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Wyoming driver vision testing rules to change as Gordon signs bill into law

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CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has signed House Bill 20 into law, a bill that will modify driver vision testing rules in the state effective July 1, 2021.

The bill will 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

When the bill was still working through the House of Representatives, Rep. Jerry Obermueller (Natrona County) said 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.”

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.

The House amended the legislation on second reading. Rather than setting a rule that someone applying to extend their license would have to provide written evidence showing they have visual acuity at 20/40 or better with or without corrective lenses, the amendment would allow the DMV to establish such application rules.

The House passed the bill on unanimous third reading vote of 60-0 on March 3. The Senate then passed the bill on a third reading vote of 27-3 on March 25. That vote was as follows:

  • Ayes: ANDERSON, BALDWIN, BITEMAN, BONER, BOUCHARD, COOPER, DOCKSTADER, DRISKILL, ELLIS, FRENCH, FURPHY, GIERAU, HICKS, JAMES, KINSKEY, KOLB, KOST, LANDEN, MCKEOWN, NETHERCOTT, PAPPAS, PERKINS, ROTHFUSS, SALAZAR, SCHULER, STEINMETZ, WASSERBURGER
  • Nays: CASE, HUTCHINGS, SCOTT

The bill was sponsored by the Joint Transportation, Highways & Military Affairs Interim Committee.

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