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Driving: Eyesight

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 68915, tabled on 23 March 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will direct the DVLA to ensure that opticians are required to report drivers whose eye test has revealed that their eyesight, even with glasses or lenses, is below the standards needed to drive safely.

Answered on

28 March 2017

All drivers have an ongoing legal responsibility to ensure that they meet the vision standards for driving, wearing glasses or corrective lenses if needed. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) makes the eyesight standards for driving clear in leaflets, forms and on GOV.UK.

Opticians and optometrists already have a duty of care to their patients and the general public. On this basis they can already inform the DVLA of instances where they consider a patient to be unfit to drive. This is supported by guidance issued by the Royal College of Optometrists.

The DVLA’s “Assessing Fitness to Drive: A Guide for Medical Professionals” clarifies medical professionals’ obligations to notify a condition to the DVLA if their patient is unwilling or unable to report it themselves.

There are no plans to introduce a legal requirement for opticians to inform the DVLA if a driver is unable to meet the required eyesight standards for driving.

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