Correcting Your Driver’s License After LASIK

Correcting Your Driver’s License After LASIKYou’ve had LASIK, now what? Of course enjoying your new improved vision is part of the fun, but there are some practical considerations to remember as well. Now that your vision has changed, you’ll need to change your driver’s license. If you have a vision restriction on your license, it is illegal to drive without glasses or contacts, even if your vision has improved as a result of LASIK. Here are some tips for getting those vision restrictions removed from your driver’s license.

Go In As Soon As Possible
Many people experience dramatic improvement in their eyesight after LASIK, sometimes so dramatic that glasses or contacts are no longer needed. While you may be able to see clearly after LASIK, it is important to remember that any vision restrictions on your driver’s license are still in place. It is important to get these restrictions removed as quickly as possible. Some LASIK patients have received citations and even misdemeanor charges for failing to amend their driver’s license after surgery.

Some experts recommend carrying proof of your LASIK surgery and improved vision until you have a chance to amend your driving record. In some states it can take several days or weeks to get an appointment. You may want to contact your local DMV prior to your procedure to find out the process you will need to undergo to remove any vision restrictions from your license. Your eye doctor may also be familiar with the requirements in your state. Your eye doctor will know if your vision has improved enough to remove the restriction from your license.

Requirements Vary By State
The requirements for correcting your driver’s license after vision correction surgery vary by state. The best way to find out the procedure and requirements in your area is to contact your state’s licensing agency. The name of this agency will vary by state but common names are the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Public Safety or the Department of Motor Vehicles.

In some areas you will need to make an in-person visit to amend your driving privileges, but in other areas this can be accomplished through the mail. In Virginia for example you can amend your driver’s license after LASIK by filling out a driver’s license application and submitting a special report from your eye doctor. In California you must appear in person for license testing or renewal after LASIK surgery to ensure you meet the minimum standards for operating a motor vehicle. Many states require you to retest your vision before the restriction can be removed. Almost all states charge a fee for a new license.

How Does LASIK Impact Ability to Drive?
LASIK can improve vision and may result in being able to have vision restrictions removed from your driver’s license, but it is important to note that results can vary greatly. Talk with your doctor about what results you can expect from LASIK and how the procedure will impact your ability to drive. You may not be able to drive for a few days after your procedure and some patients experience changes in their vision that impact driving for a period of time afterwards.

One study found that LASIK surgery can negatively impact the ability to drive at night. The FDA indicates that it can take between 3-6 months for vision to stabilize after a procedure and that glare, haloes and other visual symptoms may be present during your recovery.

Immediately after LASIK you may be unable to drive for a period of time. One of the medications used to help patient’s relax during surgery can impair your ability to drive, making it unsafe to drive immediately following LASIK surgery. Blurry vision is also common immediately after the procedure which is why you are required to bring a driver with you on the day of surgery. Wait to drive until you receive clearance from your doctor and continue using vision correction when driving unless you are told otherwise.

After LASIK surgery it is very important to take the necessary steps to remove any vision restrictions from your driver’s license if your vision improves enough. This will help you to get the most enjoyment out of your improved eye sight and to avoid any problems or complications with the law. The best way to do this is to contact your state’s licensing agency and to report your recent LASIK surgery. You may need to have an eye test and to pay a fee to have the restriction removed.

Did you update your driver's license after Lasik? Post your thoughts in the comments below!

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