Can You Lose Your California Driver's License Because of Vision Problems?

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Can You Lose Your California Driver’s License Because of Vision Problems?

Can You Lose Your California Driver’s License Because of Vision Problems?

Jun 6, 2022

Low-vision conditions affect a significant number of U.S. adults. As the American Federation for the Blind reports, findings from the 2018 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data release established that an estimated 32.2 million adult Americans (or about 13% of the total adult population) reported they either “have trouble” seeing (even when wearing glasses or contact lenses) or that they are “blind or unable to see at all.”

Can You Lose Your California Driver’s License Because of Vision Problems?

How do low-vision conditions impact your ability to either apply for or keep a California driver’s license? In the sections below, we’ll review what California’s Vehicle Code stipulates, look at how the Department of Motor Vehicles addresses vision problems among applicants, and discuss how to file a civil lawsuit for damages if you’ve been injured in a Los Angeles-area car accident.

Can I Get a California Driver’s License if I Have a Vision Condition?

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the answer to the above question is “it depends.

Depending on the severity, functional impairment, and stability of the condition, DMV may take different actions when receiving a report of a driver with a visual impairment,” the California DMV says.

What is the California DMV Screening Standard for Driver’s License Applicants?

The California DMV’s vision screening standard is the ability to see 20/40 with both eyes together (with or without corrective lenses). Drivers who fail the vision screening are referred to a vision specialist who must then examine the driver and complete a Report of Vision Examination (DL 62) form (and said form must be submitted to the DMV).

The DMV “Report of Vision Examination” DL 62 provides the following information:

  • What is the vision condition causing the reduced vision?
  • What is the best corrected and uncorrected vision on the Snellen eye chart?
  • What is the severity of the individual’s vision condition? Is it getting worse? Is it stable?
  • Does the vision condition affect one or both eyes?
  • How is the individual’s side vision affected?
  • Can glasses, contact lenses, or surgery correct the vision condition?
  • When was the last vision examination? Are glasses or contact lenses up to date?
  • Has the individual received a bioptic telescope? If so, what is the vision through the bioptic?
  • Has the eye doctor given other advice concerning driving with the vision condition?

After submitting a completed DL 62 form, you may be scheduled for:

  • A driving test
  • A Supplemental Driving Performance Evaluation (SPDE)

Both of the above are conducted to determine whether or not the vision condition impairs your ability to drive (and whether you, as a driver, can adequately compensate for the vision condition). If you fail the driving test and your condition is “severe and cannot be compensated for,” the DMV may deem a license revocation to be warranted.

Can the California DMV Revoke My Driver’s License Because of Vision Problems?

California Vehicle Code (CVC) §13953 states that if an examiner gives a driving test or special driving test to a low-vision driver who has performed dangerously poor and the condition renders the person unsafe to drive, the DMV can revoke the driver’s license.

“If DMV determines from the evidence that the vision condition could improve and/or the examiner believes driving skills could improve with additional training, restrictions that limit driving exposure, but allow for additional training or practice, can be imposed. Drivers who want to learn to drive or retain their driving privilege may be issued a restricted license or instruction permit for a sufficient length of time suitable to their needs,” the organization’s website confirms.

That said, it should be noted that the California DMV will typically only revoke a driver’s license in an instance where a low-vision condition like cataracts or macular degeneration impacts said driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

In fact, drivers with low-vision conditions may still be able to operate a vehicle safely and maintain their licenses through medical treatment, restrictions on night driving, and/or successful completion of a driver’s safety course.

Is My Doctor Required to Report My Low-Vision Condition to the DMV?

Medical professionals are required to report low-vision conditions such as cataracts or macular degeneration to the California DMV. However, most license revocations are due to a number of other scenarios:

  • Failure of a vision test when applying or seeking to renew a driver’s license
  • Self-reporting a condition
  • Third-party reporting of a condition (by a concerned friend, family member, etc.)
  • Law enforcement notifying the DMV
  • A judge or attorney notifying the DMV (typically after the driver causes an accident)

If the DMV learns of your low-vision condition, it’s important to remember that your license will not necessarily be suspended or revoked unless you pose an “immediate danger.

Additionally, if the DMV suspends or revokes your driver’s license due to a low-vision condition, you always have the right to appeal the decision (and you can be represented by an attorney at your own expense).

Common Low-Vision Conditions that Can Impact One’s Ability to Drive

Some common low-vision conditions include:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Stargardt’s Disease
  • Albinism
  • Nystagmus

In addition, a California DMV test will determine a driver’s visual acuity in the following areas:

  • Peripheral vision
  • Night vision
  • Glare resistance
  • Glare recovery
  • Judgement of distance
  • Eye movement
  • Visual perception

Injured in a Los Angeles Car Accident? You May be Entitled to Cash Compensation

If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident due to another’s negligence, you may be eligible to recover significant financial compensation for various losses. When negligence or carelessness leads to a Los Angeles, California, car accident injury, it’s important that the at-fault party be held financially responsible for any ensuing expenses, such as medical care costs, lost wages, and more.

Examples of damages that may be recovered through a car accident injury civil claim include:

  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Emotional trauma
  • Medical care expenses
  • Hospital bills
  • Physical therapy or rehabilitation expenses
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages

Hiring a Dordulian Law Group (DLG) car accident lawyer can help ensure your civil claim is maximized, and that you recover all applicable damages after an incident due to negligence. Our Car Accident Division is led by Sam Dordulian, a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County with more than 25 years of experience helping injured victims secure the maximum financial compensation they deserve.

To learn more about how important it can be to have an experienced DLG Los Angeles, California, car accident injury lawyer handling your case, please visit our recent blog on how pain and suffering damages are calculated in personal injury civil claims.

Contact a Los Angeles, California, Car Accident Lawyer

Hiring a DLG car accident lawyer to handle your injury claim can be a wise decision from a financial standpoint. Data confirms that car accident victims who hire private attorneys often secure greater financial compensation for their claims.

For example, the Insurance Research Council (IRC) recently conducted a study which confirmed the following:

  • Settlements for injured claimants were 40% higher when they had secured private legal representation.
  • The average insurance payout was 3.5 times higher for injured victims who hired private attorneys (when compared to those representing themselves).
  • 85% of all money paid by insurance companies for bodily injuries is received by victims who have secured representation from a private personal injury attorney.

Injured California car accident victims are encouraged to always consult with an experienced, trusted, and proven attorney before:

  • Speaking to the at-fault party or his/her insurance carrier
  • Making any official statement regarding your intersection car accident injury
  • Signing any official or legal documents
  • Accepting any type of settlement offer from an at-fault party or representative

Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

With DLG, your car accident injury consultation is always free, confidential, and without any obligation. We’ll review the facts of your case and provide you with all available legal options to ensure your rights are protected and the maximum financial damages award you deserve is pursued. We serve intersection car accident injury clients throughout California as well as the United States.

Contact DLG today at 818-322-4056 for a free case evaluation. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by ensuring that the insurance company or at-fault party does not take advantage of your rights after a car accident injury – whether due to low-vision driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving, intoxicated driving, or another type of negligence.

DLG’s car accident injury lawyers have helped victims like you recover more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts while maintaining a 98% success record. Our dedicated team offers injured victims peace of mind through our unparalleled experience and proven results.

And with DLG’s experienced car accident lawyers, our No Win/No Fee Guarantee means there is never any obligation or upfront costs to worry about, and we are here to answer any questions you may have 24/7.


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