Cuomo putting brakes on eye exam policy

September 30, 2011 2:05:52 PM PDT
The Cuomo administration is putting on hold a new policy that allowed drivers to skip an eye exam when renewing a license.

The State Department of Motor Vehicles issued a statement saying that first time drivers must pass an eye exam while the procedure for people renewing their licenses is under review.

"New Yorkers applying for a driver license for the first time will continue to be required to take a vision test at a DMV location, and commercial driver license holders will still be required to undergo bi-annual medical and vision examinations by a medical professional. With regard to license renewals, Commissioner Fiala said, "I have asked the medical organizations prominent in the vision health field, AAA and AARP to review the best alternatives for a system that receives more than 2.4 million driver license renewal applications each year. Those of us charged with delivering key government services to the public must always look for the most cost-effective ways to provide those services, but public safety will always be the first priority at DMV and it will not be compromised."

Since Wednesday, drivers renewing their licenses were able to "self certify" their eyesight because of a change in policy.

The DMV had been asked for proposals on how to cut costs, and one of the proposals was eliminating eye exams for license renewals to push more license renewals online.

The Cuomo administration was apparently not consulted, so now the administration is moving to reverse the policy.

Six states allow license renewals without eye exams.