CDL Vision Requirements For Truck Drivers

There are four major requirements that is required to pass the CDL vision test according to the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). The driver must have a distant visual perception of 20/40, a field of vision of at least 70 degrees, be able to recognize traffic signals and colors, and must not have monovision.

1. The individual must have a distant visual perception of 20/40 (Snellen) with each eye, and without the use of corrective lenses or have visual acuity corrected to 20/40 (Snellen) or higher when wearing corrective lenses.

2. The individual must have a field of vision of at least 70 degrees in the horizontal Meridian (The horizontal Meridian actually runs from the individual’s left, then through the fixation point, and then to the individual’s right) with each eye.

3. The individual must be able to recognize the traffic signals and devices colors, which show the standard red, green, and amber.

4. If an individual has Monovision they are disqualified from passing the vision test. Also, an individual is not allowed to use a contact lens for one of their eyes for distance visual and then use another contact lens in their other eye for near vision.

Basically, the four major requirements to pass the CDL vision test means the individual must have at least 20/40 vision with or without wearing glasses or contact lenses.

The 20 means that you can see 20 feet from you, and someone that has perfect eye vision can see 40 feet). Also, it means that you can see side to side with your eyes without any issues, and you can clearly recognize traffic signs and signals colors.

Can Truck Drivers Wear Glasses and/or Contacts?

Yes, truck drivers are allowed to wear glasses or contacts, but they are not allowed to have monovision, which means that one eye is wearing a contact lens for their distance and the other eye is wearing a different contact lens for near vision.

It’s a disqualification.

Can You Get A CDL With Glaucoma?

Glaucoma causes optic nerve damage, and if glaucoma is caught in the early stages, then it can be treated with medication. It is a serious issue, but it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to continue to drive.

You will need to get a vision exemption, and you can get that from FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) right here.

Can You Get A CDL if You Are Color Blind?

If you have color blindness, then you would be ineligible to obtain a CDL. It’s very important for a truck driver to see and to identify the traffic lights and signs colors.

If you are color blind, then you are not able to do that and are a danger to others on the road.

Can You Get A CDL If You Are Blind in One Eye?

Unfortunately, if you are blind in one eye you are unable to get a CDL. If an individual has any vision issues, they must be able to get them corrected to get a CDL, and there isn’t anything that can be corrected with blindness.

What Does The DOT Eye Exam Form Look Like?

An example of what the form looks like is right here, it is from the state of Illinois, that state I’m in.

The DOT eye exam form tests the acuity in the right eye, the left eye, then both eyes. There is an uncorrected and corrected area along with the horizontal field of vision for the right and left eye.

The DOT eye exam form also asks if the individual can recognize the traffic signals and device colors, and if the individual has monocular vision.

The exam asks if the individual has been referred to an ophthalmologist or optometrist, and if they have did, they provide documentation from either two.

DOT Eye Exam Waiver

The FMCSA may grant a truck driver a vision exam waiver.

If you are not able to pass the vision exam and you are unable to get the medical card, then you still might be eligible for a vision waiver.

The FMCSA recognizes that some truck drivers many not pass the vision exam and requirements, but the truck driver has learned to adapt to their vision for their driving.

The truck driver must show evidence to the FMCSA that they were not involved with any truck accidents along with being convicted of any moving violations too.

The driver will need to be examined by an ophthalmologist or optometrist within the past 90 days, and the must provide a signed statement from the ophthalmologist or optometrist on their personal letterhead and submit it to the FMCSA.

The ophthalmologist or optometrist must also provide this information:
-Discuss the vision deficiency along with the time length that you have had it;
-Have the date of the eye vision examination;
-Certify the deficiency is under control and stable;
-Must submit the perimetry test for each eye along with the field of vision degree results;
-Certifies that you are able to see and recognize the traffic control signals and devices colors;
-Certifies that in their medical opinion that you are able to perform the driving tasks and you have adequate vision that is needed to operate and drive a commercial vehicle.

Once the FMCSA receives all of the eye exam waiver information, they will conduct a personal evaluation, then they will contact you for the final results.

If you have failed to provide the FMCSA with all the information that they need along with the ophthalmologist or optometrist statement, your wavier and application will be rejected.

Final Thoughts
Before you can get your CDL you must pass the DOT medical exam and the CDL vision exam. If you wear contacts or glasses you can still get a CDL. If you are color blind, then you are unable to pass the vision exam, because there is no color-blind correctness available. If you need a DOT eye exam waiver, then you can visit the FMCSA website at