New York drivers who renewed licenses during the pandemic face possible suspension on Friday
Nearly 50,000 New York drivers could find themselves without a valid license this Friday if they don't submit a certified vision test to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
Suspensions would affect drivers whose licenses expired between March 1, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2021.
Drivers like Baria Kendezi who renewed her license before the pandemic are in the clear.
"It was just a standard test. I had to go to DMV, they took a picture, made me read off the letters for the eye exam, and that was it," said Cortlandt resident Baria Kendezi.
A pandemic-era rule allowed drivers to renew their licenses online by temporarily self-certifying their vision test requirements. The move intended to make it easier for people to renew their expired driver's licenses at a time when many places including doctor's offices and DMVs were closed.
According to state officials, nearly 100,000 people have updated their vision tests since April, but 50,000 are still outstanding. People can either make an appointment at the DMV, take a vision test from a state-approved location, or submit a form certified by a practitioner.
"We ask them for their ID, we fill out the form with our information, and then we test them. If they pass we give them the form back with our signature and our license information," said White Plains' Sunshine Pharmacy owner Mitesh Patel.
It takes five days on average for the DMV to process vision tests, but it could be longer if results are sent through the mail.
Driving with a suspended license in New York can result in a ticket, fines or possible jail time.
DMV officials encouraged drivers to submit their tests by Dec. 1 to avoid issues.