Getting license restrictions removed?

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Obligatory praise first: Absolutely love your site, I check it daily for new posts and even new comments – car guys with major distaste for government? YES!
So, I have very poor vision which leads to having a “C” restriction (no nighttime driving) on my license. I live in Indiana for what it’s worth. Most jobs (including mine) require either getting there before sunrise or leaving after sunset which leaves me totally dependent on others to drive me in and pick me up. This basically doubles gas usage, maintenance, mileage, my family’s time, etc.

Regarding my visison, I have a foot long list of eye problems and a combined vision of 20/60 I think. 20/80 and 20/70 separately. To just get a license was an quite an adventure requiring my ophthalmologist to fax paperwork to the DMV after talking them into accepting that as “passing” the vision test.

I’m not a bad driver – better than most, in fact – but I failed the arbitrary gubberment test. Of course, ignoring the whole thing is one possibility, but on the off chance I am involved in a wreck there could be serious financial hell to pay. Cheating on the test is another possibility (I assume it’s pretty universal). I’ve researched on the internet (finding out anything from the gov’t isn’t exactly easy); the nice email I sent to the DMV received the automaton response of – literally – “No”. I am open to taking classes, driving school (BLEH!), or whatever else. I am extremely tired of this BS from Big Brother and really need this restriction removed. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


  1. I like how Eric turned that into a new article.

    The Van/RV idea is good, but unrealistic for me at least right now. Scooters, lawn mowers, bicycles are all legal to drive whenever/wherever. However, I need to travel 20 miles on 60+mph highway each way… in the dark. I don’t know how it is where you live, but here I’d be roadkill within a month. Modifying a lawn mower would be an interesting idea – throw in a small car (or bike) drivetrain under the lawn mower shell. That’d probably get me pulled over in no time though. I appreciate all the ideas. I’m going to talk to my eye doctor again next chance I get and see what he says.
    Thanks again!

    • I strongly urge that you not even think about a single-track, two-wheeled vehicle (bicycle, motorcycle, scooter) if your vision or any other physical sense is significantly impaired. You are, first of all, exponentially more vulnerable on a bike or scooter; extra (hyper) vigilance is necessary to avoid the careless/reckless driving of others. If you have poor vision (or hearing) your situational awareness is compromised.

      Secondly, riding (motorized or not) requires more physical skill/dexterity than driving a car. If you are significantly limited in terms of what you can do, physically, a two-wheeled vehicle is a poor choice.

  2. My neighbor is going through the same process too.
    Getting old’s such a drag.

    I wonder if speed is the real culprit here? It’s like what Mark R. Crovelli writes about drunk driving, if drunk drivers were allowed to drive at 5 m.p.h. on the shoulder of the road, things would be a whole lot better and safer all around.

    My neighbor is just fine at 10 m.p.h., it’s the faster speeds that bite.

    That’s typical of the state; cutting those with bad eye-sight out of their use of the road, yet they have to pay a tax to maintain the road.

    Maybe get a van or an RV and have someone park it in the company parking lot, then spend the week there?

    Turn your car into a taxi cab company and have the driver make some money while he waits for you to get off work? The regulation fees and permits are probably too high if you wanted to paint it yellow. … so don’t paint it yellow.

    [And where are those personal jet packs the 1950’s generation promised would be here, in 1984? Oh that’s right, they spent the R&D money for torture and death squads, but I digress.]

    If the road were privatized the owner might build a slow lane for People who want to or need to go slow?

    I’m not sure, but in some states a Person does not need a license to drive a moped or scooter under 50 cc’s or something like that. The motorized bicycles are somewhat popular for that reason. It used to be People could drive in the right-of-way off the side of the road, but I’m sure that’s likely not permitted any longer, even at 3 m.p.h.?

    If a Person is banned from driving an automobile due to poor eyesight, are they banned from riding bicycles too?

    What about lawn mowers? I know People get arrested for driving them drunk, but what about half-blind while going 2 m.p.h.?

    Build a cab for it for Winter? I’ve seen a number of People riding around the streets of my city in Winter while riding Hover-round chairs, a lawnmower seems about the same? Idk.

    Not a solution exactly, but this might be of help:

    3 Ways to Improve Your Eyesight

  3. Thanks guys, I really appreciate it. Eric, you are correct my vision is bad. There are places I don’t feel safe driving in the daytime (the interstate during any significant traffic for example) so I avoid them, and after several years of driving I haven’t even bumped the trash at the end of the driveway. Nothing would be worse to me than causing a wreck. Corrective surgery is a possibility that, according to my doctor, should work well. I’ll look into it further. Thanks again!

  4. If you drive “as is,” you run the risk of being caught (bad) and also of possibly causing a wreck (extremely bad). Only you know how good – or bad – your vision really is. As in whether you can see sufficiently to drive without being a wreck waiting to happen.

    While I agree the state’s standards are invariably arbitrary and “one size fits all,” you should be honest with yourself – and considerate of others.

    Probably, your best (legal) bet is to see whether corrective surgery or something along those lines can improve your vision sufficiently to pass the test.


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