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Prove Your Sight Meets Driving Standards via Number Plate Test

By Stephen Turvil | October 20, 2019


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The EYE 735T Campaign says check your sight meets driving standards to stay safe and legal

Prove Your Sight Meets Driving Standards via Number Plate Test

Number Plate Test explained

The Number Plate Test indicates whether your sight meets the standard required to drive legally, safely, and responsibly throughout The United Kingdom – so take it now, The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency argued. Its EYE 735T Campaign confirms it is quick, convenient, and straightforward to take the test. Simply:

  • Find a vehicle that has a current, new-style, registration plate that is parked in good daylight (September 2001 onwards) 
  • Move twenty metres from the vehicle 
  • Wear your spectacles or contact lenses if preferred 
  • Confirm you can read the registration plate 

The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency’s Senior Doctor, Wyn Parry, said: “The Number Plate Test is a simple and effective way for people to check their sight meets the required standards”. He further revealed how to estimate twenty metres. It is “about the length of five cars parked next to each other”, Dr Parry confirmed.

Further requirements

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Your eyesight must meet further standards that can be assessed by an optician. Consider the Visual Acuity Test that relates to clarity, for starters. Your Snellen Chart rating (letters and numbers on the wall) must be at least 0.5 (6/12) with both eyes or – if you only have sight in a single eye – in that eye. You don’t need to say if you are short, long sighted or colour blind, or if you’ve had corrective surgery for short sightedness and can meet the eyesight standards.

The Field of Vision Test is required too. It confirms you see a wide enough area while looking forward with your eye(s) in a fixed position. It tests peripheral vision, in other words. At least one-hundred and twenty degrees is required to drive legally. For both such tests, you can wear spectacles or contact lenses if preferred.

Dr Parry, therefore, advises you to get a professional assessment regularly. He explained: “It is really important for drivers to have regular eye tests. Eyesight can naturally deteriorate over time, so anyone concerned about their eyesight should visit their optician. Do not wait for your next check-up”, Dr Parry emphasised.

The eyesight test for the practical driving test 

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At the very beginning of your practical driving test, you have to read a number plate correctly on a parked vehicle.

If you can’t read it, you’ll fail and your driving test won’t continue. DVLA will be informed and your licence will be revoked.

When you reapply for your driving licence, the DVLA will ask you to have an eyesight test with the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency. This will take place at a driving test centre. If you’re successful, you’ll still have to pass the DVSA standard eyesight test at your next practical driving test.

Safety charity calls for new laws

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Brake is a road safety charity that supports the EYE 735T Campaign. “Any campaign that reminds drivers to check their sight is welcome”, said Director of Campaigns Joshua Harris. However, he also argued for new legislation that requires motorists to have their sight tested professionally. He called for:

  • Motorists to prove they have passed a professional, recent, sight test when they sit the practical driving test 
  • Motorists to have regular, professional, sight tests 

“It should be obvious to all that the ability to see clearly is fundamental to safe driving”, Mr Harris concluded. 

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