Grabbing your car keys and running a quick errand is something many take for granted and losing that ability has a profound impact on one’s sense of self and independence. Many of our patients are faced with the decision of when to give up driving. The decision must be made based on what is legal, and also what is comfortable for the patient. As one of the few accredited low vision rehabilitation clinics in Illinois, Spectrios helps patients to retain or regain their driver’s license. We test patient’s visual acuity, potential, and peripheral field using the gold standard Goldmann visual field to determine if the visual fields meet the minimum acuity standards in the State of Illinois.

If the patient’s vision meets the standards for driving, we will complete the Vision Specialist Report (VSR. Spectrios submits the VSR directly to the Illinois Secretary of State and provides the original copy to the patient for their records. Remember, it is required for patients with vision impairment to get their vision checked and submit VSR on an annual basis.

If one’s acuity falls below the acuity standards, we assess if the prescription spectacle-mounted telescopic lenses (aka bioptics) are appropriate. In Illinois, bioptics can be considered if one can achieve 20/40 acuity through either a 2.2x standard telescope or 3.0x wide angle telescope. Custom bioptics would need to be ordered. Currently, Spectrios completes VSR for approximately 100 bioptic drivers on an annual basis.

Unfortunately, there are no special devices or optical tools currently permitted for those with a constricted visual field. One must discontinue driving if their peripheral field standards do not meet the minimum requirement.

When a patient just barely passes either acuity or peripheral field, or when the patient elects to pursue driving with bioptics, we refer patients to a driving rehabilitation clinic for behind-the-wheel evaluation and training. Spectrios works closely with STRIVE for Independence, which is staffed by occupational therapists who are also certified driving instructors.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding driving, please call 630-690-7115 and schedule a driving evaluation.

Illinois Minimum Acuity Standards (best corrected)

  • Unrestricted: 20/40 binocular
  • Daylight driving only: 20/41 to 20/70 binocular
  • Failure: 20/71 or worse binocular
  • Right and left outside rearview mirrors are required if one eye is 20/100 or worse

Illinois Minimum Peripheral Field Standards

  • Binocular: total temporal peripheral field of 140 degrees or greater
  • If less than 140 degrees, at least one eye must have 70 degrees temporal and 35 degrees nasal
  • L/R outside rearview mirrors – required
  • Failure: if neither eye has 70 degrees temporal and 35 degrees nasal