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Acta Ophthalmol. 2018 Sep;96(6):623-630. doi: 10.1111/aos.13741. Epub 2018 Sep 23.

Strain out a gnat and swallow a camel? - vision and driving in the Nordic countries.

Author information

Eye unit, Höglandssjukhuset Eksjö, Jönköping County, Sweden.
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.



This study describes the present legislation for visual requirements for driving in the Nordic countries in relation to the European Driving License Directive.


Information about the formal legislation was gathered from each countries legal text. Further information about the implementation and common practices were achieved from national authorities in vision and driving.


Even though the Nordic countries use the same framework of legislation, the implementation varies widely. Sweden and Norway have more specified visual field requirements than the others. On the other hand, no periodic testing of visual acuity (VA) is performed in Sweden as in all other Nordic countries. Physicians on Iceland are not obliged to report a person no longer fulfilling the visual requirements, as in other Nordic countries. In Denmark, Finland and Norway a person may apply for dispensation from the requirements by performing a practical driving test. In Sweden, a person applying for dispensation can undergo a traffic simulator test.


Because of the national legislation in the Nordic countries, a person with a visual impairment may be given different permissions depending on which country they live in. As the inhabitants in the Nordic countries frequently cross the regional borders, a harmonization of the legislation would be of value. More research in this field could provide future standards, combining the greatest autonomy with the highest possible safety.


driver's licence; legislation; monocularity; night vision; traffic medicine; visual acuity; visual fields

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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