California DMV Issues License To Blind Driver

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(Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

(Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

The DMV has never been known for its friendly customer service or short lines, but at least they are providing a crucial public service by ensuring that only qualified drivers are awarded a license, right?

You would think that, and you would be wrong.

72-year-old Mark Overland of Pacific Palisades has been suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, a condition which causes progressive loss of peripheral vision. Overland has lost 94% of his vision and is legally blind.

Yet five years ago on his DMV renewal form, the LA Times reports that when Overland checked off that he indeed has a visual impairment that affects his driving, he nonetheless received his new license in the mail.

Clerical error? Perhaps. Overhand had given up driving over 15 years ago due to his deteriorating vision, so luckily no one was injured by the mistake. And when his latest renewal came in the mail recently, it looked like the DMV was finally on track when Overland was required to come in for a vision test.

So how does a blind man walk into the DMV, clearly struggle with the eye exam, and come out with a renewed driver’s license?

That is a good question. Unfortunately the answer may be as simple as the DMV outright failed to keep an unqualified driver off the road. Which is, if we aren’t mistaken, one of its primary functions.

So next time you’re on the road and you yell, “What are you blind?” at someone when they cut you off, take comfort in knowing that, yes, they may actually be blind. Good job DMV.


-Carlos Delgado, CBS Radio Los Angeles

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