Registration Information for Eye Care Providers

Learn about registering a patient with the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB)

Legal Requirements of Report

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 6, Section 136 requires all eye care providers report within 30 days all cases of legal blindness to Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB).

Definition of Legal Blindness

  • Vision with correction of 20/200 or less in the better eye; or

  • Peripheral field of ten degrees (10°) or less, regardless of visual acuity

Mandatory Report of Legal Blindness

MCB encourages eye care providers to submit the Mandatory Report of Legal Blindness online for quick and efficient registration, however the report can also be submitted via mail, email, and fax.


Mail: MCB Blindness Registry, 600 Washington Street, Floor 3, Boston, MA 02111


Fax: 617-350-7959

NOTE: Mandatory Reports of Legal Blindness do not violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

Registration Process

Upon receipt of the Mandatory Report of Legal Blindness from the eye care provider, MCB will review and certify the determination of legal blindness. MCB’s Blindness Registry will mail a letter of determination to the patient and eye care provider. An MCB counselor will contact the patient to explain the available benefits, programs, and services.

Rational for Reporting Legally Blind Patients

  • Registered legally blind patients will have access to benefits and support services at a critical time in their lives

  • Dependable data is necessary for planning, initiating, and assessing appropriate and cost-effective programs and services

  • To advance the cause of blindness research

Patient Concerns

Eye care providers are encouraged to explain to their patients the law which requires them to report any determination of legal blindness to MCB. Eye care providers are also advised to refer any patient who has concerns about the registration process to MCB’s Blindness Registry for further explanation.

“Do Not Contact” Policy

A patient may request the eye care provider indicate the patient does not wish to be contacted by MCB. MCB will honor the patient’s decision and adhere to the “Do Not Contact” Policy.


  • Patient information is strictly confidential and protected by law except in the case of persons with a valid Massachusetts driver’s license. MCB is legally required to notify the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles of the patient’s legal blindness.

  • MCB does not release information except as stated above without written consent of the patient.

Liability for Failure to Report

Eye care providers should be aware they may be held liable by their patient for benefits, programs, and services the patient did not obtain due to the eye care provider’s failure to report the patient’s legal blindness.

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