Driving with Eye Disease

 

Patients often ask if they are allowed to drive after surgery or after their vision has changed. The answer is that the law varies in each state. In general we recommend that you do not drive if you are not comfortable, even if your vision meets the legal requirements of your state. The information provided below is believed to be accurate at the time of its writing, however you should read the exact language for each state to determine the most recent and complete requirements.

 

Vision Requirements for Driving

 

Ohio

 

For a non-commercial driver's license, Ohio generally requires the following:

1) Vision of 20/40 or better for an unrestricted license and 20/70 or better for daytime driving.
2) If one eye has less than 20/200 vision, then the requirements are 20/30 for an unrestricted license or 20/60 or better for daytime driving.
3) The minimum visual field for an unrestricted license is 70 degrees on both sides of fixation. Anything less requires specific testing.
4) Visual aids, e.g. telescopes, are allowed with specific testing by the state to meet these requirements.
The specific language can be found by searching for "4501:1-1-20" (with the quotes) at this site:

Ohio Code

 

Pennsylvania

 

For a non-commercial driver's license, Pennsylvania generally requires the following:

1) Vision of 20/40 or better for an unrestricted license and 20/60 or better for daytime driving.
2) Vision of 20/70 is allowed for daytime driving with vision testing by a licensed optometrist or licensed physician.
3) Vision of 20/100 or better may be allowed with special testing by the state.
4) The minimum visual field for a license is 120 degrees.
5) Visual aids, e.g. telescopes, are not allowed to meet these requirements.

The specific language and vision form can be found at this site:

Pennsylvania Code
Pennsylvania Vision Form

 

West Virginia

 

For a non-commercial driver's license, West Virginia generally requires the following:

1) Vision of 20/40 or better for an unrestricted license and 20/60 or better for daytime driving.
2) Vision of 20/60 or better may be allowed with permission from the Driver's License Advisory Board.
3) If the vision is worse than 20/60 an appeal may be made to the Driver's License Advisory Board.

The vision form can be found below:

West Virginia Vision Form