Today the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a final rule that streamlines the process for some diabetic drivers to be qualified to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) interstate.

Before today’s ruling, individuals with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) were not allowed to operate CMVs interstate unless they received an exemption from the FMCSA.

The new rule will allow a diabetic driver’s medical examiner to give the driver a Medical Examiner’s Certificate good for up to a year provided that the driver’s diabetes is well-controlled:

The rule enables a certified medical examiner (ME) to grant an individual with ITDM a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, MCSA-5876, for up to 12 months.  To do so, the treating clinician – the healthcare professional who manages, and prescribes insulin for, the treatment of the individual’s diabetes – provides the ITDM Assessment Form, MCSA-5870, to the certified ME indicating that the individual maintains a stable insulin regimen and proper control of his or her diabetes.  The certified ME is then responsible for determining if the individual meets FMCSA’s physical qualification standards and can operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

The FMCSA says that the new rule will save approximately 5000 drivers with ITDM about $5 million per year in costs involved with obtaining an FMCSA exemption.

The new rule is also expected to save the FMCSA about $1 million over the next three years.

You can click here to view the Final Rule.