The strict testing of the DOT physical is meant to protect the lives of those who may be driving, as well as other drivers on the road. Dr. Erin Merrill, a certified medical examiner, is passionate about helping navigate all the ins and outs of the DOT physical exam.
When it comes to diabetes and being eligible to drive commercially with a CDL, a lot of questions can arise. Is having diabetes an automatic DOT disqualifier? (No.) Can I still drive if I’m switching to insulin? (Yes.) How long do I need to be on insulin before being approved to drive? (It depends.) We know that some of the rules and regulations for acquiring and keeping a CDL while having diabetes can be confusing, so here are a few answers to some commonly asked questions.
Common CDL while having diabetes questions:
Is having diabetes an automatic disqualifier?
Having diabetes is NOT an automatic disqualifier for obtaining a CDL. As long as your diabetes is stable (meaning you do not treat it with insulin, or have been treating it with insulin for a long enough time frame to stabilize it) and you have met all the other licensing and safety requirements, a CDL can still be obtained. Individuals with type 2 diabetes that treat their diabetes with insulin, or individuals switching to insulin, will need to apply for a diabetes exemption.
This leads to the next question –How do you know if your diabetes is stabilized enough to apply for exemption?
In order to apply for a diabetes exemption, an individual must demonstrate stable control of their diabetes while on insulin for at least a month (however, your physician may extend the time frame if he or she sees fit). The application for exemption requires an examination by a doctor, who will provide certain information about your diabetes on the application itself.
Can I start driving right away?
When applying for an exemption, you will have to wait to hear the final decision from the agency before starting to drive. The exemption will either be granted or denied within 180 days of the application being received. After your exemption has been granted, you will receive information about the requirements during the exemption period. As long as all the requirements are met, you are free to drive!
Contact Creekside Testing and Compliance to learn more and discuss how Dr. Erin Merrill can help you make sure your company and all of it’s drivers are in compliance with company standards as well as Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration guidelines.