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Vision Screening

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 the District’s standards to safely operate a motor vehicle. It is not a medical exam. If you fail the vision screening, you are required to submit an Eye Report [PDF] from your eye care professional. If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses to pass the vision screening, you must wear them when you drive, and your license will show this restriction.

Regardless of whether you pass the eye machine test at DMV, if you have a vision impairment as indicated on the Driver License application, you are required to submit an Eye report [PDF] as indicated on the Medical Requirements section of our website.

To have this corrective lenses restriction removed after having laser surgery, you must visit a DMV service center location. You will be required to present a letter from your eye care professional on company letterhead stating that you no longer need glasses or contact lenses to drive, and he or she is authorizing the DC Department of Motor Vehicles to remove the restriction from your license or permit. The Medical/Eye Report by itself is not sufficent. You will be required to pass the vision screening without wearing glasses or contact lenses.

Drivers License Minimum Vision Requirements (with or without corrective lenses)

  • No less than 20/40 in the best eye; OR
  • No less than 20/70 in the best eye AND
  • Field of vision at least 140 degrees
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