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Can You Get a Driver’s License if You Have Had LASIK?

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Yes, you can get a driver’s license if you have had LASIK.

LASIK surgery can correct refractive vision errors, with most patients achieving 20/40 vision or better and 90 percent achieving 20/20 or better vision. As a result, LASIK can improve vision for driving.

If you have failed a vision test at the DMV before, you will have to go to your eye doctor for corrective lenses and go back and retake the test with your new lenses before you can get a license. After LASIK, you have a better chance of passing the vision test, often without the use of corrective lenses.

Do You Need to Report LASIK Surgery to the DMV?

If you have a specification on your driver’s license that you need to wear corrective lenses, and after LASIK surgery, you no longer need to wear these lenses to see well enough to drive, and you can pass an eye exam without them, you will need to report this to the DMV. 

Each state may have slightly different measures about what is entailed to drive with an unrestricted license, such as needing a visual acuity of 20/40 or better. 

If your license and restriction status changes due to corrective eye surgery like LASIK, you will need to get this changed through the DMV, so you do not run into issues at a traffic stop. Usually, this will entail obtaining a special form from the DMV that your eye doctor will sign. Then, it will need to be submitted to remove the restriction. 

How LASIK Can Improve Your Ability to Get & Keep Your License

Since you will typically need to have at least 20/40 visual acuity to drive without a restriction or corrective lenses, you may fail an eye exam at the DMV and be unable to qualify for a license without prescription contact lenses or glasses. Your vision can also deteriorate with age. When you need to go in and renew your license, it is possible to fail an eye exam when you never have before. 

LASIK eye surgery can help you to get your license, get it back after failing an eye exam, or retain it long term. LASIK can correct common refractive errors such as these:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia)
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia)
  • Astigmatism (irregularly shaped cornea or lens)

LASIK can help to improve these refractive errors that can make your vision blurry and impact your ability to see clearly enough to drive safely. Oftentimes, with LASIK surgery, you will no longer need corrective lenses, and you will be able to pass the eye exam at the DMV and obtain a license with no restrictions. 

Even if you had a restriction on your license before LASIK surgery, you are commonly able to get it removed, so you can keep your driver’s license without it. 

You will generally be cleared to drive as early as one day after a LASIK surgery procedure. While you may need to be careful at night and in low-light conditions for a little longer while your eyes heal completely, LASIK can generally improve your vision greatly for driving.

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