Vision impairments

Even a small loss of vision can affect your driving. Find out how to stay safe on the road.

Good vision is essential for safe driving, and even small changes can have an impact on your ability to drive safely.

Common changes to your vision

As you get older, you might experience a worsening of your:

  • night vision (the ability to see in low light and recover quickly from the glare of oncoming lights)
  • visual acuity (the sharpness of your vision)
  • peripheral vision (your ability to see objects out of the corner of your eye) 
  • depth perception (knowing how far away objects are)
  • colour vision.

 You may also experience a visual impairment due to illness or eye disease, including:

  • cataracts (a clouding of the eye’s lens)
  • glaucoma (a condition of the optic nerve)
  • macular degeneration (a condition of the retina)
  • diabetes.

To find out more about eye health, visit the Better Health Channel (External link)

How vision impairments can affect your driving

Even small changes to your vision can affect your ability to: 

  • read road signs
  • see hazards on the road like pedestrians, objects or other vehicles
  • identify coloured signals like traffic lights
  • judge gaps between moving cars
  • safely change lanes or merge into traffic.

Changes to your vision can happen slowly or rapidly, so it’s important to have your eyes tested at least every two years, or more frequently if recommended by your doctor.

What you need to do

Whilst changes to your vision are a natural part of ageing, it’s important to maintain good eye health and keep track of any changes. 

Get regular checks

Visit your doctor, optometrist or ophthalmologist regularly to have your eyes tested (at least every two years, or more frequently if recommended by your doctor). 

See a professional if you notice any changes

If you notice any changes to your vision, it’s important to visit your doctor, optometrist or ophthalmologist straight away. You may need a visual aid (e.g. glasses, adjustments to your lenses etc.) to make sure you stay safe on the road. You may also need to make changes to your driving.

Notify VicRoads

If you have (or develop) a visual impairment or other medical condition that could affect your driving safety, you must notify VicRoads. There could be serious consequences in not reporting a medical condition - Fitness to drive FAQs if you don’t. 

Depending on your vision, VicRoads may add a condition to your licence (e.g. you must wear corrective lenses when driving). You may also have to meet some additional requirements (see below). 

Find out what happens after you notify VicRoads.

Depending on your condition, you will need to meet certain requirements for holding a Victorian driver licence. 

As shown in the table, there are different requirements for operating certain vehicles. 


Visual condition Car, motorcycle and boat licence Heavy truck and bus licence
Reduced visual acuity (clarity of vision) Visual acuity of 6/12 or better in both eyes, with or without glasses or corrective lenses
Visual acuity of 6/9 or better in your best eye and 6/18 or better in your worst eye, with or without glasses or corrective lenses.

Visual acuity requirements for buses of 6/12 or better in both eyes.
Reduced peripheral vision
Horizontal field of vision of at least 110 degrees

Horizontal field of vision of at least 140 degrees, including 10 degrees above and below the horizontal meridian.
Poor night vision
You may be issued with a conditional licence (e.g. no night driving).
You may be issued with a conditional licence (e.g. no night driving).
Cataracts Must meet visual acuity and field of vision criteria. Ongoing reviews may be required.
Must meet visual acuity and field of vision criteria. Ongoing reviews may be required.
Diplopia Review by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
Review by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
Glaucoma Must meet visual acuity and field of vision criteria. Ongoing reviews may be required.
Must meet visual acuity and field of vision criteria. Ongoing reviews may be required.
Loss of vision in one eye Do not drive for 3 months after losing vision in one eye. 

After this, you must meet visual acuity and visual field criteria.
Review by ophthalmologist or optometrist is required. You must meet visual acuity and visual field criteria.
Nystagmus Review by ophthalmologist or optometrist is required.
Review by ophthalmologist or optometrist is required.

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