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California situation... more info please

Retinitis Pigmentosa

From: Judy
Email: judy2541@bellsouth.com
Date: September 30, 2003
Time: 01:41:31


I have retinitis Pigmentosa which has been arrested due to the antibotic therapy that I had last year. I have 20/30 vision with glasses, but I don't know what my visual field acuity that I have. Once I completed the antibotics, some of my peripheral vision came back. I live in Georgia, in the United States. Does anyone have any feedback as far as do you think that I'll be able to drive again?

From: Dennis Kelleher
Remote User:
Date: 12 Nov 2002
Time: 00:14:22


You are correct. The bioptic can't be used to acquire the 20/200 acuity, but if you acuity is higher than 20/200 without the bioptic, say for example 20/120, then you can use a bioptic to drive and get 20/40 through the bioptic.

DMV previoulsy had specilaist give the drive test to persons with bioptics. They now have local driver license examiners give the drive tests. Because of that the restrictions are not consistent. It should not be the case, but because of the lack of standards and consistent policies and practices, often the restriction depend upon the luck of the draw as to who gives you the drive test. There is an appeal process to the central DMV staff, but its time consuming. Restrictions can vary from time of day, geographic regions, no freeway driving, special equipment on the vehicle etc. Email me if you want more information.

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Replying to:

In a recent message, I asked about NV and CA driving laws. Since that time I researched the on line documents for CA and NV. Here is what I found.


Bioptic lense may be used to pass visual acuity test. However, the resulting "license" is an alphabet soup of restrictions. The biggies are no nighttime driving and a 45MPH speed restriction. Their website is quite clear, provided you look in the correct section of Nevada law. One of the links to Nevada law will get you all the details.


Visual acuity must be at least 20/200 in the carrier lense. A bioptic may NOT be used to pass this test.

I also found references to restrictions on licenses, but I could find no details about what guidelines are used to determine if drivers will be given restrictions.

I know some of you folks are living in CA. Please!!!! fill me in on the missing details.

Last changed: April 13, 2012


best BiOptic

From: BDN
Date: November 27, 2003
Time: 08:50:51


That depends on your vision, and is best advised by your O.D. Good luck. BDN

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