What New Drivers Need To Know About The DOT Eye Exam:
As part of the DOT physical, drivers will be required to prove that they can see well enough to drive safely.
In some cases, drivers who cannot meet the vision requirements can apply for a Driver Exemption.
How Does The DOT Vision Test Work?
A person must have distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in each eye without corrective lenses or visual acuity separately corrected to 20/40 (Snellen) or better with corrective lenses, distant binocular acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in both eyes with or without corrective lenses, field of vision of at least 70 in the horizontal Meridian (the horizontal meridian runs from the observer's left, through the fixation point, and to the observer's right) in each eye, and the ability to recognize the colors of traffic signals and devices showing standard red, green, and amber;
In other words, you must have clear vision, at least 20/40 with or without glasses/contacts (what you can see at 20 feet, someone with perfect vision can see at 40), your eyes can see side-to-side normally, and you can recognize the colors on traffic signs and signals.
Note: Color vision: The color vision requirement is met by the ability to recognize and distinguish among red, amber, and green, the standard colors of traffic control signals and devices. True color perception is not required.
The visual acuity test is used to determine the smallest letters you can read on a standardized chart (Snellen chart) or a card held 20 feet away.
In the event that a driver requires corrective lenses (glasses or contact lenses) in order to read the eye chart, the Medical Examiner will indicate this on the medical report, checking the box labeled "Qualified only when wearing corrective lenses", which will also appear on your physical CDL license, in one form or another.
DOT Physical Vision Exemption:
In certain cases, drivers that cannot pass the normal vision test can be granted an exemption by the FMCSA
See Also: DOT Physical Exemptions
See Also: FMCSA Driver Exemption Programs