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Old 04-07-2005, 05:57 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 21,873
What happens if you fail the eye exam at the DMV

I got my license renewed today, and I was a little nervous because I really strained my eyes last month (working with poorly scanned images of handwriting 40 hours/week does a lot of people's eyes in where I work. Thank god it's only one state that scans that poorly and the contract expires this year) so people across the room - which is 70' long - are pretty fuzzy at the moment, and my eyes recover pretty slowly from what I recall from the aftermath of this contract last spring. I passed the exam by reading the 5th line without a problem, however, though I'll admit I eventually guessed on one letter. It did seem to be the correct guess, though, since the next two people said it was "O" too, not "D" which would have been my next guess. If this year follows last year's pattern I should be able to see as well as normal in a week or two... if not it's time for an eye exam, hmm?

Anyway, all this makes me wonder what happens if you don't pass the eye exam.

Suppose you couldn't read the 5th line - where they ask everyone to start - and not the 6th either? (the guy behind me had to read line six, and he got his license) Is there a seventh line? I know that in this state at least you have to have 20/40 or better to pass. Is line five 20/20 and line six 20/40 or is line six somewhere in between? And are there lines one through four?

If you fail, do they suspend your license? I realize that you'd have to get glasses to get your license renewed, but suppose the person failed the eye exam a few days before their birthday, could they continue to drive until the day their license would have normally expired?
Old 04-07-2005, 06:14 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Golden State
Posts: 2,356
You will be denied your license until you can come back (with corrective lenses if necessary) and pass the eye test. Heh, I remember when I first got my license .... I didn't want the license to say I needed corrective lenses (even though I wore glasses), so I memorized the eye chart as I waited forever in line. The way they arrange the queues today, that's much harder to do.
Old 04-07-2005, 06:15 PM
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Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
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Surely you'd just be required to get some glasses (or get stronger versions if you already have them) and do the eyesight test again?
Old 04-07-2005, 07:02 PM
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Location: Southeast Michigan, USA
Posts: 10,379
Heh -- when I first got my license at 16 (yeah, kids, we got full licenses back at 16 in my day), I didn't pass the eye exam. I didn't know I needed glasses, and I'd had a (faulty) eye exam at a health fair a few weeks earlier. I was proud that I tested 20/15 in the boyscout booth.

As I repeated this, the SecState (our "dmv") worker let me slide. When I was 17, the Army gave me glasses in basic training. Well, it turns out I really, really did need glasses, and wow! I hadn't known what I was missing.

Hopefully they're a lot less willing to let things slide these days!

Hmmm... side question. I finally did LASIK a few weeks ago, and my license indicates corrective lenses. Do I need to walk around with a certificate in lieu of glasses or contacts now?
Old 04-07-2005, 07:13 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 507
If you're anything like my ex-husband, you flirt with the girl giving the eye test and walk out with a renewed license.

That tactic didn't work a couple of months later when he took an eye exam for a state job. He ended up with a pair of glasses by the end of the week.

I laugh because he is a vain son of a bitch.
Old 04-07-2005, 07:18 PM
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When I did the test, it wasn't a wall chart -- it was a box that you looked into, and it showed letters and images at various simulated distances. I thought they were just being high-tech, and I didn't realize it was to prevent people from cheating by memorizing a wall chart. I got a much lower score with the box than I'd typically get with a wall chart. I've tried using charts since and tend to get good scores, but the box indicated my vision was somewhat imperfect.

One of my friends failed the eye test, and he had to get glasses. This was for the first license, though; he didn't already have one. For some reason, 'corrective lenses required' is indicated on our licenses with a symbol in a red bar under the driver's picture, not with words as it generally is in the US.
Old 04-07-2005, 10:38 PM
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Location: NE Ohio, USA
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Last time I had my license renewed, the lady next to me was elderly. She had forgotten to bring her glasses. She told the examiner that she wanted to take the test today anyway. The examiner told her a number of times that if she took the test sans glasses and failed, she'd lose her license on the spot. She repeated asked the woman if she wanted to go home to get her glasses and come back, but the woman would not be swayed, and stuck to her guns about taking the test. Of course, she failed, and the examiner was forced to confiscate her license. She reminded the woman she no longer had a license and could not drive herself home, but needed to call for a ride. The elderly woman was heart-broken.
Old 04-08-2005, 10:35 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Southeast Michigan, USA
Posts: 10,379
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lips_Obsession
Of course, she failed, and the examiner was forced to confiscate her license. She reminded the woman she no longer had a license and could not drive herself home, but needed to call for a ride. The elderly woman was heart-broken.
At the risk of getting this into GD, thank God. How the hell did she get there without her glasses? Damn AARP.

We've started fixing the dangers of teen drivers (graduated licensing, etc.), but when are we going to do anything about these people?

And I ask with all due respect to what I said above about my first license, and with the awareness that some day I'll be blind and have reaction times into the decaseconds.

