Vision Requirements for Idaho Drivers

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 01/18/2021 - 09:28
Young businessman driving to work, view over the shoulder, driving with glasses, vision screening or requirements for drivers license concept

Idaho residents who do not meet specific standards for vision are not permitted to legally drive in the state.  If your vision does not meet the standards necessary to obtain a driver’s license and operate a motor vehicle, it is time to shift the focus to your eye health. Get an eye exam, update your glasses or add contact lenses, and you will be able to finally see clearly. This is the sharp vision you need to drive safely, ensuring you are not put in harm’s way and also ensure the safety of those you share the road with.

Here's an overview of the vision requirements in the state of Idaho. 

Driver's License Vision Requirements

Idaho state’s visual standard to obtain a driver’s license without restrictions is 20/40 vision or better in a single eye.  If you can’t see with such clarity in a single eye, you might still be able to drive, albeit with restrictions.

If you live in Idaho and want to operate a motor vehicle, you are required to have your vision screened before obtaining your driver’s license. A vision screening is also necessary each time you return to the sheriff’s office to renew your driver’s license. Driver's license renewal occurs every four years (or every eight years should you opt to renew your license by mail.)  

Can't Meet the 20/40 Requirement?

Those who have acuity within the range of 20/50 and 20/60 are required to complete a yearly vision test along with a yearly skills test. The skills test takes place on-road. Those who have bioptic lenses are required to have a visual acuity of at least 20/40 in a single eye. Bioptic lens wearers also face restrictions including yearly road tests, yearly vision tests, and driving restricted to daytime hours. 

Idaho drivers who must have a yearly visual examination along with a skills test on the road are required to display a certificate of examination prior to participating in the road test. The road test will not be administered if these standards are not met.

Important Information for Senior Citizens

Once you reach the age of 62, you cannot renew your Idaho driver’s license through the mail.  Senior drivers are required to appear in-person at four-year intervals. Idaho senior citizens and others who have visual acuity of 20/70 or worse will be denied a driver’s license. 

Visual Certification

Idaho drivers who have a visual or medical condition that has the potential to impact driving might need to show a statement from their current physician stating that they can operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner. This form is available at county DMV offices. 

If you have any concerns or questions regarding a condition that might impact your ability to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner, reach out to the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD). It is important to note those who have had eye surgery to enhance vision can have the driver’s license restriction removed with a note from their current physician.

Glasses and Contact Lenses

Idaho drivers who wear contact lenses or glasses during the vision screening necessary to obtain a diver’s license will have a lens restriction placed on the license. If such a restriction is placed on the license, the contact lenses or glasses must be worn when operating a motor vehicle. If they are not, the driver might be cited. Penalties for multiple offenses may include the suspension of driving privileges.

Need a License? Get an Eye Exam First

If you are worried you might not pass the vision test necessary to obtain a driver’s license, be proactive by scheduling an appointment with our eye care specialists. We will assess your eye health and determine whether you need corrective lenses. 

In Boise and Moscow, Gem State Eyecare is here for you.