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White Plains DMV no Longer Requires Vision Tests

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Toni Chrystal waited in the White Plains Department of Motor Vehicles for two hours Wednesday afternoon so she could ensure that her eyesight was up to par while renewing her license. Despite the long lines, Chrystal said she has concerns with a new online application process that allows New Yorkers to self-verify that they meet vision requirements.

"It's ridiculous. You should take an eye exam," said Chrystal, a real estate agent from White Plains. "I'm certain that people will not accurately report it. The reason I came today is to get my eyes checked. I don't go to an eye doctor."

New York announced the release of its new "MyDMV" Internet application Wednesday, which no longer requires residents to retake eye exams when renewing their licenses. Barbara Fiala, the DMV commissioner, said the application was designed to 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.

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.

What are your thoughts on the online application? Will it be convenient? Do you have concerns that it may allow people who are unaware of vision problems on the road? Join the conversation below.

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