Vision FAQs

DMV customers with vision issues often do not engage with the Medical Review Services (MRS) team. Please see general vision FAQs below:

License Type Minimum Requirements Comments
Driver's License
  • 20/40 or better vision in one or both eyes, and
  • 110 degrees, or better, horizontal vision in one or both eyes.
Restricted to Daylight Hours Only
  • 20/70 or better vision in one or both eyes, and
  • 70 degrees, or better, horizontal vision. If vision is limited to only one eye, 40 degrees or better temporal and 30 degrees or better nasal are required.
A license restricted to daylight hours only permits you to drive only during the period of time beginning one-half hour after sunrise and ending one-half hour before sunset.
Commercial Driver's License
  • 20/40 or better vision in each eye
  • 140 degrees, or better, horizontal vision
These visual requirements must be met without the aid of a telescopic lens. Some drivers may be granted waivers from these vision requirements.
Intrastate Only CDL or Commercial Learner's Permit If you are unable to meet Virginia minimum vision requirements for a commercial driver's license or commercial learner's permit, you may apply to Medical Review Services for a disability waiver to qualify for an intrastate only CDL or commercial learner's permit, provided you meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) minimum vision requirements in one eye:
  • At least 20/40 visual acuity, and
  • 120 degrees horizontal vision
To qualify to transport hazardous materials with limited vision, see Conditions of Variance for CDL Driver to Haul Hazardous Materials.

For additional information, refer to the Application for a CDL Disability Waiver or Hazardous Materials Variance (MED-30).

What should I expect for vision screening at DMV?

To screen your vision, you will be asked to look into a machine and read lines of letters or numbers to the DMV representative. This screening determines whether your eyesight and peripheral vision meet Virginia's standards to safely operate a motor vehicle. It is not a medical exam. If you fail the vision screening, you may be asked to see an eye care professional. If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses to pass the vision screening, you must wear them when you drive. Your license will show this restriction.

It is important to note that DMV's vision screening is not an eye exam and is not intended to be an indicator of the health of your eyes. We strongly encourage all drivers to visit their eye care professional on a regular basis.

I just got corrective laser surgery (LASIK) and want my restriction removed, what do I need to do?

If you must wear glasses or contact lenses when you drive, your driver's license will show a vision restriction. To have the vision restriction removed after having LASIK surgery to correct your vision, you must either:

DMV will process your request and send you a replacement license by mail with the vision restriction removed. If the expiration date on your license is less than one year away, you may choose to renew your driver's license instead of replacing it.

Bioptic Telescopic Lens

If you wear bioptic telescopic lenses, see Bioptic Telescopic Lens Wearers for requirements.