Do I need an eye test to get a CDL?

Every state follows the same visual requirements for commercial driver licensing (CDL) as adopted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). To pass the CDL Eye Test you must have:

  • A visual acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye without corrective lenses or visual acuity separately corrected to 20/40 or better with corrective lenses.  
  • A distant binocular acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye, with or without corrective lenses.
  • A field of vision of at least 70 degrees in the horizontal meridian in each eye.
  • The ability to decipher the standard red, green and amber colors in traffic signals and similar devices. 

When applying for a CDL you, depending on your state, will need to either pass a CDL eye test and/or provide a vision certificate completed by a certified optometrist. Certificates can be obtained from DMV offices in your respective state. Keep in mind that most states require vision tests to have been taken within the last 12 months. 

You may be eligible for a medical waiver if you suffer from monocular vision. Medical waivers can only be obtained and processed through the FMSCA.

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