What to do if your vision isn’t good enough for driving in California

Hand on steering wheel

In California, the minimum vision requirements are 20/40 for both eyes tested together with or without glasses, or 20/40 in one eye and at least 20/70 in the other. But are you automatically disqualified from getting a driver’s license if your vision doesn’t meet those standards?


If you don’t meet the requirements, the most likely scenario is that the DMV will ask you to pay a visit to the eye doctor. They’ll give you a form, the Report of Vision Examination (DL 62) for your eye doctor to sign. Your eye doctor might give you glasses with a stronger prescription to make sure your vision is up to California’s standards.


After this, your vision and ability to drive will be tested again. The DMV may decide you are cleared to drive with no restrictions, or they may let you drive with some limits to your license. You may be required to always wear corrective lenses while driving, or to only drive during daylight hours or in specified locations.


However, there are always some extreme cases. One University of Iowa ophthalmologist says that 75% of adults can achieve near perfect vision with corrective lenses, but 25% of the population simply has trouble seeing even with these measures. If you are one of these people, the DMV may decide not to issue you a license for your own safety, but if you feel you have a good case for why you should have a license, the DMV always allows you to make an appeal for reversing their decision.