Driver’s license vision test

Driving is a complex task that requires sensory, cognitive and motor skills. Good eyesight is one of the most basic requirements for safe driving.

Drivers must be able to clearly see road signs, pedestrians and other vehicles. It is also important to be able to accurately assess speed, distance and movement while driving.

That’s why an eye exam is mandatory to obtain a driver’s license, both for the first time and when renewing, especially for seniors.

Driver’s license vision test

For a driver’s license vision test, you will need to take a visual acuity test and a visual field test.

Visual acuity test

Visual acuity test - Snellen chart

The driver is expected to be able to correctly and timely identify traffic signs and obstacles on the road.

Visual acuity, also called distance acuity, is the ability to focus and see clearly at great distances. This is the most important visual skill for driving.

If your distance acuity is poor, you may not see a stop sign until the last moment, which should be avoided.

The faster you drive, the less time you have to act on what you see. Thus, poor distance awareness becomes more dangerous as your speed increases.

Visual acuity is measured using the Snellen chart, which is a chart that includes letters or symbols, projected on a wall 20 feet away from your eyes.

Your optician will ask you to remove your glasses or contact lenses, cover one eye and read the series of letters aloud, starting with the larger letters and ending with the smaller ones until you can no longer distinguish the letters accurately. You will repeat this process with the other eye.

Swiss drivers must have a visual acuity of 20/40 in one or both eyes, with or without glasses.

Visual field test

A visual field test, as the name implies, is a way to measure your entire visual field (central and peripheral) – the range of what you can see above, below and to either side of you while your gaze is fixed on a central point directly in front of you.

Peripheral vision allows the driver to see cross traffic and pedestrians at the side of the road without having to look away from the road.

A visual field exam is a way for your ophthalmologist to measure the field of each eye, and determine the degree of vision loss that may have occurred over time.

Swiss drivers must have a continuousfield of view of at least 110 degrees, with at least 35 degrees to the centerline on each side.

To remember

1. For this test, please present your identification (passport, ID card or equivalent) and the student driver’s license application or renewal form. You can obtain these documents from the road traffic services of the Canton of Geneva or download the official form of the Canton of Geneva required for this examination.

2. If you wear glasses, please bring them with you for your eye exam.

3. Contact lens wearers are advised to bring their glasses (if they have them) to the appointment.

4. Contact lenses must be removed at least 12 hours prior to the eye examination.

The experienced optometrists at Lindegger Optique offer you a quick and painless driver’s license eye test that takes about 15 minutes.

Book your appointment today!


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