How to Apply for Diabetes Exemptions

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How Does a CMV Driver Apply for an Exemption from the Diabetes Standard?

  1. Endocrinologist Medical Evaluation Checklist

The applicant must be examined by a board-certified or board-eligible endocrinologist. The applicant should take the Endocrinologist Medical Evaluation checklist to the appointment. The endocrinologist must complete all parts of the checklist. When submitting a completed application to the Diabetes Exemption Program, the applicant must ensure that the endocrinologist’s signed letterhead, a completed checklist, and any additional information requested has been included.

  1. Vision Medical Evaluation Checklist

The applicant must have an eye examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. An applicant with diabetic retinopathy MUST be evaluated by an ophthalmologist. The applicant should take the Vision Medical Evaluation Checklist to the appointment. The ophthalmologist or optometrist must complete all parts of the checklist. When submitting a completed application to the Diabetes Exemption Program, the applicant must ensure that the ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s signed letterhead, the completed checklist, and any additional information requested has been included.

Both medical evaluations must be completed within 6 months of submitting a completed application to the Diabetes Exemption Program Office.

C.  Additional Applicant Information

The applicant must provide all requested information as indicated on the applicant checklist and include a readable photocopy of both sides of his or her driver’s license .Additional medical information may be required, based on review of the information submitted. Prior to submitting the application, please review all information and make sure that each checklist is completely filled out and that all required information is included. Application review will be delayed if the information submitted is not current or if it is incomplete. Mail all information to:

Diabetes Exemption Program

Room 8301400 Seventh Street, SW

Washington, DC 20590-0001

The application may be faxed to 703-448-3077. However, an original must be mailed to the address above.

What Happens After a Completed Application Is Submitted?

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will review the application and notify the applicant if additional information is needed. Please note that additional medical information may be required depending on any medical conditions outlined in the application.

Once the application is complete, FMCSA will determine if the eligibility criteria have been met. If the applicant is eligible for an exemption, a notice must be published in the Federal Register requesting public comment on the application. The comments help determine if granting the exemption would achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety that would be achieved without the exemption. The notice discloses the applicant’s full name, age, basic information related to the applicant’s insulin use to control diabetes, and the type of driving license held; however, the notice does not include any detailed personal information, such as the applicant’s address, employer, medical records, or driver’s license number.

The Federal Register notice usually includes several drivers eligible for an exemption. A30-day comment period is provided for interested parties to respond. If there are no comments that warrant denial of the application, FMCSA will publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing the decision to grant the exemption. The exemption is valid for operating a CMV within the United States and does not exempt the applicant from the physical qualifications of bordering countries.

If the Applicant Does Not Meet Eligibility Criteria

If FMCSA determines that the applicant does not meet one or more of the eligibility criteria, a denial letter will be mailed to the applicant outlining the reason that the Agency is unable to grant the exemption from the diabetes standard. Please note that the denial letter applies only to the portions of the application reviewed.

How Long Does the Process Take?

It may take up to 180 days from the date a preliminary decision is made to grant an exemption until the exemption is granted. This time is required to evaluation of the completed application and to complete the Federal Register notice process.

What Is Required After an Exemption Is Granted?

The exemption is sent to the applicant by certified mail. The exemption document outlines all requirements of the exemption. FMCSA can issue an exemption for a maximum of 2 years. At the end of the 2-year period, FMCSA may renew the exemption at its discretion. To retain the exemption and remain eligible for a renewal of the exemption, the driver must meet all requirements of the Diabetes Exemption Program.

How Do I Obtain the Application Package?

Applicants may obtain an application package from the IBT Safety and Health Department by calling (202) 624-6969 or directly from the FMCSA website at