirements For Driving

If you’re about to start learning to drive, it’s essential that you are fully aware of the minimum eyesight requirements for driving, and for the Practical Driving Test.

If you currently wear glasses or contact lenses then you must make sure that you wear these when out on the road.

When you apply for your provisional driving licence you must let the DVLA know if you have any visual condition which affects either both of your eyes or your sight in general.

This doesn’t include short or long site or colour blindness.

If you have ever had surgery on your eyes you must let the DVLA know when applying for your licence.

Minimum eyesight requirements for the Practical Test

On your Practical Driving Test, you will be required to read a number plate with a distance of:

  • 20 metres for vehicles with new-style number plate (starting with two letters followed by two numbers)
  • 20.5 metres for vehicles with old style number plates

If after three attempts (on different vehicles) your examiner is satisfied that you do not meet the minimum eyesight requirements due to you not being able to read the number plates from the required distance, your test will be terminated. If you don’t speak English, your examiner will allow you to write down what you see.

Minimum eyesight requirements and the law

If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses for driving, these must not be removed at any time whilst driving, even when carrying out a reverse manoeuvre.

If you accidentally forget your glasses or bring the incorrect pair you MUST NOT drive under any circumstances.

What happens if I don’t meet the minimum eyesight requirements?

If you do not meet the minimum eyesight requirements for driving, unfortunately, your licence will be revoked, and the examiner will ask you to sign a form declaring that you were unable to meet the minimum eyesight requirement and the DVLA will be notified. You will then need to reapply for your provisional driving licence.

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