There appears to be a lot of confusion on whether or not truck drivers with diabetes can obtain a CDL license. For years, there was a ban that prevented truck drivers with diabetes who used insulin from driving commercial vehicles within interstate operation. In 2003, the FMCSA introduced the Diabetes Exemption Program which allowed individuals with insulin treated diabetes the ability to operate a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce. But there was a lot of confusion as to who could drive. You had to have three years of previous commercial driving experience. In late 2005, everything changed.
Due to the effort by the American Diabetes Association, President Bush signed into law, doing away with the three year requirement. There is no longer any need to show previous commercial driving experience, even if you are on insulin. However, there still are 57 other screenings, guidelines and provisions that one must pass in order to be granted the exemption for truck drivers with diabetes. Also, one must abide by any particular state requirements in regards to the commercial driver license.
Individuals with insulin treated diabetes will have to demonstrate that they have control of the diabetes while on insulin. For those with Type 1 diabetes, they are required to have been on insulin for two months before they can apply for the exemption. Individuals with Type 2 diabetes are required to have been on insulin for at least one month.
As you can see, one or two months is much better than the three year driving rule! If you have type 2 diabetes and do not use insulin, you do not need to apply for a diabetes exemption. You must still meet all other licensing and safety requirements as dictated by the state agency that issues your CDL. Read more at [link]
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