Can a Person with Diabetes Get a CDL? - Part 2

Can a Person with Diabetes Get a CDL? - Part 2

In the last edition we explained the types of diabetes and how can a person with diabetes get a CDL. In this edition we are going to explain how someone can get Medical Exemption for diabetes from the FMSCA.

First of all, to be qualified for a medical waiver, it is mandatory that drivers with Type 1 diabetes have been medicated with insulin for at least 2 months before claiming exemption and  for drivers with Type 2 diabetes, at least 1 month.

If truck drivers comply with these criteria they should download and print the Program Packet, regarding Federal Diabetes Exemption, from FMSCA’s website: The information in this document should be read carefully by the applicant.


Drivers will be required for a DOT medical examination conducted by licensed medical examiner from FMSCA’s National Registry listing:


The medical criteria that drivers must be met are:


Not having one or more hypoglycemic events in the last twelve months or two or more episodes in the last 5 years culminating in:

  1. Period of confusion
  2. Seizure
  3. Loss  of consciousness
  4. The assistance of another person was needed. 


Not having any signs of end-organ damage such as:

  1. Stroke
  2. Kidney Failure
  3. Congestive Heart disease
  4. Retinopathy
  5. Peripheral Neuropathy
  6. Macular Degeneration


Drivers should provide the following information to submit their applications: 

  1. Applicant Checklist
  2. Endocrinologist Assessment Checklist
  3. Signed copy of the Medical Examination Report
  4. Signed copy of the Medical Examiner’s Certificate
  5. Vision Assessment Checklist
  6. Copy of driver’s motor vehicle record and license


The driver with diabetes who takes insulin must pass 57 screenings in order to get Federal Diabetes Exemption. The DOT physical exam will be valid for 24 months. In case the medical examiner considers necessary to monitor a condition, like high blood pressure or diabetes, a certificate for less than 24 months could be issued. 


If the medical examiner evaluates that the driver with diabetes is physically able to operate a CMV, a Medical Examiners’ certificate will be issued. Federal Diabetes Exemption is valid for 1 year. After this year, if the drivers do not comply with the criteria for a new application they will not be able to continue operating CMV for interstate trucking.


It is important that truckers who get Federal Diabetes Exemption continue to take care of their health during the entire year by having a balanced diet, resting, visiting their doctors and taking all the medication correctly.


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