New U.S. regulations for CMV drivers with Type 1 Diabetes

FMCSA introduces new rules for commercial drivers with type 1 diabetes.

The FMCSA recently updated its regulations for commercial drivers with type 1 diabetes. Drivers with type 1 diabetes are insulin dependent and need medical exemptions from the FMCSA.

As of November 19, 2018, a driver with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) can be granted an exemption by his or her doctor. Drivers can request that the doctor assisting them in their diabetes treatment complete form MCSA-5876. This form will need to be completed every twelve months. This makes it so much easier for drivers to get back to driving and earning their living.

As per the FMCSA:

                “individuals with a stable insulin regimen and properly controlled insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to be qualified to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.”

Good News for American Commercial Drivers with Type 1 Diabetes

The new ruling is an updated stance for a condition that has changed greatly in how it’s medically managed. The American Diabetes Association sees this new ruling as a very positive change in the lives of those afflicted by the condition. Instead of a sweeping rule for all driver’s who use insulin as part of their health care, this allows it to become a by case basis that demonstrates that individuals with type 1 diabetes can safely operate commercial vehicles.

How Have the Diabetes regulations for CMV drivers Changed?

The old regulations stipulated that U.S. drivers need to have completed three steps in order to be granted the exemption.

First, they need to be treated by a board-certified endocrinologist and have a signed statement that the patients A1C stayed within 7-10%.

Secondly, the driver needed a signed statement from an ophthalmologist or optometrist stating no unstable diabetic retinopathy.

And thirdly, a signed medical examiners report stating the driver meets all physical qualifications excepting the diabetes condition.

These reports and exams had to be completed at the expense of the driver and delayed them from driving for approximately 77 days.

New Diabetes Regulations for CMV Drivers Saving Money and Time

The new regulations save the driver approximately $386.00 USD each year and saves the FMCSA more than a million dollars. Additionally, the driver doesn’t lose any wages due to waiting times for processing of paperwork from the exams.

Are Canadian Drivers Able to Use the New U.S. Diabetes Regulations?

Unfortunately, no. Canadian drivers with type 1 diabetes cannot take advantage of the new U.S. regulations as they do not currently comply with Canadian medical standards for commercial motor vehicle drivers.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance says they have engaged in talks with authorities in both the U.S. and Canada about the possibility of adding insulin treated diabetes to the medical reciprocity in cross border travel.

So, what do Canadian Commercial Drivers with Diabetes Need?

The Diabetes Canada website gives recommendations for both private and commercial drivers on how to prepare and what precautions to take if you are a person living with any form of diabetes.

Canadian commercial drivers still need to undergo 3 steps similar to what the FMCSA had previously required.

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

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.

Canadian drivers who want to view the CCMTA’s (Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators) medical guidelines can view the PDF outlining medical standards.

Ontario commercial driver’s who have insulin treated diabetes need to review the rules from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO). If applying or renewing a license you will need to complete the Diabetes Assessment form with your physician. The review of the form can take up to 30 business days. Commercial driver’s who control their diabetes through either diet control or oral medications are only required to file regular medical reports in order to keep their commercial class license.

For More Information Regarding the FMCSA’s New Rule on Diabetes

Find the update on the FMCSA website. You can also view American Diabetes Association site for more information.