Colorado's Department of Motor Vehicles is responsible for establishing and enforcing vision laws that pertain to drivers who are issued a state license. This department has laws that apply to all drivers, as well as laws that are designed to protect the public from at-risk drivers such as senior citizens.
All drivers must meet the state standards, with or without vision correction. Applicants must have a minimum of 20/40 vision in one or both eyes. If the applicant uses bioptic telescopic lenses, he must try to pass the vision test with the carrier lens.
Medical Exam Report
If an applicant fails the vision test, he must submit a medical exam report prepared by a vision specialist. This specialist can recommend whether there should be any licensing restrictions, such as daytime driving only, reduced speed driving or driving within a certain number of miles from his home.
Vision Screening Timing
Vision screening is required at the time the initial license is issued and at in-person renewals. Drivers under age 65 may be able to renew online, but they must have had a vision test within three years prior to renewal.
The Colorado DMV may require a driver to submit for a re-examination of vision and driving tests in order to retain driving privileges. Re-examination is required if the driver has been involved in two accidents within three years, is involved in an incident report from a law enforcement agency, or if a doctor submits a medical report requiring re-examination. Additionally, a family member can submit a written request stating that re-examination is necessary.
If the Colorado DMV deems re-examination necessary, it sends the driver notice of this requirement. The driver has 20 days to submit to re-examination. If he fails to submit to the re-examination within this time, driving privileges are revoked and the driver's license is cancelled. If he passes the test, the driver's license is returned to him. He might have restrictions imposed on driving privileges, based on the results of the test.
Senior drivers face additional hurdles in retaining or being issued a driver's license in Colorado. Drivers who are age 61 or older must renew their licenses every five years, in contrast to the 10-year renewal period for younger drivers. Drivers over 65 cannot renew their licenses online and must submit to a vision test at renewal time. Additionally, Colorado's Department of Motor Vehicles accepts written reports from law enforcement, courts, doctors and family members. The Department of Motor Vehicles can also impose restrictions on senior drivers after discussing them with the drivers, including:
- requiring them to wear corrective lenses
- prohibiting freeway driving
- installing an additional side mirror on the vehicle
- prohibiting nighttime driving
- imposing limits on timing of driving
Samantha Kemp is a lawyer for a general practice firm. She has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles focus on legal issues, personal finance, business and education. Kemp acquired her JD from the University of Arkansas School of Law. She also has degrees in economics and business and teaching.