No More Eye Exams At DMV For New York Drivers

NEW YORK (CBSNewyork/AP) — Drivers won’t have to worry about taking an eye exam in New York. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles is dropping its requirement for vision tests to make it easier for drivers to renew licenses online or by mail.

Starting Wednesday, drivers will “self-certify” that they meet the vision requirement when they renew. New licenses and commercial licenses will still require eye tests at a DMV office or by a doctor.

1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports: Official Calls It A “Foolish” Decision

DMV Commissioner Barbara Fiala said in a statement Monday that the change is one of several stemming from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s call for streamlining by state agencies.

“People have been complaining for years that the lines at DMVs are too long and want to avoid them if possible, so this is our attempt to try to solve that situation,” said New York State DMV spokesperson Jackie McGinness.

Fiala said vision testing wasn’t required in New York from 1993-2000, but McGinness told WCBS 880 that eye exams were brought back as a DMV requirement in 2000.

Now, with changes in technology and the ease of access to the internet, the DMV felt it was time to change.

“We’d like to think of ourselves as in the forefront, but actually this is something that a number of other states have already initiated and they have found that it’s worked well for them,” said McGinness.

Some are voicing opposition to the change.

“I think it’s foolish, I think that people should have to pass an eye exam and I don’t understand this decision,” James Vacca, Chair of the Transportation Committee, told 1010 WINS. “People do realize that going through that inconvenience is making the road safer for everyone, including themselves.”

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story

Another change is a new internet application, “MyDMV,” which allows customers to set up personal online accounts to do business with DMV.

Six other states don’t require eye tests for renewals.

For more information, visit

Think this is a good idea or an accident waiting to happen? Sound off below

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Emma

    I don’t think they are dropping the requirement that you be able to see the road. pedestrians and signs. They are just adding to all the other things for which they take your word.

    If you are nutty enough to drive without being able to see properly, then hopefully you are wealthy enough to withstand the barrage of lawsuits that will hit you because you chose to make yourself a hazard. Don’t think that your insurance company will have your back on this one.

  • Andrew Murray

    Now these people that would normally not pass the eye test are the same people who will nearly kill me on my motorcycle in the future. Not even the people who can see respect motorcycles on the road or even care. Youre eyesight is THE most important thing about youre driving. Why in the world would these IDIOTS ok it to be “self certified?” Next thing you know they will “take your word for it” your not a convicted felon when you go buy a handgun, or get a teaching job at your childs school

  • Ruth Hellkamp

    I imagine eye doctors will protest this….as made a lot of money from this
    mandatory rule….They will lose a lot of business for sure.
    Personally…..I think it’s great …as reading an antique chart on the wall is a rather primimitive way of screening ,,,,many people could cheat easily in several ways.

  • paul ciganek

    how’s the insurance companys going to take this.

  • Can you see me now ??

    Conveniently STUPID IDEA. I have been on the road as a “licensed driver” for about 20 years, I have seen it ALL. There are some horiffic drivers out there just an accident waiting to happen. Just this morning on 57th Ave a livery driver whom appeared to be about late 60’s ran a red light like a bat out of hell. I waved my trigger finger at him to let him know I not only saw what he did but the danger he could have caused for the green light drivers.I wear glasses while driving at night because the lights appear to be blurry to me once it’s dark.My optom suggested I check my vision early to make sure no further damage to the eyes..especially as you age. Vision, experience,alertness,courtesy and COMMON SENSE all plays a tremendous role when you are driving. You have to not only drive for yourself, but the people around you. For the DMV to perhaps suggest mandatory vision testing is not necessary is like saying go-ahead…wear blind-folds or drunk drive..IT WILL HAVE THE SAME MAGNITUDE OF DISASTER.

  • Idratherbegolfing

    I have awful eyesight. Last time I renewed my license at the DMV I read the eye chart with my glasses on. The person giving the test never said anything and did not add the restriction to my license. I always wear my glasses when I drive anyway but it’s nice to not have the resection on my license.

  • Kana

    The DMV eye test of lookig at letters on the wall realy is not an efficient way to deterine an individuals vision. At what line is a go – no go.
    Just because you can’t see a tiny letter does not mean you can’t some someone drifting into your lane.
    I think the initial test when applying for a license is more important to establish your identity and qualification.
    in some cases of driving violations i think some should have to retest completely regardless of age.

  • Billy Spears

    Auto insurance premiums will finally go down now. Thanks Andy!

  • Bullett

    I can see clearly now!

  • Billy Spears

    Where do I sign? Someone tell me ! I can’t find the “signature line”. I want to certify that I can see. Heaven to Betsy, where is that signature line?

    Why is it that people who become politicians lose their common sense.

    Great call Andy, you dumb F***.

  • Patt

    Suppose if a person is starting to have problems with their eyes.They won’t know about it until that eye exam. It is worth it to make sure you are not potentially putting yourself in jepardy as well as others. Glaucoma is one good example. Take the test itis worth.

    • Josh

      The DMV doesn’t do Glaucoma testing. What are you smoking?

    • Yearly eye exams

      Well normal people get there eyes checked yearly so not a problem .If you can’t afford a eye exam then you probably cant afford a car or insurance or DMV fees. So it really is a great idea to do it online.

  • marx engels

    maybe instead they should introduce a new test – how many wpm can you textmessage while you’re driving?

  • Tomy

    im sure the chinese people will approve of this one

    • Tony

      And the jews, Blacks, hispanics and whites.

  • I luv stupid politicians

    this is a case of the dumb (andy boy commode) helping the blind which he will use as a campaign commercial

  • edy

    It’ll be fun…blind people driving at accelareted levels of speed

    • Amused but not misled

      Of course you know that DRIVE UP ATM’s already have Braille on the key pad.

  • Sir Joe

    So with this new provision, Helen Keller would be able to get a NYS driver’s license, because she could stay at home and self-certify?

  • fg

    Sacrificing safety beacuse of money. Boy I’m proud to be an American.

  • .

    Sacrificing safety because of money. Things can go only too far before we have a National uprising.

  • val

    Hire more efficient workers and fire the deadbeats and that will streamline your operation! However, I haven’t had to take an eye exam in years at DMV, so what’s different now?

  • Robert

    This is absurd. The one thing that is most important is that you can see while. driving. The real issue here is that DMV hasn’t made any money on eye exams. They put you through all kind of foolishness ,including the new emissions test
    ( watch your check engine light) to prove the vehicle is safe and then they don’t require that you can see.

  • PL

    So, besides people not knowing how to drive in the first place, now they can’t see either.

    • Zenmont

      That is so funny PL and so true!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live