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Residents Don't Like DMV Vision Test Change

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - Laurie Moulin said she thinks a vision test should still be given as a requirement before a driver's is issued.

"Absolutely a vision text should be included," Moulin said. "Vision is vital when it comes to driving."

Drivers in New York no longer have to retake eye exams when renewing their licenses due to a new Internet application announced by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles . The "MyDMV" application was said to help 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's license and conduct a number of other transactions," DMV Commissioner Barbara J. Fiala said.

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.

New York State DMV Spokesperson Jackie McGinness said the regulation should have no negative impacts for drivers, citing a period from 1993 to 2000 when vision testing was not required in New York.

"Anyone who goes to the DMV knows the lines can get too long," McGinness said. "I think people will understand that this is a convenience for them."

Ann Brochstein was opposed to the change.

"I only need slight correction but without it, I see signs too late and can cut people off," she said.

"Of course it should still be required," Brochstein said. "As if being able to see is not important for driving. Are they serious?"

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."

Castelli said the regulation was passed through private agencies and was not voted upon.

The "MyDMV" application also brings the services of changing addresses, receiving email reminders when vehicle registration and inspections are about to expire, downloading and printing driving records and allowing parents to monitor their teens' driving behaviors.

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