Wisconsin Drivers Vision Information

Standards Set for Drivers

To be eligible for a Wisconsin drivers license, you must be able to pass an eye test which measures the level of detail you can see clearly, as well as your distance and peripheral vision. Wisconsin is consistent with other states in establishing 20/40 vision and 70 degree field of vision as the level for unrestricted driver licensing.

Bioptic lenses may not be used to meet standards.

These standards have been developed based on available research and the advice of ophthalmologists and optometrists in Wisconsin. The standard for regular car drivers, commercial motor vehicle drivers and school bus drivers vary. All standards refer to the best vision with or without corrective lenses.

Many people are having laser corrective surgery. When visual acuity meets the 20/40 standard, drivers may have the 'corrective lenses' restriction removed from their driver license.

The current vision standards for the issuance of regular, class D driver's licenses in Wisconsin have been in effect since July 1, 1996. Wisconsin drivers who wish to receive an original license or renew an existing driver’s license must complete Form MV3001 issued by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT). Form MV3001 contains a section of language on visual acuity which doctors of optometry can fill out at the request of patients before the patients submit their application to DOT.

** Information Courtesy of Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Regular Drivers License
(autos, small trucks, vans)

  • 20/100 vision or better in at least one eye
  • 20 degree field of vision from center in at least one eye

Vision of less than 20/40 in each eye or less than 70 degree field of vision may require:

  • Referral to vision specialist for recommendation

  • Driving skills test

  • Restrictions on license (such as daytime only, outside mirrors, limited area or routes, etc.)

Commercial Driver License (CDL)
(large trucks and buses)

Drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) operating in commerce must meet the federal vision standards and present a valid federal medical card when applying for a commercial driver license (CDL), unless they have been grandfathered or are exempt by federal or state law.

Drivers who are not grandfathered and do not qualify for the federal medical card, would be issued a restricted commercial driver license.

Wisconsin Standards

(Only applies for those drivers who are grandfathered or exempted by federal or state law. Does not apply to passenger or school bus drivers).

  • 20/60 vision or better in at least one eye
  • 70 degree field of vision from center in at least one eye

Federal Standards

  •  20/40 vision or better in each eye
  • 70 degree field of vision from center in each eye
  • Ability to distinguish traffic signal color

School Bus Passenger Endorsements

  • 20/40 vision or better in each eye
  • 70 degree field of vision from center in each eye
  • Ability to distinguish traffic signal colors

Progressive Eye Conditions

If you have a progressive eye condition such as cataracts, glaucoma, etc., you may be asked to provide vision reports before you renew your license. These conditions can cause a gradual worsening of vision and need to be rechecked to determine if your vision is still adequate for safe driving.

Depending upon your current vision level, a periodic vision report may be requested. The WisDOT medical review staff will notify you of this requirement by mail and send the vision report form. Failure to submit the required form will lead to cancellation of your driver license.



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Additional Information

Wisconsin Department of Transportation Vision Guidelines

Wisconsin Driver’s License Application - Form MV3001