Patients with low vision may not be aware of their options for use of bioptic telescopic glasses while driving, but the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS) has released information on individual state guidelines and requirements to help eligible patients earn or maintain their driver’s license.

Presently, 43 states allow for the use of bioptic telescopic lenses by motor vehicle operators but each state has its own guidelines for allowable magnification levels, fields of vision, and baseline visual acuity. Some states may have other limitations, such as prohibiting night driving or interstate highway driving. The IALVS can provide patients with resources and contacts to help eligible individuals earn or keep their license if they have proper corrective optics.

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The typical cutoff for passing the vision requirement is 20/40, but DMVs will accept vision reports from an eye doctor in lieu of the standard eye chart test. In New York, the eye charts at the DMV offices have letters that are 20/40 size but the requirements allow passing with 20/70 vision, or up to 20/100 with Bioptic Telescopic lenses.

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