The Student Room Group

Eyesight test at the beginning of the driving test

Hi guys I’m new to this group’ I’m having my driving test in January, long story short I’m stressed about the eyesight test at the beginning of the test I just about can read a number plate at 21m away, been testing myself all the time , I’ve been to opticians and they sad this is the best prescription I can have ( wearing glasses) , now my question is how strict are the examiners with this eyesight test at the beginningof the test , Any chances of being flexible s with it ?
Sorry for this stupid question guys
Any recent experiences

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Do you mean to say you've got a v strong prescription, they can't give you a stronger one and even with that you're still struggling?
Or is it you don't want to wear glasses?
Reply 2
Original post by Paralove
Do you mean to say you've got a v strong prescription, they can't give you a stronger one and even with that you're still struggling?
Or is it you don't want to wear glasses?

Even with the prescription I can just see from 20.5m
Original post by Criss33
Even with the prescription I can just see from 20.5m

Ouch. Well if you can't read it, you will fail your test before you're in the car. It's dangerous to drive if you can't see that far ahead of you clearly - I don't see why they'd offer you any flexibility.

By all means go for your test but be prepared they could fail you for it if they're not convinced/you can't read it.
Original post by Criss33
Hi guys I’m new to this group’ I’m having my driving test in January, long story short I’m stressed about the eyesight test at the beginning of the test I just about can read a number plate at 21m away, been testing myself all the time , I’ve been to opticians and they sad this is the best prescription I can have ( wearing glasses) , now my question is how strict are the examiners with this eyesight test at the beginningof the test , Any chances of being flexible s with it ?
Sorry for this stupid question guys
Any recent experiences

They're very strict about it. If you can't read the plate at the beginning the test will immediately end.
Reply 5
Original post by Something Peach
They're very strict about it. If you can't read the plate at the beginning the test will immediately end.

95% of the times I can read it from 20.5m , but hopefully won’t be further then that
Reply 6
Original post by Paralove
Ouch. Well if you can't read it, you will fail your test before you're in the car. It's dangerous to drive if you can't see that far ahead of you clearly - I don't see why they'd offer you any flexibility.

By all means go for your test but be prepared they could fail you for it if they're not convinced/you can't read it.

I’ve pass the eyesight test with my instructor from 23m
But all depends on the weather combination of characters, can easily mistake an D with O M W etc
Reply 7
Original post by Criss33
Hi guys I’m new to this group’ I’m having my driving test in January, long story short I’m stressed about the eyesight test at the beginning of the test I just about can read a number plate at 21m away, been testing myself all the time , I’ve been to opticians and they sad this is the best prescription I can have ( wearing glasses) , now my question is how strict are the examiners with this eyesight test at the beginningof the test , Any chances of being flexible s with it ?

The rules are here: https://www.gov.uk/driving-eyesight-rules


The practical driving test eyesight test

At the start of your practical driving test you have to correctly read a number plate on a parked vehicle.

If you can’t, you’ll fail your driving test and the test won’t continue. DVLA will be told and your licence will be revoked.

When you reapply for your driving licence, DVLA will ask you to have an eyesight test with DVSA. This will be at a driving test centre. If you’re successful, you’ll still have to pass the DVSA standard eyesight test at your next practical driving test.


Can I just check that when you say "I’ve been to opticians", have you seen different opticians and they've all said that what you have is the best prescription you can get? Or have you just seen one optician?
Reply 8
Original post by martin7
The rules are here: https://www.gov.uk/driving-eyesight-rules



Can I just check that when you say "I’ve been to opticians", have you seen different opticians and they've all said that what you have is the best prescription you can get? Or have you just seen one optician?


