A medical waiver or exemption allows you to operate commercial vehicles even if you don't meet the minimum federal medical requirements. Learn how to apply and what to do if you no longer need a waiver or exemption.
Before you get started
What is a medical variance?
Drivers with physical impairments that affect their ability to safely operate CMVs in interstate (in more than one state) or intrastate (only in one state) commerce must get a medical variance. The medical variance shows as a restriction "V" on your CDL.
A variance may consist of the driver having at least one of the following:
- Intrastate Medical Waiver
- Federal Exemption
- Skills Performance Evaluation
Things to know
- If you don't meet the minimum federal medical standards, you may qualify for an intrastate medical waiver or a federal interstate medical exemption.
- See a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. They will complete an exam and determine if you qualify.
How to apply for an intrastate medical waiver
1. Have your certified medical examiner complete the following forms:
- Medical Examination Report
- Medical Examiner's Certificate
- Commercial Driver License Intrastate Medical Waiver Application listing all disqualifying medical conditions and medications.
2. Submit your forms
We can only accept your most current Commercial Driver License Intrastate Medical Waiver Application and Medical Examination Report signed by a certified medical examiner. Use one of the following methods to submit completed forms to us:
Submit forms to CDLMED@dol.wa.gov. This mailbox is only for submitting CDL medical forms. We won't answer questions sent to this email address.
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9030
Olympia, WA 98507-9030
- Staple or tape documents together.
- Send forms that aren't required.
- Ask for an email confirmation.
- Request an address change, special mailing, or record marked as driver deceased. These types of requests aren't processed by CDL medical.
Make an appointment to visit a driver licensing office.
When will I get a response?
You'll receive a response by mail at the address we have on record within 2 weeks.
If we're unable to read your CDL medical forms, we can't process them or notify you of any issues. If it's your first time receiving a medical waiver from us, you will need to visit a licensing office to have a new license issued with the added restrictions.
What if I have an amputation?
If you have an amputation, we require a drive test called a Special.
- If your application is approved, we will issue you a 2-month temporary waiver and contact you to schedule the Special
- Once the Special is complete, a new waiver will be issued for the full amount of time
- The Special is a drive test for the medical condition separate Skills Performance Drive Test is still required to obtain the CDL.
- An intrastate Special is not a substitute for a federal Skills Performance Evaluation (SPE) which is required for interstate operation. A federal SPE meets this requirement.
What if I operate interstate?
To apply for a federal medical exemption
Federal exemptions are for drivers who are eligible to operate interstate. Visit Federal Driver Exemption Programs to learn more and apply.
To apply for a Federal Skills Performance Evaluation Certificate (SPE)
SPE is required for drivers with physical impairments or amputations who operate interstate. Visit the Federal Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate Program.
What if I no longer require an intrastate medical waiver or federal medical exemption?
- Notify us by submitting:
- A new Medical Examination Report showing you don't have any disqualifying medical conditions, and
- Commercial Driver License Intrastate Medical Waiver Removal Application showing the medical condition(s) you no longer have.
- Get a new license:
- Pay a fee to get a new license without the medical variance "V" restriction.
- You can also change your self-certification status at this time to remove the "K" restriction (labeled "U" restriction before January 2017).
- RCW 46.25.057: Medical examiner's certificate—Failure to carry—Penalty.
- WAC 480-30-226(2): Doctor's statement of intrastate medical waiver.
|For questions about||Contact|
||A certified medical examiner can complete a Medical Examination Report.|
|Your intrastate medical waiver and 2 weeks have passed since you applied||Call us: 360-902-3900|
|Applying for a federal medical exemption|
|Applying for a skills performance evaluation (SPE)||
|Finding a certified medical examiner||National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners|