Change to DVLA management of cases for drivers with nystagmus

  • 15 Mar 2019
  • RCOphth

The Secretary of State for Transport’s Honorary Medical Advisory Panel on Driving and Visual Disorders has advised that it is the visual problems associated with nystagmus that are relevant when assessing fitness to drive, not nystagmus itself. On this basis it has been decided that DVLA need not be notified of nystagmus if the visual acuity and visual field standards for driving are met and providing any associated medical condition is declared.

The visual acuity standard requires drivers to have a measured acuity of at least 6/12 (decimal 0.5) and be able to read a number plate from 20 metres. Details of the visual field standards can be found online at GOV.UK.

While drivers no longer need to notify of nystagmus, they must still notify DVLA if they are unable to meet the vision standards or they have any associated vision problem, for example, diplopia.

The DVLA’s guidance ‘Assessing fitness to drive: a guide for medical professionals’ and information on GOV.UK have been amended to reflect this update.