DVLA Esterman Visual Field Test
The government driver and vehicle licencing agency stipulates a minimum visual requirement to ensure safe driving on the roads. This ‘visual requirement’ involves assessment of both central vision and also your peripheral vision too (corners of your vision). If the DVLA deem it necessary, they will investigate your peripheral vision by asking you to undergo a specialist type of ‘visual field test’.
Historically, this test could be performed at your choice of centre, as long as the centre had the correct equipment and could offer the correct type of visual field test. A change came in to place a few years ago where the DVLA decided to contract the service privately which meant cost-saving for them. This, unfortunately, led to a major inconvenience for many people as in some cases, people were being asked to go out of town to have the test done.
At Tyrrells and Embery, we are pleased to offer access to the Zeiss Humphrey Perimeter which is globally considered to be the ‘gold standard’ machine. With this perimeter, we can perform the ‘120 Point Esterman Test’ which is the visual field test commonly required by the DVLA.
The cost to perform the test is £35, payable before commencement of the test. Please note that this fee will cover the cost of performing the test and a paper copy of the results. We will not be in a position to discuss your eligibility to drive, this decision has to be taken by the DVLA themselves upon receipt of your results.
If you have any further questions regarding the DVLA / Esterman Test, please contact us.
You can find some useful information below regarding visual requirement for all drivers.
Minimum eyesight standards for all drivers
The law requires that all licensed drivers to meet the following eyesight requirements (including drivers aided by prescribed glasses or contact lenses):
in good daylight, able to read the registration mark fixed to a vehicle registered under current standards
at a distance of 20 metres with letters and numbers 79 mm high by 50 mm wide on a car registered since 1 September 2001 or
at a distance of 20.5 metres with letters and numbers 79 mm high by 57 mm wide on a car registered before 1 September 2001 and
the visual acuity must be at least Snellen 6/12 with both eyes open or in the only eye if monocular
The law also requires all drivers to have a minimum field of vision, as set out below.
Minimum standards for field of vision for all drivers
The minimum field of vision for Group 1 driving is defined in the legislation:
A field of view of at least 120° on the horizontal measured using a target equivalent to the white Goldmann III4e settings.
The extension should be at least 50° left and right. In addition, there should be no significant defect in the binocular field that encroaches within 20° of the fixation above or below the horizontal meridian.
This means that homonymous or bitemporal defects that come close to fixation, whether hemianopic or quadrantanopic, are not usually acceptable for driving.
If the DVLA needs a visual field assessment for determining fitness to drive, it:
requires the method to be a binocular Esterman field test
may request monocular full field charts in specific conditions
exceptionally, may consider a Goldmann perimetry assessment carried out to strict criteria