Plans underway to change eyesight tests for UK drivers

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced plans to review the way eye tests for UK drivers are conducted.

The review follows analysis that suggests up to 17 million motorists may have night vision problems.

The plans are described as an advance warning to motorists that eyesight test changes may be looming.

In the most extreme cases, new eyesight test changes could see drivers having their licences revoked if their vision is found to be not up to scratch.

By law, drivers are required to notify the DVLA of any vision loss or certain eye disorders. Those who fail to do so could face a £1000 fine and a driving ban.

In its Vision to 2030 Strategy, the DVSA said it plans to "explore ways to improve how we check people’s eyesight before driving tests."

The current test involves drivers simply being asked, in good light, to read a licence plate from 20 metres away.

Remarkably, it is currently against the law for driving test examiners to check eyesight in bad weather or before or after sunset.

One suggestion from the Driving Instructors Association (DIA) is that the test could involve varying levels of light, to better assess motorists’ vision in different light conditions.

It revealed the DVSA is currently working with a DVLA Medical Panel to evaluate this. This would replace the current ‘good daylight’ test.

There is also speculation more regular eyesight tests could be made mandatory, with experts expecting changes to come into place during 2024.

Those who have trouble seeing in the dark could therefore face a "huge problem," noted the DIA which says there could also be an impact on the number of eligible elderly drivers, who are more likely to have eye conditions and fading night vision.

Ask HJ

Can I have my C1 category reinstated on my licence?

I passed my test whilse in the Military Police many many years ago. I noticed some years back that the Category C1 had disappeared from my licence. Can I ask them to reinstate this ? Do I just contact the DVLA and ask them to re assign?
The rules are that when you reach 70 years of age the C1 element of your licence is automatically removed, but you can have it reinstated if you have a D4 medical examination. Assuming you pass you can then contact the DVLA with your pass certificate and get your C1 entitlement restored.
Answered by David Ross
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