Driving standards

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It is important to point out that eye care professionals do not decide whether you can exercise the privileges of a Driver’s License.
This is decided by the Licensing Authority of Western Australia.

The eye care professional can inform you whether you meet the criteria set by the Licensing Authority, or liaise with the Licensing Authority under special circumstances, such as assisting with conditional licenses.

In Western Australia, under extremely rare circumstances, when an eye care professional is aware that you are driving, despite having been informed that you do not meet the visual standards; and, they believe that you are at risk of harming yourself or other road users, they can inform the licensing authority, overriding requirements regarding medical confidentiality.

Visual standards are set around visual acuity, field of vision and binocular single vision.

Private standards

An eye test is required upon license application, renewal, at age 75, 78 and annually from aged 80 yrs.

Acuity must be no worse than 6/12 in the better of two eyes or with both eyes.

If the candidate is monocular (one eye with vision) and the above criteria are met, a conditional license may be authorised following a report, and with review requirements.

There must be at least 120 degrees of visual field along the horizontal mid-line, and 10 degrees above and below the mid-line as tested by an approved binocular field test.  There are some field deficiencies, particularly those associated with stroke and central nervous system disease, which are disqualifying.

The vision with both eyes must be single (no double vision) within 20 degrees of the straight-ahead gaze.

If the criteria on field and single vision are not met, a conditional license may be issued following a report, and with review requirements.

A general medical evaluation is required at 75, 78, 80 yrs and annually thereafter.

A driving evaluation is required after the age of 85 yrs and annually thereafter.

Commercial standards

Visual acuity no worse than 6/9 in the better eye, or worse than 6/18 in either eye.

Field must be 140 degrees along the horizontal mid-line, with 10 degrees above and below the horizontal mid-line as tested by an approved binocular field test.  There are some field deficiencies, particularly those associated with stroke and central nervous system disease, which are disqualifying.

No double vision within 20 degrees of straight-ahead gaze.

If the criteria above are not met, a conditional license may be issued following a report, and with review requirements.

Frequency of acuity testing, medical assessment and driver testing varies with the type of commercial license applied for.

Assessing Fitness to Drive (pdf)