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North Texas EyeMD

Vision Requirements for Texas Drivers License

Renewing your drivers license can be a frustrating experience, especially with the long lines at the DPS office.  I recently had to renew my license and had a "short wait" by DPS standards (1 hour 40 minutes).  For many patients, their trip is complicated by the vision exam that is given at the DPS office.  The test that is used is a "simulated distance" test that has a series of numbers.  The first third of the the numbers are visible only to the left eye, the middle third are seen with both, and the last third are seen only by the right eye.  If you fail to meet the DPS criteria for vision screening (not the same as the legal requirement for driving), the DPS will give you a form to take to your eye doctor to have a formal visual evaluation.  I have had numerous patients with 20/20 vision fail the DPS test and bring me their form.  If it is time to renew your drivers license and you know you might have difficulty with the exam, save yourself an extra trip and see your eye doctor first.  We keep copies of the official DPS form in the office and can fill one out for you.

To legally drive a car in Texas, you must have a best-corrected visual acuity of 20/50 or better.  Patients with best-corrected acuity of 20/60 or 20/70 can still drive, but are restricted to daytime driving only and limited to secondary roads under 45 MPH.

By North Texas EyeMD Staff Last updated: 7 April 2012, 06:08