In the past 18 months I’ve see 3 different ones and one was very expensive:frown: I’ve been told to try some RGP lenses, but otherwise not much that can improve
Unfortunately if you fail the eyesight test, you will fail and the test will stop.
This happened to someone I know - he was asked to read the number plate before he even got into the car. Unfortunately he got it wrong and couldn’t. He was not allowed to take his test it was an automatic major fail.His provisional license was taken off him and sent back by the examiner!! He was not even allowed any more lessons with his instructor until he got license returned.
A while late he received a letter from the DVLA saying they had revoked his provisional license, until they had a medical note from optician to say he was fit to drive. He had to get his eye site tested, get the optician to confirm to DVLa. This was even not enough . He then had to make an additional appointment at test centre ( not a paid for test, but there was a 4 week wait ) to go and read a number plate with the examiner. It was only after they notified the dvla that he got his listen every back 😱. ask your driving instructor to test u on this a couple of times in your lessons.beforehand
Could you go to test centre and stand just outside door and practice reading number plates from there- they usually ask u as soon as u have stepped outside door
(edited 2 years ago)
Reply 10
Original post by Muddypaws1
Unfortunately if you fail the eyesight test, you will fail and the test will stop.
This happened to someone I know - he was asked to read the number plate before he even got into the car. Unfortunately he got it wrong and couldn’t. He was not allowed to take his test it was an automatic major fail.His provisional license was taken off him and sent back by the examiner!! He was not even allowed any more lessons with his instructor until he got license returned.
A while late he received a letter from the DVLA saying they had revoked his provisional license, until they had a medical note from optician to say he was fit to drive. He had to get his eye site tested, get the optician to confirm to DVLa. This was even not enough . He then had to make an additional appointment at test centre ( not a paid for test, but there was a 4 week wait ) to go and read a number plate with the examiner. It was only after they notified the dvla that he got his listen every back 😱. ask your driving instructor to test u on this a couple of times in your lessons.beforehand
Could you go to test centre and stand just outside door and practice reading number plates from there- they usually ask u as soon as u have stepped outside door

I’ve been testing myself as i got a long 30m tape , I can see it from 21m but not further’ I’ve done it at the beginning of my lessons with the instructor as well I was fine from 23m , but if I get one of this funny number plate like YK 55 WMN I’m struggling
Do you think I can get all 3 attempts from 21m ?
Reply 11
Original post by Criss33
I’ve been testing myself as i got a long 30m tape , I can see it from 21m but not further’ I’ve done it at the beginning of my lessons with the instructor as well I was fine from 23m , but if I get one of this funny number plate like YK 55 WMN I’m struggling
Do you think I can get all 3 attempts from 21m ?

And regarding the test at the DVLA center I was reading that is an actual eye test like any optician will do and not to read a number plate again
Original post by Criss33
Hi guys I’m new to this group’ I’m having my driving test in January, long story short I’m stressed about the eyesight test at the beginning of the test I just about can read a number plate at 21m away, been testing myself all the time , I’ve been to opticians and they sad this is the best prescription I can have ( wearing glasses) , now my question is how strict are the examiners with this eyesight test at the beginningof the test , Any chances of being flexible s with it ?
Sorry for this stupid question guys
Any recent experiences

They take you to a few cars at slightly shorter distances.... If you still dont get them right then u've failed
Original post by Criss33
I’ve been testing myself as i got a long 30m tape , I can see it from 21m but not further’ I’ve done it at the beginning of my lessons with the instructor as well I was fine from 23m , but if I get one of this funny number plate like YK 55 WMN I’m struggling
Do you think I can get all 3 attempts from 21m ?

From what I've read before (though I can't find the reference) the examiner will, if necessary, measure out a 20m distance.

@TheDE -- do you have any experience of this?
Original post by Criss33
And regarding the test at the DVLA center I was reading that is an actual eye test like any optician will do and not to read a number plate again


Yes he needed to go to the optician to do the test and was prescribed glasses - but still the dvla would not just accept that until he had been back to the test centre and read a number plate with an examiner - they then confirmed aswell to dvla and he got it back - took quite a few weeks altogether
Reply 15
Original post by Muddypaws1
Yes he needed to go to the optician to do the test and was prescribed glasses - but still the dvla would not just accept that until he had been back to the test centre and read a number plate with an examiner - they then confirmed aswell to dvla and he got it back - took quite a few weeks altogether

😩😩never heard about the number plate test story
Original post by Criss33
😩😩never heard about the number plate test story

Hopefully it won’t happen to you and you will get a clear day to read the number plate
Reply 17
Original post by martin7
From what I've read before (though I can't find the reference) the examiner will, if necessary, measure out a 20m distance.

@TheDE -- do you have any experience of this?

3 chances are given, you only have to read one and it doesn't have to be exact, if the third measured attempt fails then you'll be notified by the DVLA to see an optician
Reply 18
Original post by TheDE
3 chances are given, you only have to read one and it doesn't have to be exact, if the third measured attempt fails then you'll be notified by the DVLA to see an optician

You think I can ask to start at 20m for the first attempt ? So I can have like 3 attempts at 20m , some people says that forst 2 attempts will be from further away like 30-40m so I end up only with one attempt at exactly 20m
Reply 19
Original post by Criss33
You think I can ask to start at 20m for the first attempt ? So I can have like 3 attempts at 20m , some people says that forst 2 attempts will be from further away like 30-40m so I end up only with one attempt at exactly 20m

No you can't do that as there is a specific protocol all test centres follow, they first do it at 25-30m, then if you fail to read it they ask you to take a pace forwards and read a different plate, failing this the tape measure will be retrieved.

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