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Is it illegal to drive with one eye?

There is no legislation preventing people driving with monocular vision.

​No, it's not illegal to drive with one eye anywhere in Australia, as long as you pass the same eyesight tests as everyone else does at licencing time.

Obviously, driving with half the eyesight of others can lead to many issues, the least of which is fatigue from long drives using only one eye to spot all the hazards or issues a normal driver has two eyes to focus on. But there can be other vision issues that develop over time and can lead to licencing bodies requiring annual medical assessments to ensure your vision is not degrading. 

There are legal requirements for you to disclose illnesses or health problems to the roads authorities when you are aware of them, not just when you go to renew your licence. And it is worth noting that lying on the licence forms is illegal.

You can drive in Australia with monocular vision if you can provide a certificate from your optometrist or ophthalmologist to certify they feel you can drive, and then pass the Snellen Chart at the motor registry.

The road laws say you need to pass 6/12 for a car, or 6/9 for trucks and buses, on the Snellen Chart, which is that list of letters starting in a large format and getting smaller as they run to the bottom of the page.

To hold a licence in Australia to drive with one eye the other test you will have to undergo is a visual field test to check you have good peripheral vision. Monocular drivers require horizontal vision of at least 110° within 10° above or below the horizontal midline.

Check out this helpful link from Specsavers who step out the requirements to driving or obtaining your licence with one eye.

For insurance purposes it is best to thoroughly read the policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) from your insurance provider to see if they need you to disclose information about having vision in one eye. If you’re still unsure after reading the PDS then the best step would be to ring them directly and ask if they need to note down your monocular vision as part of the policy or driving conditions.

This article is not intended as legal advice. You should check with your local road authority to verify the information written here is suitable to your situation before driving in this manner.