DVSA rule change could see 17 million drivers lose their licences

Millions of drivers could LOSE their licences with a possible strict DVSA law change[1] coming this year. The agency, which set the conditions for driving qualifications, has set out proposals to review how drivers’ eyesight is assessed. Drivers have to simply read a number plate accurately from 20 metres away as it stands.

But with an estimated 17 million drivers struggling[2] to see in reduced light, this could now be changed, with stricter rules set to be implemented. Experts from LeaseCar.uk[3] suggest this could include compulsory sight testing in dark conditions or poor light. You currently must tell DVLA if you’ve got any problem with your eyesight that affects both of your eyes, or the remaining eye if you only have one eye.

This does not include being short or long sighted or colour blind. You also do not need to say if you’ve had surgery to correct short sightedness and can meet the eyesight standards. But the DVSA could be changing things, LeaseCar has reported.

The stricter test could see motorists have to prove their eyesight in murky conditions or poor visibility. The current rules on the DVSA, DVLA and government websites explains you must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres. You must also meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving by having a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) using both eyes together or, if you have sight in one eye only, in that eye.

You must also have an adequate field of vision. At the start of your practical driving test you have to correctly read a number plate on a parked vehicle. If you cannot, you’ll fail your driving test and the test will not continue.

DVLA will be told and your licence will be revoked.


  1. ^ DVSA law change (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  2. ^ 17 million drivers struggling (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  3. ^ LeaseCar.uk (leasecar.uk)
  4. ^