The California Vision Foundation is a non-profit, optometric charity designed to provide low-income, working, uninsured families throughout the state of California with free comprehensive eye exams and low cost glasses.



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Information for Patients

Applications received on/after January 1, 2010 will require a $10.00 non- refundable administrative fee per person in order to be processed.
cash or money orders can be made payable to: The California Vision Foundation

Individuals must meet the following criteria to qualify for a free eye exam and low cost glasses:

Individuals must meet the following criteria to qualify for a free eye exam and low cost glasses:

  • The household must qualify as low income (Download Low Income Guidelines).
  • The individual applying for the exam may not have had an exam in the past two (2) years.
  • The individual applying for the exam may not have vision insurance.

How to Apply:
Call 1-800-877-5738 and request one by mail.
Or download an application here.

What to Expect:
Once an individual has qualified for the program, every attempt will be made to match them with a volunteer optometrist in their area. Optometrists are donating their services and are, therefore, limited in some areas. Waiting times depend on the number of available appointments and the amount of qualified applicants in any particular area. An average waiting period is 2 to 3 months, but can vary from city to city. If we do not have a volunteer doctor near an applicants area, we will refund the $10.00 administration fee that was submitted with the application.

All applicants that have been matched to an optometrist will receive a letter in the mail containing the name, address and telephone number of the optometrist that they can call to schedule an appointment. Appointments will not be scheduled for patients who fail to contact the optometrist’s office within 60 days of receiving notification of eligibility.

Every attempt is made to assign members of the same family or household to the same doctor, but individuals will be sent to different doctors if it allows them to be seen in a shorter time frame. While an entire family or household may use just one application to apply for the program, all individuals who qualify for the program will receive their own letter detailing the doctor they have been assigned to.

Qualified patients will receive a free comprehensive eye exam. If glasses are needed, only standard, single-vision or bifocal lenses are covered by this program. Frames are typically donated from the doctor's office and frame selection may be limited. This program does not cover contact lenses or a contact lens exam.


California Optometric Association • 2415 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95816
(800) 877-5738 •