October 6

What are the Vision Requirements for Driving in Florida?

Vision Requirements for Driving in Florida
Image of the road, during the evening, looking out from behind wheel of auto.

Vision and Driving

Until self-autonomous cars become the norm, vision continues to be essential for driving. The top factors concerning driving requirements are visual acuity (the ability to visually discriminate details), and visual field (peripheral vision). There are no federal standards for (noncommercial) drivers in the United States. 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. 

While the majority of states have a minimum visual acuity requirement of 20/40 with correction there are a few states with lower minimum requirements, Florida being one of them.


Colorblindness and Driving

What level of vision color functioning is necessary for driving? 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. Color blindness will not cause any special condition for licensing in the state of Florida. Other common changes that can affect driving include cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Red flags to look out for include changes in vision when driving at night.


Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Vision Requirements 

In order to obtain or renew a driver’s license in Florida, a customer must pass a vision screening (sharpness, acuteness, or keenness of vision) test to determine if they meet mandatory minimum vision standards for licensing. Consumers reading worse than 20/40 in either eye separately or with both eyes together will be referred to an eye specialist for possible improvements. Minimum vision acuity in both eyes must be 20/70 or better with corrective lenses. (Any individual whose visual acuity is less than 20/40 will be referred to an eye specialist.) The minimum acceptable field of vision for driving in Florida is 130 degrees, and the use of telescopic lenses to meet visual standards is not recognized in Florida. 

For more information on vision driving requirements in the state of Florida visit the Florida Safety and Motor Vehicles website:
https://www.flhsmv.gov

For information on vision and driving in each state, visit their individual department of motor vehicles website. For an overview of drinking and vision, visit the American Academy of Optometry for more information:
https://www.aaopt.org

https://www.aaopt.org

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