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Rye Man Welcomes Driver's License Renewal Changes

RYE, N.Y. – Tom Colon was glad to hear there would no longer be a vision test requirement for the renewal of New York State driver’s licenses. “I kind of like this new rule,” said Colon, 71, who wears glasses. “It makes it easier on us folks in our sixties and seventies.” 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."

Colon said he gets regular vision tests at the optometrist every two years and that the lack of the requirement will not prevent him from continuing to do so. He did express some concern, however, about drivers older than himself.

“Maybe when people start getting into their eighties, they should require the tests,” he said.

What do you think about the removal of the vision test requirement? Do you agree with Mr. Colon?

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