Specsavers works with the DVLA to deliver drivers’ medical visual field and visual acuity testing. We are proud to be a sole partner of the DVLA, offering our professional optometry services to DVLA customers. Here’s everything you need to know about your DVLA eye test at Specsavers.

What you need to know about the test

If you have been invited by the DVLA to have the required test, you will receive a letter from the Drivers Medical Group. This will have an ‘M reference number’ which is unique to you and a DVLA case number.

This M reference number should be used when making your appointment at Specsavers so that we can request the appropriate paperwork. It’s important to note that you will have a limited time to book and attend an appointment so please arrange this as soon as possible after receiving your letter. 

The tests are categorised into two groups — Group 1 and Group 2.  

  • Group 1 drivers are those with an ordinary driving licence and 
  • Group 2 are vocational drivers (that is, drivers of large goods vehicles (LGVs) and passenger-carrying vehicles such as buses).

The majority of tests will involve a visual acuity test and a visual fields test. Only a few makes and models of field machines can perform the test specified by the DVLA to their standards and the DVLA Specsavers stores have all the appropriate machines.

Not all Specsavers stores can carry out the specific DVLA test.  You should refer to your letter -only those stores with the DVLA approved field machine models will be shown as an option 

Which opticians offer the DVLA eye test?

Specsavers are the sole partner of the DVLA, meaning only our opticians work directly with the DVLA to offer medical visual field and visual acuity testing.

Not all Specsavers stores offer DVLA eye test services — you’ll need to check your appointment letter to find your local participating store.

How to book my DVLA test

If you have been referred to us by the DVLA for a driver’s visual field and acuity test, you will receive a letter with details of your nearest stores so that you can make an appointment. You will need your unique ‘M reference number’ to book an appointment, which can be found on the letter.

Not all Specsavers stores can carry out the specific DVLA test, but don’t worry — only those stores with the DVLA approved field machine models will be shown as an option on your letter.

What to expect on the day

Please arrive as close to the exact time of your appointment as possible and wait at the door to be greeted. 

Make sure to bring your DVLA letter with you, one form of photographic identification, and if you wear glasses (for example, anti-glare driving glasses) or contact lenses for driving — you’ll need these on the day as well.

Upon arrival we will check your identification, this is standard practice for all DVLA tests. Your DVLA paperwork will be ready and waiting for you. The test should last between 20-40 minutes depending on how many times you are asked to do the fields test.

If you have any concerns over the procedure or test, you must let staff know immediately and they will do their utmost to ensure that your concerns are addressed.

List of accepted IDs

You need to bring your DVLA letter along with one form of photo identification to the eye test. Examples of acceptable forms of photo IDs are:

  • A photo card driving licence
  • A valid passport
  • Work or college ID
  • Travel Pass

If you are unable to provide photographic identification you must instead bring with you a photograph of yourself signed by a suitable person from the examples listed below accompanied by a completed Evidence of Identity Declaration included with your letter. For example:

  • Doctor
  • Bank manager
  • Police officer
  • Professionally Qualified People (for example, teachers, lawyers, or engineers)
  • Minister of religion
  • Local councillor, members of Parliament, Assembly members, members of the Scottish Parliament or members of the European Parliament
  • Civil servant
  • Local businesspeople or shopkeepers
  • Librarians

Customer checklist

  • Book your appointment as soon as possible
  • Bring appropriate photographic identification
  • Remember to bring glasses, contact lenses or corrective lenses for driving, if required
  • Arrive as close to the exact time of your appointment as possible.

The test – Visual Acuity

We will measure your visual acuity by asking you to read a DVLA eye test chart which is a normal letter chart. This is not a full eye examination, and will only take a couple of minutes.

The test – Visual fields

You will be required to look into a screen where spots of light appear intermittently. You will need to indicate, by pressing a button, when you see the spots. The DVLA test is performed binocularly, using both eyes together and across a wider area.

The visual field test normally takes around five minutes to complete. You will be given some brief instructions and positioned at the machine. It is important that you ensure you are comfortable before the test starts, and please ask questions if you are uncertain about anything.

There may be occasions when you need to take the field test more than once. If you are nervous or worried about the test, don’t worry — the operator will allow you to take the test up to three times if they feel this is required. This is to give you every opportunity of performing as well as possible. There will be a break between each test but if you need more time to rest just let us know.

When will I get the results of the test and from who?

Specsavers cannot comment on the outcome of the test. Your paperwork will be returned to the DVLA and any licensing decision is made at their sole discretion.  

There is one exception to this – if the visual acuities do not meet the minimum eyesight standards, we will let you know so that you can take the necessary steps to meet the standard. Find out more about the DVLA eyesight rules here.

Unless advised otherwise, you can continue to drive after the test. If your results prevent you from driving, you will be informed by the DVLA. The results of the test will come directly to you from the DVLA and will inform you of any decision about your driving license in writing — this may take a few weeks to come through.

What is the legal eyesight standard for driving?

The visual standard for driving is the ability to read (with glasses or contact lenses if needed) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres away. 

For Group 1 the minimum eyesight for driving is a visual acuity score of at least 6/12 on the Snellen scale (with glasses or contact lenses if needed) using both eyes together or, if you have sight in one eye only, in that eye. You must also have adequate field of vision, measured through the visual fields test.¹

For Group 2 the minimum eyesight is visual acuity of at least 6/7.5 measured on the Snellen scale in your best eye and at least 6/60 on the Snellen scale in the other eye. You can reach this standard using glasses or contact lenses with a corrective power of (+) 8 dioptres or below. You must also have uninterrupted horizontal visual field of at least 160 degrees with an extension of at least 70 degrees left and right and 30 degrees up and down. No defects should be present within the central 30 degrees.¹

Find more information about corporate-funded eye tests for vocational drivers here.

Will I fail the visual field test if I miss one or two dots?

Not necessarily - it depends from which part of the visual field the dots were missed.

Am I allowed to drive with only one eye?

Yes. Provided your good eye has a normal visual field and adequate visual acuity, you should still be allowed to drive.

Want to get your eyes checked over?

You can book an eye test online or read more about our eye tests on our dedicated eye test hub.

  1. Gov.UK, Driving eyesight rules [online]. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/driving-eyesight-rules [accessed 23/11/2021]