Most states allow people with impaired vision to drive while wearing bioptic telescopic glasses. The requirements to qualify for a bioptic driver's permit vary by state. The following are the minimum vision requirements for Virginia and surrounding states:
- Visual Acuity: must be 20/200 or better in one or both eyes through the carrier lens (eyeglasses) AND must be 20/70 or better in one or both eyes through the bioptic telescopic lens, which must be mounted to the carrier lens.
- Horizontal Vision (without field expanders): must be 70 degrees or better. If one eye only, standard is 40 degrees or better temporal and 30 degrees nasal.
To qualify for the WV Bioptic Driving Program an applicant must present the following fron a visual standpoint:
- Visual acuity of 20/70 - 20/200 inclusive in the better eye with best standard correction;
- Visual field of at least 120 degrees horizontally and 80 degrees vertically in the same eye as used for visual acuity determination;
- Improved visual acuity of 20/40 or better using a 4x maximum bioptic telescope;
- No serious color vision deficits;
- No ocular diagnosis or prognosis that is likely to deteriorate below the protocol levels of visual acuity and visual field as stated above.
- The applicant shall have a visual acuity of at least 20/200 with the best conventional non- telescopic corrective lens(es), and a full visual field. The central field vision loss shall not exceed five (5) degrees.
- The applicant’s visual acuity with the bioptic telescope shall be at least 20/60. The power of the bioptic telescope shall not exceed four powers (4x). The bioptic telescopic lens(es) may be fit either monocularly or binocularly, but shall be located superior to the normal line of gaze.
- The applicant shall have a horizontal visual field diameter of no less than one hundred fifty (150) degrees without the use of field expanders.
- Demonstrate a visual acuity of at least 20/200 in one or both eyes and a field of 70 degrees horizontal vision with or without corrective carrier lenses, or if the person has vision in one eye only, the person demonstrates a field of at least 40 degrees temporal and 30 degrees nasal horizontal vision.
- To drive during daylight hours only, the driver must see 20/70 or better through the bioptic telescope(s).
- To also drive at night, the driver must see 20/40 or better through the bioptic telescope(s) and have a note from their optometrist or ophthalmologist stating that the applicant has adequate vision to safely drive at night.
- Visual acuity of 20/70 through telescope and 20/100 through carrier lens.
- Continuous field of vision at least 140˚ for unrestricted license; 110˚ for restricted license.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
- Bioptic telescopic lenses not allowed for driving.
You should check with your state's DMV for any changes in the above information. If your state is not listed you may find the requirements on your DMV website.