Ask the Optician

Failed the DVLA visual field test


I have just failed the DVLA peripheral field test. I am 90% blind in my left eye although this has been so for 30 years. From how I see it there is no problem because I do not notice it and I have had this test done twice this year once at an opticians and once at my six monthly eye examination at hospital. I am a type 1 diabetic of 50 years. Is it worth another independent eye test. I live in Newquay Cornwall.

Answer Written answer:

You are normally allowed to drive with only one eye, but this eye needs to have full and normal central and peripheral vision. The DVLA specifies a test called the Easterman Binocular Field Test, that is performed with two eyes together. You may have a visual field defect in the good eye if you have not passed, as normally there would be no problem. 

There is an appeal process specified by the DVLA, and there is nothing stopping you obtaining an independent Esterman field test at another opticians and asking for their opinion. However, the DVLA will still make a decision based on their own criteria in interpreting the visual field plot sent to them by the optician. 


We recommend you seek professional advice if you are concerned about your eye health:

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Optician's Biography

Simon Kay BSc(Hons) MCOptom has been a qualified Optometrist for over 35 years, and has a vast experience of almost all aspects of optometry. He joined Specsavers Opticians in 1993 first in Liverpool and for 15 years as a director of Lancaster and Morecambe. He served on many panels and committees whilst a director, including those responsible for IT design and professional advancement. He was regional chairman of the North West directors of Specsavers for over 12 years and as such was involved in almost all aspects of optometry on a business and professional level. He has been involved on the Local Optical Committee for many years and is currently Vice Chairman in his area.
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