The Association for Independent Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians (AIO) has released a statement explaining that it believes there is no basis in law for the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to reject an Esterman field test performed by a qualified and registered optometrist as long as it is paid for by the patient.

This followed a statement released by the DVLA that stated members of the public should have their eyes tested at Specsavers. The AIO contested this, and explained that while the government would only pay for an Esterman Field test if it was performed at Specsavers there was no regulatory requirement that it must be conducted by Specsavers for the purposes of assessing fitness to hold a driving licence.

AIO guidance issued to members explained that full medical histories had to be provided to the DVLA and how to satisfy this request.

Specsavers was awarded the contract to provide government-funded field tests for the DVLA in 2019. AIO has challenged this through the Competition and Markets Authority and the Ministry for Transport, which the DVLA reports to.