DVLA notifiable eye conditions list updated

Changes to the notifiable eye conditions list have been implemented by the DVLA following AOP advice

Car interior, taken from the point of view of the front seat passenger. The car dash board, driving wheel and remaining interior is black leather

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has updated a list of eye conditions that must be declared by car or motorcycle drivers, the AOP has confirmed.

The guidance, available on the Government website, states that motorists must inform the DVLA of certain eye conditions affecting both eyes, or one eye if they only have vision in one eye. 

It also highlights that drivers must inform the DVLA if they have been told they “may not meet the visual standards for driving, by a GP, optician or eye specialist.”

Concerns were raised over a previous version of the extended list of notifiable eye conditions in October 2022, when the AOP warned that it could apply to “almost every driver who receives a sight test.”

The AOP highlighted that the extent of the list would have created an unnecessary administrative burden, as well as worry for patients. The DVLA confirmed in late May 2023 that an update would be released.

Adam Sampson, chief executive for the AOP, stated: “The original list of conditions would have almost certainly applied to most, if not all, drivers. We’re pleased to see that the DVLA have listened and acted on our advice and have now published a much-reduced list – which will also be a relief to many drivers on UK roads, who faced the threat of a £1000 fine.”

A spokesperson for the DVLA confirmed to OT that it had “published an updated list of notifiable conditions following a review with our expert panel.”

The list now covers six eye conditions: blepharospasm, diabetic retinopathy (with laser treatment), diplopia (double vision), glaucoma, nyctalopia (night blindness), and retinitis pigmentosa. The DVLA’s previous list included 23 conditions where they affected one eye, and 90 conditions where they affect both eyes.

Dr Peter Hampson, AOP clinical and professional director, commented: “Throughout this process we’ve welcomed the opportunity to work with the DVLA and maintain open and effective dialogue on an issue that is important to so many people.”

He added: “We look forward to working with the DVLA in the future to continue to find practical solutions where needed for drivers, our members and the DVLA.”

The DVLA is advising drivers that, if the condition only affects one eye and they have sight in both eyes, they only need to tell the DVLA if they do not meet the visual standards for driving, or they have been informed that they may not meet the standards by a healthcare professional.

A spokesperson for the DVLA confirmed to OT that it had “published an updated list of notifiable conditions following a review with our expert panel.”

The notifiable conditions list for bus, coach or lorry licences also appears to have been updated.

The DVLA reminds drivers of the visual standards, and also encourages drivers to seek advice from a healthcare professional if they are unsure about whether they meet the standards.