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VisionTypes of Color Vision Tests

Types of Color Vision Tests

Vision—Types of Color Vision Tests

Types of Color Vision Tests

(Code of Federal Regulations Outlining Examination Procedures for Removal of Color Vision Restriction) (Attachment for Procedure for Removal of Color Vision Restriction)

Code of Federal Regulations

All Classes: 14 CFR 67.103(c), 67.203(c),and 67.303(c)—ability to perceive those colors necessary for the safe performance of airman duties.

Examination Procedures


  1. Pseudoisochromatic plates. [AOC], 1965 edition; AOC-HRR, 2nd edition; Dvorine,2nd edition; Ishihara, 14-, 24- or 38-plate editions;or Richmond, 1983 edition,1 plates).
  2. Acceptable substitutes:
    • Farnsworth Lantern (except D15)
    • Keystone Orthoscope.
    • Keystone Telebinocular.
    • LKC Technologies,Inc., APT-5 Color Vision Tester.
    • OPTEC 2000 Vision Tester (Model Nos. 2000PM,
      2000PAME, and 2000PI).
    • Titmus Vision Tester.
    • Titmus 11 Vision Tester(Model Nos. Tll and TIIS).
    • Titmus 2 Vision Tester Model Nos. T2A and T2S).


The test plates to be used for each of the approved pseudoisochromatic tests are:


Edition Plates


1965 1/15


2nd 1/11
Dvorine 2nd 1/15
Ishihara 14-plate 1/11
Ishihara 24-plate 1/15
Ishihara 38-plate 1/21
Richmond 1983 1/15

The following conditions should be ensured when testing with pseudoisochromatic plates:

  1. The test book should be held 30 inches from the applicant.
  2. Plates should be illuminated by at least 20-foot candles, preferably by a Macbeth Easel Lamp or a Verilux True Color Light (F1 5T8VLX).
  3. Three seconds should be allowed for the applicant to interpret and respond to a given plate.

Testing procedures for the Farnsworth Lantern; Keystone; LKC Technologies, Inc.; OPTEC 2000, Titmus, Titmus II, and Titmus 2 Vision Testers accompany the instruments.

The results (normal or abnormal) should be recorded.


An applicant does not meet the color vision standard if testing reveals:

All Classes

  1. Seven or more errors on plates 1-15 of the AOC (1965 edition) pseudoisochromatic plates.
  2. AOC-HRR (second edition): Any error in test plates 7-11. Because the first 4 plates in the test book are for demonstration only, test plate 7 is actually the eleventh plate in the book. (See instruction booklet).
  3. Seven or more errors on plates 1-15 of Dvorine pseudoisochromatic plates(second edition, 15 plates).
  4. Six or more errors on plates 1-11 of the concise 14-plate edition of the Ishihara pseudoisochromatic plates. Seven or more errors on plates 1-15 of the 24-plate edition of Ishihara pseudoisochromatic plates. Nine or more errors on plates 1-21 of the 38-plate edition of Ishihara pseudoisochromatic plates.
  5. Seven or more errors on plates 1-15 of the Richmond (1983 edition) pseudoisochromatic plates.
  6. Farnsworth Lantern test: An average of more than one error per series of nine color pairs in series 2 and 3. (See instruction booklet).
  7. Any errors in the six plates of the Titmus Vision Tester, the Titmus II Vision Tester, the Titmus 2 Vision Tester, the OPTEC 2000 Vision Tester, the Keystone Orthoscope, or Keystone Telebinocular.
  8. LKC Technologies, Inc., APT-5 Color Vision Tester: The letter must be correctly identified in at least two of the three presentations of each test condition. (See APT-5 screening chart for FM-related testing in instruction booklet).

Certificate Limitation

If an applicant fails to meet the color vision standard as interpreted above but is otherwise qualified, the Examiner may issue a medical certificate bearing the limitation: NOT VALID FOR NIGHT FLYING OR BY COLOR SIGNAL CONTROL.

Special Issuance of Medical Certificates

An applicant who holds a medical certificate bearing a color vision limitation may request a signal light test. This request should be in writing and should be directed to the Aerospace Medical Certification Division or the appropriate regional flight surgeon. If the applicant passes the signal light test, the FAA will issue a medical certificate without the color vision limitation and provide the applicant with a "letter of evidence." The signal light test may be given any time during flight training.

X-Chrom Lens

This lens is not acceptable to the FAA as a means for correcting a pilot's color vision deficiencies.

Yarn Test

Yarn tests are not acceptable methods of testing for the FAA medical certificate.

See also: Eye Evaluation Form 8500-7

How/Where to Submit to the FAA

Helps you find the contact information for submitting your medical records.

Updated April 2016