DVLA

Field test

At Eyesentials Opticians, we are pleased to offer access to the Zeiss Humphrey visual fields machine which is globally considered to be the ‘gold standard’ machine adopted by most hospitals and Glaucoma screening schemes

Minimum eyesight standards

All Drivers

The law requires that all licensed drivers to meet the following eyesight requirements (including drivers aided by prescribed glasses or contact lenses):

  • in good daylight, able to read the registration mark fixed to a vehicle registered under current standards​

  • at a distance of 20.5 metres with letters and numbers 79 mm high by 57 mm wide on a car registered before 1 September 2001 and

  • at a distance of 20 metres with letters and numbers 79 mm high by 50 mm wide on a car registered since 1 September 2001 or

  • the visual acuity must be at least Snellen 6/12 with both eyes open or in the only eye if monocular

✘- Any driver unable to meet these standards must not drive and must notify DVLA, which will refuse or revoke a licence.

     The law also requires all drivers to have a minimum field of vision, as set out below.

     Bioptic telescope devices are not accepted by DVLA for driving.

Higher standard of visual acuity – bus and lorry drivers

Group 2 bus and lorry drivers require a higher standard of visual acuity in addition:

  • a visual acuity (using corrective contact lenses where needed) of at least:

  • Snellen 6/7.5 (Snellen decimal 0.8) in the better eye and

  • Snellen 6/60 (Snellen decimal 0.1) in the poorer eye

  • if glasses are worn to meet the minimum standards, they should have a corrective power not exceeding +8 dioptres in any meridian of either lens

Minimum standards for field of vision – all drivers

The minimum field of vision for Group 1 driving is defined in the legislation:

A field of at least 120° on the horizontal measured using a target equivalent to the white Goldmann III4e settings.

The extension should be at least 50° left and right. In addition, there should be no significant defect in the binocular field that encroaches within 20° of the fixation above or below the horizontal meridian.

This means that homonymous or bitemporal defects that come close to fixation, whether hemianopic or quadrantanopic, are not usually acceptable for driving.

If DVLA needs a visual field assessment for determining fitness to drive, it:

  • requires the method to be a binocular Esterman field test

  • may request monocular full field charts in specific conditions

  • exceptionally, may consider a Goldmann perimetry assessment carried out to strict criteria

The Secretary of State’s Honorary Medical Advisory Panel for Visual Disorders and Driving advises that, for an Esterman binocular chart to be considered reliable for licensing, the false-positive score must be no more than 20%. When assessing monocular charts and Goldmann perimetry, fixation accuracy will also be considered.