Oh, I guess my first license would have been '88 or so, and the eye test was a little box, too. Otherwise I'd've tried memorizing the sign, too.
Old 04-08-2005, 04:03 PM
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Location: San Francisco area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar
I finally did LASIK a few weeks ago, and my license indicates corrective lenses. Do I need to walk around with a certificate in lieu of glasses or contacts now?
When I had LASIK about three years ago, they gave me a certificate stating that I'd had LASIK and no longer needed corrective lenses and advised keeping same in the glove box until I had a license that didn't have "RESTR: CORR LENS" on it. Might have also sent a copy to the DMV so they could update their records.
Old 04-09-2005, 07:26 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lips_Obsession
The examiner told her a number of times that if she took the test sans glasses and failed, she'd lose her license on the spot. She repeated asked the woman if she wanted to go home to get her glasses and come back, but the woman would not be swayed, and stuck to her guns about taking the test. Of course, she failed, and the examiner was forced to confiscate her license. She reminded the woman she no longer had a license and could not drive herself home, but needed to call for a ride. The elderly woman was heart-broken.
So they do take it away on the spot. Now I'm doubly glad I did okay.
Old 04-09-2005, 08:58 AM
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I just renewed my license and had to use the vision tester mounted on the counter. I looked in and easily read twelve of the sixteen letters but couldn't read the first set at all; they were just four little blurs.
I told the employee that I would have to put on my glasses for those first four and she asked if the glasses were for near or far and I said both, they're bifocals. She said look thru the top then, those first four letters test distance vision. I read them fine with my glasses on and she said she would have to add the corrective lenses restriction to my license. I said that's fine. I almost made it to 54 years old without that restriction.
Old 04-09-2005, 10:04 AM
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I've got a good story for you regarding this issue.
I'm 43 years old now. I went to renew my drivers license last month. The BMV was packed with people. I waited and finally got my change to take the eye test. I KNOW that I need new glasses, and I had my doubts that I'd even pass the eye test.
I go to the machine, place my face into it. The BMV lady told me to read line 5.
I told her that I couldn't see line 5.
She told me to read line 4.
I told her that I couldn't read line 4, either.
She told me to read the line that I COULD see.
That was the 1st line, and the 1st line ONLY.
Then, she told me to read the 2nd column in line 5.
By this time, I was getting quite pissy, and rather loudly informed her AGAIN that I coudn't SEE line 5, let alone read it.
She then told me to read the last 2 numbers in line 5.
Well, this time, I pushed myself back from the machine, stood up, and told her rather loudly, "I have already told you that I CANNOT EVEN SEE LINE 5! WHY do you insist that I keep trying to read it?"
She then told me, "Sit down and try. Trust me."
I sat back down, looked at line 5 once again. It was nothing but a blur. I told her that I couldn't read it, and proceeded to leave at that point. By this time, I was a nervous wreck with shame, since the place was packed and I couldn't read the damn line 5. I was getting VERY foul.
She grabbed my arm, told me to sit back down and told me to 'trust her' again.
Ok. I'm game. I sat back down, looked into the machine and she said, "Read the last number on line 5."
Me: "I can't see it!"
BMV lady: "Ok...four, five, six, sevennnnnnnn..."
Me: "Eight?"
BMV lady: "Yep! You passed. I TOLD you to trust me!"
I then proceeded to get my picture taken and was presented with my new, shiny drivers license!

Now, I KNOW they shouldn't do that. I'm not fit to drive, according to the eye machine!
I swear, they give 'em (licenses) away there!
Oh...and I DID go get new glasses since then. I can see MUCH better now!
Jeez.
Old 04-09-2005, 08:04 PM
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Location: Kentucky
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Every time that Iíve taken the test itís been with contacts in. About half the time this was reflected on my license. Almost every time I could have passed if I were blind just by memorizing what was said by the people in line in front of me.

Regarding graduated licensing, when I lived in Georgia, the rule was 15 to get a learnerís permit, and 16 to get the license. When I moved to Kentucky I found out that the rule was 16 to get the learnerís permit, one month later to get the license. I thought that that was stupid, because (IMHO) 11 months of driving experience outweighs 1 year of aging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gotpasswords
Might have also sent a copy to the DMV so they could update their records.
Heh, heh, heh. Sorry, but that made me laugh a little.
Old 04-09-2005, 11:12 PM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Liberal South
Posts: 14,266
Quote:
Balthisar: How the hell did she get there without her glasses? Damn AARP.
The AARP was in no way responsible for the fact that this woman left her glasses at home.

(I am 61 and support mandatory vision, concentration and reflex testing beginning at age 50.)
Old 04-10-2005, 01:37 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 21,873
I found something out while at work yesterday (I hate working Saturdays)...I was off on the room's length (The one I said was 70'). Really off. Counting the ceiling tiles, which several people agreed were 2'x2', I discovered there were 51 of them, which would make the room just over 100' long. How clearly should you be able to see someone 100 feet away?
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