Free Eye Tests

You are entitled to a free NHS sight test if you are:

  • under 16
  • 16-18 and in full-time education
  • 60 or over
  • registered as blind or partially sighted
  • been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
  • 40 or over, and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • a prisoner on leave from prison
  • eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – such as certain types of bifocal, or powerful, lenses. We can advise you about your entitlement


You are also entitled to a free NHS sight test if you, or your partner, are receiving the following benefits:

  • receive Income Support
  • receive Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)


If you are named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3), you may get some help towards the cost of your sight test.


If you are eligible for a free NHS sight test (as above), you will be able to have a test as often as your optometrist considers is clinically necessary. This would normally be every two years but may be more frequent in certain situations. Your optometrist will be able to advise you about this. Your optometrist will also advise you about how often your children need to have their eyes tested.