Vision Screening Service - Help & FAQs


What is the Vision Screening program for drivers?

The MVC is working with medical associations to help implement a pilot vision program. New Jersey law requires vision screening of every licensed driver at least once every 10 years. Visual acuity of at least 20/50 in one eye with or without corrective lenses is the requirement. Screening can be completed as part of a routine eye exam or physical. Results will be submitted to the MVC via a web-based application. The MVC will update a driver record based on the date of screening. Drivers not meeting the standard will be reviewed by the MVC's Medical Review Panel (Vision).


Why should I participate?

We recognize that eye care professionals and other medical providers understand the importance of proper vision when operating a motor vehicle. Your participation in this pilot program will aid the MVC in its efforts to ensure that New Jersey’s nearly 6 million drivers meet minimum vision standards.


Who is qualified to participate?

New Jersey licensed optometrists, ophthalmologists, licensed ophthalmic dispensers (opticians), and any person licensed to practice medicine in New Jersey.


Can out-of-state doctors and providers participate?



Is the MVC also providing vision screening?

No. Vision screening will only be provided by professionals authorized under NJ statute. (The MVC will continue to provide vision screening for initial driver license applicants only.)


What does a qualified provider need to do to participate?

• Have a PC with internet access and go to:

• Establish an on-line reporting account and identify office staff that will assist with the submission of screening results

• Purchase a supported bar code reader

• Implement patient procedures for:

        1. Communication with patients regarding vision screening

        2. Collection of license information (for submission of screening results)

        3. Collection of vision screening results and submission

• Communicate screening results to patient as to whether the NJ driver license vision standard is met

        1. If necessary, address the need for corrective action and referral to an eye care specialist

• Maintain a record of each screening


Can an office assistant submit screening results?

Yes, however the individual must be authorized by the provider via online enrollment.


Will the vision screening provider need to certify that the patient/driver does not meet standard?

No, the provider is only certifying vision screening results. The screening results for each driver will be monitored by the MVC. When a provider reports that a driver’s vision is poorer than 20/50, the MVC will initiate a medical review. The outcome of the review will determine if the driver may continue driving.


The vision reporting screen indicates an acuity standard with or without corrective lenses. For the purpose of driver vision screening, are contacts considered corrective lenses?

Yes, contacts are corrective lenses.


Will the provider’s office need to maintain records?

The MVC recommends that the provider’s office maintain a copy of the vision screening report. Reports can be printed or saved via the online vision screening application.


I’m concerned that my patient will continue to drive even after not meeting the NJ vision standard. If the patient refuses to provide their driver license information in order to report screening results on-line, is there anything I can do?

Yes. You may report your patient findings to the MVC Medical Review Board.

In order to report a concern:

• Write a letter detailing the motorist's medical condition and as much of the following information as possible: name and address, driver license number and date of birth. Include your full name and address, your relationship to the driver and your observations regarding the person’s driving safety.

• Fax the letter to (609) 292-7504. Or mail it to: Medical Review Unit, NJMVC, P.O. Box 173, Trenton, NJ 08666-0173

• Questions may be directed to (609) 292-7500 x5032


What will the MVC Medical Review Unit do?

The Medical Review Unit will evaluate the form and the customer’s driving status. If necessary, the MVC will initiate a standard medical review case. The driver will be sent additional forms to complete that will be reviewed by trained MVC personnel, as well as the appropriate Medical Review Panel (Vision) doctors. The driver may also be required to go through additional testing. Once the panel completes an assessment of the supplemental medical information, recommendations will be forthcoming regarding the customer's driving privileges.


Are bioptic lenses permitted in NJ?

Yes, they may be used by a driver to meet the visual acuity standard. If bioptic lenses are required, the driver will receive a restricted license and must be examined by a physician who provides low vision services. A Vision Test Release Form (ST-14) must be completed by the provider. Upon receipt of this form, the MVC will initiate a Medical Review.


I’m a General Practitioner who completed a vision screening. The patient’s best visual acuity is 20/60 left and 20/80 right eye. Should I report the screening results to the MVC?

Yes. The screening results can be submitted via the online reporting application.


My patient meets the visual acuity standard but has field of vision limitations. If I note this on the form, what will happen?

As long as the driver’s visual acuity measurements fall within the minimum requirement, the MVC will maintain a record that the driver has complied with the vision screening requirement. Field of vision, contrast sensitivity, depth perception and other conditions can affect a driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle so the patient should be advised how the condition affects his or her ability to drive safely. If you believe the condition poses a risk to the patient/driver, his or her passengers or other motorists, you may complete and forward the case to our Medical Review Unit.


The patient is color blind. Should this be noted on the form?

No. New Jersey only requires drivers to meet the visual acuity standards.


My patient was only able to meet standards (achieve 20/50 in one eye) with corrective lenses. I checked off the form box labeled “yes” to indicate the driver wore contacts during the screening. Will the patient/driver receive a license restriction?

Yes. Whenever the box is checked “yes” for “Did the driver wear corrective lenses to complete screening,” the MVC will add a vision restriction notation to the driver’s official record. The MVC will also mail the driver a notice confirming that the restriction has been added. If the driver obtains a duplicate license or renews, the new document will include a notation for a vision restriction.


My patient has undergone surgery and no longer needs corrective lenses. Will the MVC remove the vision restriction?

Yes. An online screening report should be submitted. If the report indicates that the driver does not need corrective lenses, the MVC will remove the restriction from the driver’s record and send the driver a notice confirming the change.


Can providers charge patients for submitting vision screening reports?

The MVC believes this a business decision that needs to be considered by each individual provider. Partnering associations encourage their members to fully support this program. In most cases, the screening can be provided as part of a routine eye exam or physical.


Is reporting of patient screening results in conflict with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and/or Protected Health Information (PHI)?

No. Licensed physicians, ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, and health care providers are authorized by New Jersey law (N.J.S.A. 39: 3-10c) to report vision screening results to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.


I understand that a driver’s information is protected under state law. How does that affect my participation in the NJMVC’s vision screening program?

Data contained on a driver’s license is protected under the Driver Privacy Protection Act, N.J.S.A. 39:2-3.3 et seq ("the Act"). This includes the driver’s license number, name, and medical information. Vision screening reports include information covered by the Act. Reports must be secured and not shared with anyone other than the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. This is a program in which the eye care provider and the patient must agree to participate. The MVC must adhere to requirements set forth in the Act with regard to any requests for information about a driver.