What vision do I need to get a driver’s license in Texas?

drivers license test

Are you a Texas resident who’s looking to get a new driver’s license? If you are in the process of getting a driver’s license, it’s important to know what requirements and laws are in place to make sure you have crossed all your T’s and dotted all of your I’s before showing up at the DMV. Your vision is something that is assessed when getting a driver’s license, because your safety and the safety of others is directly impacted the moment you sit behind the steering wheel of a car. If you were to get a driver’s license with impaired vision, you would be putting everyone at risk. Therefore, every state has certain vision requirements to ensure that you are more than capable of driving safely. These requirements may vary from state to state, so it’s important to research your specific state and talk with your eye care professional about correcting your vision if needed.

So, what are the vision requirements for getting a driver’s license here in Texas? 

In the state of Texas, there are certain acuity scores that are required for a person to obtain a driver’s license. Acuity is the measure of how sharp your vision is. If your acuity score does not meet these requirements you are referred to an eye specialist where glasses or contacts can be prescribed to aid in proper vision for driving. For an individual to get a driver’s license in Texas without glasses or contacts, the applicant must have 20/40 vision or better in both eyes. If the applicant’s score is lower than this, a professional statement from an eye specialist is needed. 

If you do have glasses or contacts, make sure to wear them at your exam! An individual with glasses or contacts must have 20/70 vision or better from both eyes or their best eye to pass the vision exam to get a driver’s license in Texas. 

What happens if I fail my driver’s license vision test?

If your acuity score does not meet these requirements, you will need to schedule an eye exam to have your vision checked and treated properly. Once an eye specialist sees you, vision assistance will be prescribed to you and the vision test at the DMV can be done again. Vision lower than 20/70 with or without vision assistance is considered failing. If your vision still does not meet the vision requirements for getting a driver’s license in Texas after visiting an eye specialist, you may be given a limited license with restrictions to only drive during daylight hours and at a maximum speed of 45 MPH. You will also be tested for color blindness, and if your vision is worse than 20/200 you will not be able to obtain a driver’s license. 


If you have glasses or contacts and need them to operate a vehicle, keeping your driver’s license up to date is absolutely necessary. If you ever decide to permanently correct your vision with surgery such as LASIK, it would be wise to retake the vision test. Since your driver’s license states if you need corrective eyewear to operate a vehicle, you would be issued a ticket if you were found not using either glasses or contacts when driving.

If you are experiencing changes in your vision or need an eye exam to obtain your driver’s license, our team at San Antonio Eye Professionals would love to serve you! Give us a call or visit one of our three locations in the San Antonio area. We can’t wait to see you!