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Why should I Register as visually impaired?

What is registration

Registration is official recognition that you have a visual impairment. Being registered as sight impaired is entirely voluntary, but opens the door to help that you may not otherwise receive.


A person is described as being visually impaired when they have an eye condition that cannot be corrected using glasses, or if they have a significant loss of visual field. Someone with only one eye, but normal, or corrected vision in the other eye would not be classed as visually impaired as the remaining eye will compensate for the lost eye.

To become registered your vision will need to be assessed by a Consultant Ophthalmologist at the hospital.


They will test both your visual acuity (how well you see detail at a distance) by asking you to read an eye chart, and your visual field (how much you can see around the edge of your vision whilst looking straight ahead.


If you are suitable for registration the consultant will issue a CVI or Certificate of Visual Impairment. This provides official recognition of a persons sight impairment. There are two levels of registration sight impaired (partially sighted) or severely sight impaired (blind).


You will be given a copy of the form, and a copy will be sent to your GP. If you consent a copy of the form will also be sent to your local council and Moorefield Eye Hospital who hold the national register.


Benefits of registration

Being registered has the following benefits


Registration opens the door to help, that may help to make a person more independent.

You will receive contact from their local council explaining what support is available and offer access to rehabilitation services.

You will be made aware of entitlements to a wide range of concessions

If registered, it is easier to prove the degree of sight impairment when applying for benefits.

By not being registered many sight impaired people are missing out on help that they are entitled to. So it is important that people who are not registered talk to their consultant or if they are not under care of a hospital, ask their GP or Optician about the benefits of registration to ensure they can access the services that they need.


Concessions for people who are registered blind/severely sight impaired

50% Discount on TV licence for people under 75

Blind person tax allowance

Disabled Persons Blue Badge

Free directory enquiries service

Eligible to use the Royal Mail Articles for the Blind Service

Free NHS sight tests

English National Concessionary Blind Pass – Local bus travel, Companion pass entitles companion to same entitlements as the holder

Free bus travel on and off-peak

Disabled Persons Rail Card

Apply for Attendance Allowance and Personal Independence Payment.

Concessions for people who are registered sight impaired/partially sighted

Eligible to use the Royal Mail Articles for the Blind Service

Free directory enquiries

Free NHS sight tests

Free off-peak bus travel

Disabled Persons Rail Card

Apply for Attendance Allowance and Personal Independence Payment

To register or not to register

Registration is voluntary and if you decide not to become registered this will not change the care you receive under the NHS. If your condition or needs change you can always change your mind.