Group 2 lorry and bus drivers

Find out the vision requirements for group 2 lorry and bus drivers

There are specific requirements for patients who drive a lorry or a bus.

Lorry and bus drivers must have a visual acuity at least 0.8 (6/7.5) measured on the Snellen scale in their best eye and at least 0.1 (6/60) on the Snellen scale in the other eye. Glasses or contact lenses can be worn to reach this standard but they can’t have a spectacle power greater than plus (+) 8 dioptres (there is no restriction on contact lens power).

Patients must have a horizontal visual field of at least 160 degrees, the extension should be at least 70 degrees left and right and 30 degrees up and down. No defects should be present within a radius of the central 30 degrees. If a group 2 driver has a medical condition which may affect their binocular field of vision, the DVLA can arrange for visual field testing to be carried out.

Advice on completing the DVLA D4 Medical examination report

Group 2 (lorry and bus) drivers are required to submit a D4 Medical examination report when they first apply for a licence, and at regular intervals after the age of 45. The vision assessment part of the form must be completed by a doctor, optician or optometrist.

If you are asked to complete the vision assessment part of a D4 Medical examination report you should:

  • Ask the patient to provide a form of ID, so you can check their identity at the time of the examination, and record that you have done so
  • Allow sufficient time to complete the form carefully
  • Complete the form on the same day you examine the patient. The form cannot be completed from previous records
  • Measure visual acuity using the correction which is currently worn for driving. If the patient’s prescription has recently changed, the driver may wish to update their correction before undergoing the test.
  • Visual acuity should be recorded to the last whole line the patient was able to read, eg ‘6/6’. Snellen readings shown with a plus(+) or minus (-) are not acceptable, eg 6/6-2 or 6/9+3
  • If spectacles are worn, they must not exceed plus(+)8.00 dioptres in any meridian. There is no restriction on contact lens power
  • If the driver has as medical condition which may affect their visual field, the DVLA will arrange a test at a later date. We do not recommend performing visual fields testing for the purposes of driver licencing, unless the DVLA have asked you to do so
  • Explain your findings to the patient, but do not comment on whether they are fit to hold a group 2 licence; this is a matter for the DVLA to determine
  • Make a copy of the completed D4 form, and keep this with the patient’s clinical notes

The DVLA have published an Information and useful notes leaflet to assist in completing the D4 ‘Medical examination report’.

Advice on question 5 (glare intolerance/impaired contrast sensitivity/impaired twilight vision)

The DVLA have confirmed that they wish to identify those individuals who actually have problems which impact their fitness to hold a group 2 licence, rather than those who simply suspect they have a problem or are merely suffering from normal physiological discomfort.

We believe that to be certain that a patient is suffering from a genuine problem, they need to report it on questioning and have an observable pathology which may be causing it. We advise asking the question in the form of:

“Do you have symptoms from glare, mistiness or poor twilight vision that affect your ability to drive?”

You should make the patient aware that they are required to answer this question honestly, but if they answer ‘yes’, it will likely result in the loss of their group 2 licence, with no apparent means of appeal.

You may choose to have them sign a statement to confirm this understanding.

Advice on question 6 and 7 (other ophthalmic conditions)

In our view, you only need to declare conditions which aren’t covered elsewhere in the form, and are also notifiable to the DVLA. This would include blepharospasm, BRVO, cataract (if notifiable), diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, AMD (if notifiable), night blindness, optic atrophy/neuritis and retinal treatment / retinopathy. The DVLA have published a list of health conditions and guidance on when they become notifiable.