The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles had planned to stop requiring eye exams for drivers who were renewing their license last fall, but public safety concerns prompted them to put their plan on hold.

The idea was to make the process of renewing your license easier by not requiring an eye exam. Drivers could simply renew their license online or by mail, without the need to visit a DMV office or wait in line. This seemed like a good idea in theory, but in practice some driving professionals questioned whether or not it was a good idea to just assume everyone’s vision had not gotten worse since the last time they renewed their license.

When it comes to defensive driving New York, it is probably a good idea to be able to see what’s going on around you. If your vision is good, no problem. But if your vision is failing, or failed, then an eye exam is not a good idea for you, but also for anyone who might be sharing the road with you or riding in your vehicle while you drive.

Look, the DMV is not in business to make our lives more difficult. It’s there to help keep us all safe as we drive around the country; our cities, our towns and our states. They have requirements because driving a vehicle is a very serious thing to do. A car is a 5,000 pound missile made of metal, plastic and glass, that can travel at speeds in excess of 100 mph.

And it’s not just the car you are driving which is dangerous. There are numerous new traffic signalling devices, signs and roadways which require you to have quick reflexes and excellent vision to find your way around. New York defensive driving is not a sport, it’s the only safe way to get from one point to another.

Until New York DMV decides to make eye exams optional, you’ll still be required to have one to renew your license. And even if they don’t require them, you should still consider it if you feel your eyesight just isn’t what it used to be.

Image: Grant Cochrane /