Do Drivers Need To Carry Spare Glasses Or Contact Lenses In Spain?

Image of Guardia Civil traffic officers.

Image of Guardia Civil traffic officers. Credit: Juan Carlos L.Ruiz/

Driving without ensuring that you can see the road properly is an imprudent action that can endanger other road users.

Not only that, but in Spain, doing so can also cause a motorist to be fined quite a considerable amount if stopped by a Guardia Civil traffic officer. Specifically, not wearing glasses or contact lenses when obliged to do so is a serious offence, and entails a fine of €200.

How does a traffic cop know if you should be wearing glasses or contact lenses?

Now, the key question is how does the policeman know whether or not a driver is required to wear a vision corrector? To find the solution to this information, all he has to do is look at the back of a motorist’s driving licence.

That is where the personal requirements that are required of any person to be able to drive a vehicle on Spanish roads appear. If the code 01 is specified in box 12, it means that the person is obliged to use some type of visual corrector.

As specified in Annex 1 of Order INT/4151/2004, regarding the type of corrective lenses, this is specified with the two-digit subcode that accompanies 01.

If the code shown is 01.01, then the use of glasses is mandatory, while code 01.02 implies the use of contact lenses. Alternatively, if it contains the code 01.06, that means a person can use both glasses and contact lenses interchangeably for driving.

It is not mandatory to carry spare glasses or lenses

As for spare glasses or lenses, it has not been mandatory to carry them for several years. However, it is highly recommended to do so, since they can be of great help in case you forget your usual glasses or suffer a mishap with them.

In the case of using prescription sunglasses as a substitute for normal ones, without filter lenses, the police will not be able to fine any driver because these are equally valid.

95 per cent of over-55s suffered some vision problems

According to the Vision Study in Spain, 2020, carried out by the Clínica Baviera, slightly less than 80 per cent of people aged over 18 had some type of visual defect. However, in the case of those over 55 years of age, there was a whopping 95 per cent who had some vision problem.

Of that total, 70 per cent of those affected by any of these visual problems resorted to wearing glasses, while 14 per cent opted for contact lenses.

In other words, there are many people in Spain who need to use some type of vision corrector, especially at times when it is most important, such as when they are driving, as reported by

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at