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Wyoming looks to change vision requirements for driver’s licenses due to COVID-19

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CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Legislature is working to modify visual requirements for someone to obtain a driver’s license.

Rep. Jerry Obermueller (Natrona County) said during the House of Representatives Monday, March 1 floor session that the need to modify rules for vision testing “became apparent during this COVID era.”

“Currently, as you know, you sit in front of a vision box when you are getting or renewing your driver’s license or you can present current results from your eye doctor,” Obermueller told the House.

Obermueller explained that the in-person requirements for people to demonstrate visual acuity during the COVID pandemic “was problematic and caused delays and in some cases more than just an inconvenience.”

He noted that House Bill 20 would amend Wyoming statutes to allow for “more flexibility in demonstrating that you can see well enough to drive.”

Obermueller said the bill would allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to establish vision testing rules through their own rule-making process for people to demonstrate visual acuity rather than being limited to vision testing or results from an eye doctor as set in current statute.

Allowing the DMV to set the rules would create more flexibility for the rules to be adjusted due to situations like the COVID pandemic or as technologies advance, according to Obermueller.

House Transportation, Highways & Military Affairs Chair Donald Burkhart, Jr. (Carbon County) said that a technical amendment to the bill would be needed on second reading of the bill, but that this amendment would not change the substance of the bill.

The House passed House Bill 20 on first reading (Committee of the Whole) on Monday. The bill is sponsored by the Joint Transportation, Highways & Military Affairs Interim Committee.

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