Can a Person with Diabetes Get a CDL? - Part 1

Can a Person with Diabetes Get a CDL? - Part 1

Diabetes pathology is where the sugar (glucose) levels in the blood are very high. There are 2 types, type 1 where the body does not produce insulin and type 2, the most common, where the body does not use or produces insulin correctly. If there is no insulin, glucose stays in the blood and over the time that sugar excess can cause serious diseases in the kidneys, nerves, eyes, heart, strokes, etc.

Many truck drivers have diabetes, as truckers have a 50% more of chances to develop this disease, because of their lifestyle, in comparison to the US national population average. There are drivers who already have this disease and are considering the possibility to become a commercial truck driver. So, is it possible to work as a commercial truck driver having diabetes? Yes, it is.

Basically, the drivers, who have diabetes, can request a medical waiver with the FMCSA to have the permission to operate CMVs, since they fulfill FMSCA’s specific criteria. We are going to explain you everything you need to know about Diabetes in relation to a truck driver.

  • Type 2 Diabetes – Can a driver get a CDL?

Yes. People with this type of diabetes, that do not take insulin, only have to comply with their state guidelines regarding to getting and preserving their CDL. It will not be necessary to submit for the Federal Diabetes Exemption and the driver would be able to cross state lines. But it is advisable to submit for the Federal Diabetes Exemption if the driver already knows that will need to take insulin soon.

  • Type 1 Diabetes - Can a driver get a CDL?

Yes, but the driver will have to comply with some medical criterions and also submit for the Federal Diabetes Exemption. Drivers with diabetes type 1 can operate in interstate commerce thanks to a bill from 2005.

If drivers with diabetes want to only operate a truck within their state and do not have plans of crossing any other state, they can get a CDL in their state. For the drivers that operate within state lines it is not necessary to request a Federal Diabetes Exemption. The regulations and rules from the drivers’ state regarding commercial driver licenses with diabetes should be the ones followed by the driver for interstate or intrastate trucking; every state has their own rules.

In the next edition we are going to explain how to get FMSCA Medical Exemption or Waiver for diabetes.


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