What Does Group 1 & Group 2 Mean?
Group 1 drivers are those who hold a licence to drive a motor car and a motorcycle.
Group 2 drivers are those who have category C and D on their licences. Category C is for large lorries and category D is for buses.
The General Visual Standard
It is a legal requirement that both group 1 and group 2 licence holders must be able to meet the prescribed requirements for eyesight. This means they need to be able to read, in good daylight conditions, a registration plate on a vehicle at a distance of at least 20 meters, with the help of glasses or contact lenses if needed.
However, some sight conditions have different entitlements for group 1 and group 2 drivers, as detailed below
The requirements for group 1 are that they meet the standard described at the top of this page.
Drivers of HGVs, lorries and buses need to gave a visual acuity of at least Snellen 6/7.5 (Snellen decimal 0.8) in their good eye and at least Snellen 6/60 (Snellen decimal 0.1) in their other eye. This can be achieved by using glasses or corrective lenses, if they are necessary.
If glasses are worn in order for the driver to meet the minimum requirements, they should have a correct power of ≤ +8 dioptres in any meridian for either lens.
For group 2 drivers, they must also meet the visual acuity requirements for group 1.
This may alter for those who have held their group 2 licence on 1st March 1992 and those who obtained their first group 2 licence between 2nd March 1992 and 31st December 1996. Please consult the DVLA Medical Guidelines online or ring the DVLA medical contact number if you think this could affect you.
Group 1 & 2
You will need to get the opinion of your consultant. If you have a mild case, driving can be allowed, provided satisfactory medical reports can be given.
If you control a mild case of blepharospasm with botulinum toxin, this may be accepted as long as the treatment doesn’t give you any debarring side effects, which could include uncontrollable diplopia.
The DVLA should be informed if there are any changes or deterioration to your condition. Usually, driving is not permitted if the condition is severe and affecting your vision, even if it is treated.
You will need to meet the requirements outlined in the general visual standard. It is possible that glare could affect your ability to read number plates correctly even if you have the appropriate acuities.
You do not need to contact the DVLA if the prescribed standards of eyesight are met.
Drivers should meet the requirements that are outlined in the Acuity section above. When they have a cataract, there is a possibility that glare could impact their ability to read the number plates as required, even when using suitable acuities.
Group 1 & 2
If you are colour blind, there is no need for you to inform the DVLA. You are permitted to continue driving with no restrictions being recorded on your driving licence.
You should stop driving when you are given your diagnosis.
You can start driving again when your have confirmed to the Licensing Authority that your diplopia is controlled, such as through the use of glasses or a patch that the licence holder wears while driving. If you are using a patch, please look at the specifications for monocularity.
In exceptional circumstance, a stable but uncorrected diplopia that has lasted for 6 months or more may be considered compatible for driving with if your consultant provides support to indicate a satisfactory level of functional adaptation.
If you have an insuperable diplopia, you will be granted permanent refusal or revocation for a group 2 licence. Also, it is not acceptable for group 2 licence holders to use patching.
Monocular vision includes the use of one eye for driving.
This is when you have complete loss of vision in one of your eyes. If the affected eye has any sort of light perception, the driver would not be considered monocular for Group 1 entitlement.
You will need to meet the same levels of visual acuity and visual field as binocular drivers. However, it is recommended that you drive when clinically advised that you have successfully adapted to the condition.
If the conditions are met, you do not need to inform the DVLA
If you have complete loss of vision in one eye or a correct acuity of less than Snellen 3/60 (Snellen decimal 0.05) in one eye, applicants are barred, by law, from holding a licence to drive group 2 vehicles.
It is necessary for all of the drivers of group 2 vehicles to be able to meet the requirements outlined in the group 1 section of visual acuity.
You may have been issued a group 2 licence before 1st January 1991, knowledging monocularity. Monocularity is acceptable for C1 applicant if they passed their ordinary driving test before 1st January 1997 and satisfied the number plate exam, the visual acuity standards and the visual field requirements for their remaining good eye.
You will need to meet the criteria outlined in the general visual standards and acuity section. Cases are then considered on a an individual basis.
The outlined requirements in acuity and field standards must be reached and the each case will be considered individually.
Visual Field Defects
Visual field defects includes:
- Bilateral Glaucoma
- Bilateral Retinopathy
- Retinitis Pigmentosa and other disorders that can produce field defects, such as
- Partial or Complete Homonymous
- Complete Bitemporal Hemianopia
You must stop driving unless you are confirmed to be able to meet the recommended national guidelines. For more information about this, please consult the DVLA’s Medical Guidelines which can be found online or ring and speak to a member of their staff.
For group 2 holders, there are a series of requirements:
- The horizontal visual field should be a minimum of 160 degrees
- The extension should be at least 70 degrees left and right and 30 degrees up and down
- There should be no defects present within a radius of the central 30 degrees