October 6

Can You Get a Driver’s License If You Are Blind in One Eye?

Can You Get a Driver's License If You Are Blind In One Eye?
Image of the open road, two lane highway.

Federal Requirements for Driver’s Licenses

We often hear about the two main factors concerning driving requirements– visual acuity (the ability to visually discriminate details), and visual field (peripheral vision). Less often discussed are color vision and monocular vision.

Since there are no federal standards for (noncommercial) drivers in the United States, these questions of vision requirements for driving must be addressed on a state by state basis. Individual states have their own requirements for drivers, for both initial and renewal standards as it relates to uncorrected visual acuity, corrected visual acuity and visual fields. Lateral visual field requirements vary dramatically from state to state, ranging from 105 to 155 degrees. Some states have a visual field requirement specifically for those with vision in one eye ranging from 55 to 105 degrees. As mentioned, visual acuity and peripheral vision serve as the primary aspects of vision consideration and secondary to those are vision requirements related to color vision and monocular vision.

Monocular Vision and Visual Field

Just as important as binocular vision and monocular vision is the amount of visual field an individual has, as evidenced by visual field perimeter testing. As mentioned the general range of lateral or horizontal visual field required for driving ranges from 105 to 155 degrees, if you live in a state with specific requirements for monocular vision, you may able to obtain a driver’s license provided your vision meets the minimum requirements. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has a directory that lists all 50 states and their requirements regarding visual field degrees required as well as restrictions and other information: https://eyewiki.aao.org/Driving_Restrictions_per_State.


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