New York Drivers Could Face License Suspensions Over Vision Tests

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
November 28, 2023New York
New York Drivers Could Face License Suspensions Over Vision Tests
People wait to be served in a Department of Motor Vehicles office in New York on Dec. 16, 2019. (Mark Lennihan/AP Photo)

ALBANY, N.Y.—New York drivers who renewed their licenses during part of the coronavirus pandemic face license suspensions on Friday if they don’t submit vision tests, the state Department of Motor Vehicles warned.

About 49,500 drivers statewide could have their licenses suspended because they failed to send in their tests, according to the DMV’s most recent estimate, an agency spokesperson said. The DMV urged drivers to submit the tests by Dec. 1 to avoid ramifications.

Suspensions would affect drivers whose licenses expired between March 1, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2021.

A pandemic-era rule allowed drivers to renew their licenses online by temporarily self-certifying their vision test requirement. It was intended make it easier for people to renew their expired driver’s licenses at a time when various places, including doctor’s offices and DMV offices, experienced closures and had to abide by strict social distancing restrictions. Drivers were still required to eventually submit the tests.

Over the last two years, the DMV sent notices to impacted drivers about the risk of suspension as the deadline approached. In April, about 150,000 drivers in the state had been at risk of license suspension over the vision tests, the DMV spokesperson said.

It takes about five days for the DMV to process the vision tests, and sometimes longer if the tests are sent through the mail.

People can take a vision test from a state-approved location or submit a vision test report form. The state-approved sites and the form are available on the DMV’s website.

Driving with a suspended license in New York can result in a ticket or fines of $200 to $500. It could also result in possible jail time of up to 30 days.

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