Medical certificates and self-certification

As of January 30, 2014 all commercial driver license (CDL) holders were required to self-certify at a driver licensing office.

If you didn’t self-certify

Your CDL was removed on January 30, 2014. You’ll need to self-certify at a driver licensing office. If you’re not sure check the status of your CDL.

If you self-certified

If you self-certified and are required to keep current medical documents on file but you don’t, your CDL will be downgraded and you won’t be valid to operate a commercial vehicle. To release the downgrade, we must have unexpired medical documents on file:

  • If your intrastate medical waiver has expired, see Intrastate Medical Waiver.
  • If you don’t hold an intrastate medical waiver, you can:
    • Visit a driver licensing office to have it immediately lifted.
    • By email: CDLMED@dol.wa.gov (This email only accepts CDL medical and self-certification forms.)
    • By fax: 360.570.4915
    • By mail
      CDL Medical Unit
      Department of Licensing
      PO Box 9030
      Olympia, WA 98507-9030
      Note: These options are only for submitting medical forms. We don’t reply to questions or concerns.

If you have a military license expiration and you didn’t self-certify, please call: 360-902-3900 or email drivers@dol.wa.gov.

Required Medical Documents

How to self-certify

The first time you self-certify or change your status, you must visit a driver licensing office.

After completing the initial office visit, submit the new medical documents before the old ones expire:

  • By email: CDLMED@dol.wa.gov
  • By fax: 360.570.4915
  • By mail:
    CDL Medical Unit
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 9030
    Olympia, WA 98507-9030
    Note: These options are only for submitting medical forms. We don’t reply to questions or concerns.
Type of certification and status Self-certify as this type if you… Medical certificate must be…
Non-excepted interstate commercial driver

Status:
  • Self-certification: Non-excepted interstate
  • Medical certification: Certified
  • Cross state lines driving a commercial vehicle.
  • Transport cargo that isn’t from Washington (WA) or is leaving WA.
  • Deliver cargo to WA ports.
  • School bus drivers with passengers crossing state lines to events.
  • Delivering goods across state lines.
  • Delivering goods, including logs, to WA ports.

Kept on file with us and carried by you when you’re operating a commercial vehicle.  

Other documents:
If you have a disqualifying medical condition, submit a current Federal Exemption and/or SPE form.
Excepted interstate commercial driver

Status:
  • Self-certification: Excepted interstate
  • Medical certification:
    • No waiver requirements: No status
    • With waiver requirements: Certified
  • School bus drivers with students crossing state lines to and from school.
  • Occasionally transport personal property without compensation.
  • Operate a government vehicle or emergency response vehicle.
  • Make emergency deliveries of propane or home heating oil.
  • Drivers crossing state lines for city, county, or state-owned and operated transit organizations.
  • Truck drivers employed by federal, state, or local government to haul or deliver mail, supplies, or other goods.

Carried by you when you’re operating a commercial vehicle.

Other documents:
If you’re required to have an intrastate medical waiver, it must show on your drive record and you must carry it when you're driving.
Non-excepted intrastate driver

Status:
  • Self-certification: Non-Excepted intrastate
  • Medical certification:
    • No waiver requirements: No status
    • With waiver requirements: Certified

Note: This is the only intrastate cert. available in WA. You can’t self-certify as an “excepted intrastate driver.”
  • Don’t cross state lines while operating a commercial vehicle.
  • Transport cargo that originated in and stays in WA.
  • School bus drivers who only transport passengers within WA.
  • Truck drivers who only transport and deliver goods to and from WA addresses.
 
Carried by you when you’re operating a commercial vehicle.

Don’t send us your Medical Examiners Certificate card, it’s not required.

Other documents:
If you’re required to have an intrastate medical waiver, it must show on your drive record and you must carry it when you’re driving.

What if I don’t know what type of commercial driving I’ll be doing?
The most flexible option would be to certify as a non-excepted interstate driver and submit a medical certificate to us. This allows you to accept jobs that require driving across state lines.

Is there a fee to change my self-certification status after I’ve already self-certified?
No. But, if there’s a change to the license, then fees for updating the license will apply.

I’m not an active commercial driver. Can I maintain my CDL but not my medical certificate?
Yes, but only if you:

  • self-certify as an intrastate driver or an excepted interstate driver,
  • don’t require an intrastate medical waiver, and
  • don’t operate a commercial vehicle.

If you start driving again, make sure your self-certifcation status matches the way you'll be operating. This may require you to visit a driver licensing office.

Is this a federal or a state requirement?
It’s both. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration set these licensing standards (CFR 383.71 and CFR 383.73). They apply to CDL holders nationwide. All states are required to adopt these standards. We adopted these in 2011 (RCW 46.25.010 (22)).

Why do we have to do this?
In 2007, federal and state authorities found over 100,000 commercial vehicle drivers operating illegally without valid medical certificates. Commercial vehicle crash data also shows over 3,000 truck crashes per year are a result of the driver having a heart attack or other physical impairment. Requiring self-certification and valid medical certificates help prevent medically unqualified drivers from operating commercial vehicles.

Questions?

About medical documents or self-certification, call: 360.902.3900 or email: drivers@dol.wa.gov.

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