What are the Rules for Driving with Glasses?

Being able to clearly see the road, other vehicles and pedestrians while you’re driving is crucial. There is a minimum eyesight requirement for anyone who wants to be legally allowed to drive in the UK. You need to be able to see and read a number plate from 65 feet or 20 meters away. To ensure your safety as well as other road users, ensure that you get your eyes checked regularly. You may find that you need a pair of glasses to see better, even if just for driving But what are the rules for driving with glasses?

Do I Need to Wear Glasses?

There are two important vision zones that you need to be able to see clearly while driving. The first one is immediate vision such as the dashboard, rearview mirror and speed dials. The second is distance vision which is anything on the road in front of you or behind you. 

In case you cannot see what’s in your immediate or distance vision zones, then you’re going to need prescription glasses that will allow you to drive safely and with ease. 

Wearing Your Glasses is Required by Law

If you need to wear prescription glasses, it is a must that you wear them while you’re driving. Always keep in mind that your safety, along with the other road users, relies on you being able to see clearly. 

It’s also important to note that it’s actually illegal to drive without wearing your prescription glasses. You may be fined or banned from driving or even receive a prison sentence. It’s that serious. 

If you’re not sure whether you’re required to wear glasses or not, check the back of your licence and look for a 01 in box 12. If you see it, then you’re legally required to wear glasses whenever you’re driving. 

Declare If Your Vision Has Deteriorated

As soon as you’re having trouble seeing clearly, go to your optician to know if you still meet the standards when it comes to the required vision for driving. If not, then you must declare to the DVLA that the optician has advised you to refrain from driving and also surrender your driver’s licence. 

Tinted Lenses and Sunglasses

For night driving, you shouldn’t wear glasses with tinted lenses. Having a pair of these on will decrease the amount of light that reaches your eyes, so of course, it will even be harder for you to see the road. Limit wearing sunglasses to bright days only. If it’s overcast, or if you’re driving in the late evening or early morning, it’s not advisable to wear them. 

How to Reduce Glare

Headlights, as well as road lighting, may affect your perception if you’re wearing glasses. Bright light may bounce off of the lenses and strain your eyes, causing you to miss any hazards at the moment. 

To prevent this from happening, make sure that you get anti-reflective or anti-glare lenses. With them, the lights will be able to pass easily through the lenses instead of bouncing into your eyes. 

Avoid Getting Your Insurance Invalidated

Not wearing your prescription glasses is not only illegal but your insurance can also be invalidated if you ever make a claim. If you ever get involved in an accident while driving and it’s been proven that you weren’t wearing your glasses when it happened, then you might end up paying for the repairs and other costs for your car and that of the other party. 

Prevent this from happening by simply wearing your glasses when you’re driving. It’s not only for your safety but it’s also to make sure that you can make insurance claims without any problem and not pay for repair expenses out of your own pocket.  


If ever you start having trouble seeing the road, other vehicles, and pedestrians while driving, get your eyes checked or re-checked as soon as possible. If you’ve been given prescription glasses, make sure you wear them whenever you drive so you won’t have any issues seeing your surroundings whilst you’re on the move. 

In the case that your eyesight has deteriorated and you no longer meet the standards of vision for driving, then you need to declare this to the DVLA as well as surrender your driver’s licence. Please, keep yourself and other road users safe by making sure you can see clearly while driving! 😎👍