Canadian commercial drivers with diabetes can now operate in the US

Canadian truck drivers with diabetes can now apply to have Code W removed from their licence

Some good news has come down from the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA). Canadian commercial drivers with insulin-treated diabetes are now cleared to cross the border and operate in the United States.

This comes after a ruling from September 2018 by the FMCSA which allowed U.S commercial drivers with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to drive commercial vehicles. At the time of the ruling there was no medical fitness reciprocity agreement between Canada and the United States.


The update to the ruling changes this. Now Canadian truckers with ITDM will be able to start the process to remove the Code W from their licenses, which will allow them to cross to the south.

According to the letter from the CCMTA to the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), Canadian jurisdictions are currently starting the process to identify and contact drivers with diabetes related Code W. Commercial motor vehicle drivers can contact their jurisdiction to start the process to remove the code and speed up the time to get a new licence.

The FMCSA has also posted their letter with the changes to the Medical Reciprocity AgreementĀ 

How do people with diabetes get a commercial licence in Canada?

Canadian commercial driversĀ  with diabetes must complete 3 steps to receive their commercial licence.

  1. Comprehensive medical exam by a doctor or nurse.
  2. Eye exam by ophthalmologist or optometrist
  3. Applicant must have a log of blood sugar measurements for the past six months (frequency of tests to be determined by physician).

If you needs to brush up on what is required to be a commercial driver with diabetes you can review that here.

To renew your commercial license the medical exam must take place every two years (unless stated otherwise by your province or territory), while an eye exam must take place yearly. A recent log of blood sugar measurements need to be up to date and verifiable on request.

Other reference links:

Diabetes Canada

American Diabetes Association