Wheels of Justice
CDL Diabetes Exemptions
After I wrote a recent article about CDL Vision Waivers, I began receiving inquir-ies about diabetes and if there were any waivers or exemptions available for drivers with diabetes, just like for vision. The answer is “yes.”
The physical qualifications for all CDL drivers under FMCSR 391.41:
“(b) A person is physically-qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if that person has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently requiring insulin for control;
The medical reciprocity agreement between the United States (U.S.) and Canada prohibits U.S. and Canadian CMV drivers who are insulin-using diabetics from trans-border operations. In addition, an exemp-tion from the diabetes standard is valid for operations only within the U.S. It does not exempt the driver from the physical qualification standards of any bordering jurisdiction.”
The FMCSA may grant an exemption for a two-year period if it finds “such exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption.” You can request a waiver if one or more FMCSR would prevent you from using or operating CMVs or make it unreasonably difficult to do so, during a non-emergency event that will take no more than three months to complete.
Before you decide to request a waiver, you should carefully review the regulation to determine whether there are any practical alternatives already available that would allow your use or operation of CMVs during the event. You should also determine whether you need a waiver from all of the requirements in one or more parts of the regulations, or whether a limited waiver of certain sections within one or more of the parts of the regulations would provide an acceptable level of regulatory relief.
To request a waiver, you must send a written request (a typed or handwritten letter), which in– cludes all of the information required by section 381.210, to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590.
If you have questions about the information you are required to submit to the FMCSA or about the status of your request for a waiver, you should contact the Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. The telephone number is (202) 366–1790.
Jim C. Klepper is president of Interstate Trucker Ltd., an organization that provides legal defense protection to commercial drivers. Jim is a lawyer who focuses on transportation law and the trucking industry in particular. He works to answer your legal questions about trucking, and he holds his Commercial Drivers License.
Jim C. Klepper
Attorney at Law