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Kentucky's Bioptic Driving Program Frequently Asked Questions


Question: What are the visual requirements?
Answer:
  • Your visual acuities must be 20/200 or better in one eye and you must be able to see at least 20/60 or better through the bioptic telescopic lens.
  • The horizontal field of vision must be at least 120 degrees and the vertical field of vision must be at least 80 degrees.
  • Your vision must be stable for at least 12 months.

Question: How much does it cost?
Answer: 
  • If you meet the training requirements as a vocational rehabilitation client, the cost will be covered by your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.
  • If you do not meet the requirements as a vocational rehabilitation client, you will have to cover the cost. The behind-the-wheel training is $125 per hour. There may be travel expenses if the trainer is not located in your area.
  • The bioptic telescopic device could range from $1,000 to $3,500.
  • Depending on the visual condition, sunshields may be required. The cost can range from $20 to $200.  You may require several sunshields. 

Question: What about obtaining a drivers permit?
Answer: Upon successful completion of a clinical and in car spotting evaluation, you will be presented with a permit letter. You will present this letter to your local circuit court clerk and it will exempt you from taking the vision test when applying for your permit. You must take the written exam which covers the road signs and rules of the road.

Question: How long does it take?
Answer: It can take from several months to several years from the initial clinical evaluation to the time you actually start behind the wheel training. The waiting time depends on the order of priority. Order of Priority Training will be provided in the following order:
  1. ​​​Potential trainees in jeopardy of losing their employment 
  2. Potential trainees that have completed their VR training and are ready for employment 
  3. Potential trainees that are having difficulty getting to and from their place of training/education
  4. All other potential trainees
​​​​The minimum behind the wheel training is 30 hours for new drivers and 15 hours for experienced drivers. On average it takes 80 hours for new drivers and 25 hours for experienced drivers.
 
Question: Can I drive at night?
Answer: 
  • You must receive approval from your eye doctor. 
  • You must successfully pass an in car evaluation and training. 
  • You must pass a Bioptic Driving Skills Road Test at night administered by the Kentucky State Police.
  • There is no longer a waiting period for driving at night (from 2001 to 2014 there was a 36 month waiting period from initial bioptic licensure).

Question: Do I have to provide my own vehicle?
Answer: No, the trainer will provide a training vehicle.

Question: Upon successfully being licensed, what about car insurance?
Answer: You cannot be charged any more than anyone else for being a bioptic driver. You do not have to tell your insurance company that you are a Bioptic Driver.
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Blind Services​

Orientation and Mobility Services

Deaf Blind Services

Independent Living Services and Older Individual Who are Blind

Bioptic Driving Program

Resources and Publications

Coco-Cola Scholarship​​

Find more information about classes and services offered at the McDowell Center for the Blind ​​​

Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation​
Central Office
Mayo-Underwood Building
500 Mero Street 4th Floor NE
Frankfort, KY 40601
502-564-4440
800-372-7172 (V/TTY )​​
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