DMV reinstates eye-test requirement while it studies issue

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State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Barbara Fiala just announced she will reinstate the requirement for an eye test at the DMV to get a driver’s license renewal. She plans to convene an advisory group of experts in the health, safety and transportation fields  “to determine the best and most efficient way to ensure that New York’s drivers possess the vision acuity necessary for safe driving.”

The group will look at the latest procedures for vision testing, the policies of other states and what the most cost-effective way is of “assuring the vision safety of New York State’s 11 million drivers, while providing the convenience of online transactions,” Fiala’s statement said.

The DMV announced Monday that drivers could “self-certify” their vision is good enough to drive, rather than having to read a chart in their local DMV office or obtain a note from a health-care provider. County clerks, eye doctors and members of law enforcement have since voiced strong opposition to the change, saying it imperils public safety.

This is the rest of Fiala’s statement:

“I have asked the medical organizations prominent in the vision health field, AAA and AARP to review the best alternatives for a system that receives more than 2.4 million driver license renewal applications each year.  Those of us charged with delivering key government services to the public must always look for the most cost-effective ways to provide those services, but public safety will always be the first priority at DMV and it will not be compromised.

The news release includes comments from AARP, AAA New York State and the New York State Ophthalmological Society, the New York State Optometric Association, the New York State Society of Opticians and the Medical Society of the State of New York.

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9 Comments

  1. ARE YOU PEOPLE OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MINDS? ALL THE OLDER DRIVERS ON THE ROAD AND NO EYE EXAM TO SEE HOW GOOD THEIR VISION IS. EXPECT A LOT OF LAW SUITS WHEN THESE PEOPLE START CRASHING INTO INNOCENT DRIVERS. BARBARA FIALA YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF THINKING THAT THIS IS A BETTER SOLUTION. WHAT THE FUCK IS NEXT NO ROAD TEST EITHER!!!!!!!

  2. You have untreated anger issues. You, along with the blind, should not be allowed to drive.

  3. You nanny state lovers are all a bunch of lemmings. Finally we take a step in the right direction and you want to go backwards? Unreal. Government = waste.

  4. Frederik Stang on

    Why can the NYDMV not have eye tests administered at local post offices, and verified with a form signed by the postal employee who administered the test? There could be a charge of, say, $5 for this service, which would help out the postal service and also make it easier for people to renew their driver’s licenses. I have been hearing that a simple way to verify the results of an eye test was being sought so people could renew their licenses online. They could scan the postal verification and send it along with their application. This would make it easy for many people, as post offices are far easier to get to than DMV offices. The people who administer the tests at the DMV are not physicians, licensed nurses, etc, so the people at the post office would not have to be either. They would be just as qualified to have someone read off a line of letters as a DMV employee.

  5. They put the test back in effect because the eye doctors ganged up and bitched because they will lose out on the extra income of giving this waste of a test!