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Self-Certified Eye Exams Worry Port Chester Eye Doctor

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Dr. Adam Deutscher shook his head when he hear about the removal of the vision test requirement for renewals of New York State driver’s licenses.

“My main concern is public safety,” said Deutscher, an optometrist at World Vision Optique. “This was a big mistake.”

New York announced the release of its new "MyDMV" Internet application Wednesday, which no longer requires residents to retake eye exams when renewing their licenses. Barbara Fiala, the DMV commissioner, said the application was designed to shorten waiting times and increase customer service throughout the state.

"These changes will make it easier for New Yorkers to use the Internet or mail to renew their driver license and conduct a number of other transactions," said Barbara J. Fiala, commissioner of the state DMV.

With the new system, drivers can self-certify that they meet vision requirements the same way they do with other medical issues as of Wednesday. The self-certification of vision requirements only applies to drivers renewing a license every eight years and excludes commercial drivers, who will still undergo medical and vision tests twice a year.

Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli (R, C - Goldens Bridge) said though he understood the desire to speed up the renewal process, drivers could handle the time it takes to test vision.

"A reduction in sight can happen," Castelli said. "Overall, it's a bad idea. Eyesight is imperative to driver safety."

Deutscher echoed Castelli’s concerns, adding that vision changes can happen so gradually that people often don’t realize it until there is a problem.

“I’m trying to think of a good reason for this but I just can’t think of one,” Deutscher said.

What do you think about the removal of the vision test requirement?

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