Vision Requirements and Driving Restrictions

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 24-Feb-2012

Driving and VisionIf you’ve recently experienced a change in your vision or have undergone a vision correction surgery, you may not be aware of the vision requirements for Texas drivers that could affect the restrictions on your license. When renewing or applying for a driver license, every applicant is required to pass a vision test. According to theTexas Department of Public Safety, the vision standards are as follows.

No visual restriction is required if:

  • Your vision is 20/40 or better without corrective lenses.
  • Your vision is 20/50 or better with best eye or both together with a specialist’s statement that vision cannot be improved.
  • Your vision is 20/25 or better in best eye without corrective lenses.

You will be referred to a specialist to further evaluate your vision if:

  • Your vision is worse than 20/40 with either eye or both together without corrective lenses.
  • Your vision is worse than 20/25 in best eye without corrective lenses.

A visual restriction is required if:

  • Your vision is 20/50 or better with best eye or both together with corrective lenses, your license will be restricted to corrective lenses.
  • Your vision is 20/60 or 20/70 with best eye or both together with corrective lenses, your license will be restricted to corrective lenses, daytime only, 45 miles per hour speed limit, and any other advisable restriction.
  • Your vision is 20/60 or 20/70 with best eye or both together without corrective lenses, your license will be restricted to corrective lenses, with specialist's statement that vision cannot be improved daytime only, 45 miles per hour speed limit, and any other advisable restriction.

Vision test fail if:

  • Your vision is worse than 20/70 with best eye or both together with or without corrective lenses, and no further improvement possible.
  • An acuity score of worse than 20/200, with corrective lenses or specialist's statement that improvement of 20/200 or better is not possible: is considered blind.

If you are referred to a specialist or require a restriction on your license, a DL63 Form will be issued. You will then be sent to a vision expert that will review the your failed requirements and may even prescribe contacts or glasses to correct the issue. Afterwards, you will be asked to report back to the Texas Department of Public Safety to have the corrections confirmed and license redistributed. Texas drivers who are 79 years of age or older are usually required to renew their current drivers license at a local Texas Department of Public Safety office. Drivers over 85 can only renew their license for a two-year period.

Some common restrictions on licenses are those that:

  • Require eyeglasses or contacts.
  • Prohibit driving at night and during rush hour.
  • Restrict or prohibit driving in a certain area or on freeways.
  • Require special devices or side mirrors.
  • Require extra support to ensure safe driving positions.

Drivers who have had LASIK surgery must meet certain vision requirements post-procedure to be qualified as road ready. The 20/40 vision standard is usually either met or exceeded by LASIK patients immediately after surgery. Remember that Key-Whitman Eye Center cannot help you get out of a traffic ticket if you forget to visit the DPS to have your vision restriction removed after LASIK!

In any event, a clear alternative to lifting license restrictions is LASIK surgery and, of course, routine eye exams. Staying safe and getting checked will help you to maintain your independence to get around.

Categories: Eye Health, LASIK
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