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.
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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.”
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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 www.dmv.ny.gov.
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