The Iowa Department of Transportation will not prevent Iowans with a "corrective lenses" restriction from renewing their driver's license online beginning next month.
When the Iowa Legislature passed a bill earlier this year providing for online driver's license renewal, the legislation included a provision requiring those with vision impairments or who seek to change a vision restriction on their license to continue renewing it in person.
Mark Lowe, director of the DOT Motor Vehicle Division, on Wednesday clarified that "vision impairments" does not include the usual restriction for corrective lenses.
"We will not exclude people that have a simple restriction for corrective lenses, as people that have corrective lenses typically self manage those well," Lowe said. "As we do in person, we will require applicants to certify under penalty of perjury that they do not have any mental or physical conditions that negatively affect their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, and that includes vision conditions."
Lowe said the legislation requires the DOT to develop rules to determine who will be eligible for a waiver of the vision screening for the purpose of renewing electronically.
"Through those rules, we will not extend the waiver to people who have restrictions indicating their driving privilege is limited or that indicate they have more serious conditions that require they provide a medical or vision report when they renew," Lowe said.
The law will allow drivers between the ages of 18 and 72 years to renew their Iowa operator's license electronically every other time. Lowe said the final rules will be presented at the July 9 meeting of the Iowa Transportation Commission.The DOT expects to have the online system up and running in mid-July.