Violating the obligation to drive with glasses can lead to fines and penalties, as well as serious trouble with insurance in the event of an accident. Let’s sum up.
To obtain or renew a driver’s license, it is necessary to undergo an eye examination with the certifying doctor who, in case of a negative outcome, will require the use of corrective lenses. Obviously, beyond the obvious risks to one’s own safety and that of others, violating the obligation and driving without glasses will result in fines and penalties, as well as serious trouble with insurance in the event of an accident. Let’s sum up.
Article 173 of the Highway Code
The use of glasses when driving is regulated by paragraph 1 of art. 173 of the Highway Code, which states: “The holder of a driving license who, at the time of issue or renewal of the license, has been prescribed to correct their organic deficiencies and anatomical or functional impairments through lenses or certain devices, is obliged to use them while driving.”
Where is the obligation for lenses indicated?
The indication of mandatory driving with glasses is present on the back of the new European driving license. More precisely, in the bottom row, with the code 01 indicating the need for vision correction and/or protection. In more detail, code 01 can be accompanied by other specific subcodes, indicating:
02 driving with contact lenses;
03 driving with protective glasses;
04 driving with opaque lens;
05 driving with eye occluder;
06 driving with glasses or contact lenses.
Nevertheless, it is always possible to replace glasses with contact lenses.
The third paragraph of the same article 173 of the Highway Code specifies that “anyone who violates the provisions of paragraph 1 is subject to an administrative penalty of a sum ranging from 83 euros to 333 euros.” In addition, 5 points will be deducted from the driver’s license.
What if I have an accident?
The matter becomes even more serious in the event of an accident. Whether or not one is responsible for the accident (TO BE VERIFIED), if it emerges from subsequent investigations that the driver was not wearing glasses despite the obligation, the insurance company may use the right of recourse for negligence.
Glasses or contact lenses?
Unless there is a specific medical indication (specific glasses or particular lenses), the highway code does not make any distinction between prescription glasses and contact lenses: both are acceptable (as specified by Legislative Decree no. 285/1992). However, it is important to remember that the certifying doctors have the right to verify the actual presence of contact lenses. Pretending to wear them when one is not could be costly.
A piece of advice
If you drive with contact lenses, it would be a good practice (even if not mandatory by law) to have a spare pair of glasses with you. Wind, dust, or a small insect could force you to remove the contact lenses: in that case, having a pair of prescription glasses at hand could be useful.
Canceling the obligation for lenses
If you regain your visual abilities, perhaps as a result of an eye surgery, you can request the cancellation of the obligation for lenses. The procedure is carried out automatically during the renewal process, together with the eye examination by the certifying doctor. Alternatively, if you do not want to wait for the renewal, you will need to undergo a new examination at a facility or with a contracted doctor (the list is available on the Motorization website), who will forward the change to the competent offices, which will then send the new document to the owner’s address.
Articolo 173 Codice della Strada, la guida con lenti e occhiali