Medical certificates and self-certification
All commercial driver license (CDL) holders must meet federal self-certification and medical certificate requirements. To learn more, see:
To confirm who has to keep a medical certificate on file with us, all CDL holders must self-certify in person between January 30, 2012 and January 30, 2014.
You must visit a driver licensing office in person to self-certify. Mailed in forms are not accepted. When self-certifying, you may choose one of the following categories:
|Type of certification
||Self-certify as this type of driver if you…
||Current medical certificate must be…|
|Non-excepted interstate commercial driver
- Cross state lines while operating a commercial vehicle.
- Transport cargo that comes from outside Washington or is going outside Washington State.
- Deliver cargo to Washington State ports.
- School bus drivers who carry passengers across state lines to events.
- Truck drivers who deliver goods across state lines.
- Drivers who deliver goods, including logs, to ports in Washington.
- Kept on file with us.
- Carried by the driver when operating a commercial vehicle.
|Excepted interstate commercial driver
- Cross state lines with a school bus transporting students to and from school.
- Occasionally transport personal property and not for 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 the driver when operating a commercial vehicle.|
- Don’t cross state lines while operating a commercial vehicle.
- Transport cargo that always came from and stays within Washington State.
- School bus drivers who only transport passengers within Washington.
- Truck drivers who only transport and deliver goods to and from Washington addresses.
Note: This is the only type of intrastate certification available in Washington. You can’t self-certify as an “excepted intrastate driver.”
|Carried by the driver when operating a commercial vehicle.|
How to self-certify
- Submit a self-certification form
You must submit a completed self-certification form in person at a driver licensing office. Mailed in forms won’t be accepted.
- Submit a medical certificate if necessary
- Non-excepted interstate drivers must submit a valid medical examiner’s certificate with the self-certification form.
- The first time you self-certify, you must submit your medical certificate in person.
- After that, you may submit your new medical certificate to us before the old one expires:
- All other CDL holders don’t need to submit a medical certificate with the completed form.
There is no fee to self certify. However, if you get a new license to add or remove the intrastate “U” restriction, it will cost $10.
When to self-certify
All CDL holders must submit a self-certification form between January 30, 2012 and January 30, 2014:
- If you’ll renew your CDL by January 30, 2014, you can complete the self-certification form when you renew. You can renew and self-certify your:
- CDL up to 1 year early.
- CDL with a hazmat endorsement, up to 6 months early.
- If you’re applying for your first CDL, you’ll certify your status as part of that process. If you certify as an interstate driver, you must submit your current medical certificate before we can issue you a CDL.
- If you don’t renew by January 30, 2014, you must go to a driver licensing office before the deadline to self-certify. If your CDL expires in 2014, 2015, or 2016, we’ll send you a reminder notice.
How to change your self-certification
If your certification status changes, submit a new self-certification form in person at a driver licensing office.
- You must visit a driver licensing office to change your self-certification status. Mailed in forms are not accepted
- If you change your status to non-excepted interstate driver, submit your current medical examiner’s certificate with the certification form.
- There is no fee to change your self-certification. However, if you get a new license to add or remove the intrastate “U” restriction, it will cost $10.
- New regulations require all commercial driver license (CDL) holders who operate for interstate commerce to keep a current medical examiner’s certificate on file with us.
- CDL holders who operate a commercial vehicle only within Washington State (intrastate) don’t have to keep their medical certificate on file with us.
Note: You can check your status online to confirm we have your medical certificate on record. If you don’t see "Medical certification (certified)" in the CDL section when you check online, we don’t have your certificate on record yet.
How to submit your medical certificate
There are 4 ways to submit your medical certificate:
We’ll process your medical certificate as quickly as possible, but it may take 7–10 business days for it to show on your record.
What happens if you miss the deadline
- If you don’t self-certify by January 30, 2014 your CDL will be removed on January 31, 2014.
- CDL fees will apply to reinstate the CDL to a valid Washington license.
- CDL not reinstated within one year or more will require the driver to take knowledge test(s), drive test, and show Certificate of Training from an approved school or registered employer.
What happens if you don’t provide or don’t keep DOL updated with Medical documents after you have self-certified?
- If we don’t receive your medical documents or you don't keep us updated as medical documents expire, your CDL will be downgraded and won’t be valid for operating a commercial vehicle.
- If your CDL is downgraded, we’ll automatically make your CDL valid for operating commercial vehicles again as soon as we receive and process your medical documents. Processing takes 7 to 10 days.
Frequently asked questions
What if I don’t know what type of commercial driving I’ll be doing?
It’s safest to certify yourself as a non-excepted interstate driver and submit a medical certificate to us. This is the most flexible option, and will allow you to accept jobs that require driving across state lines.
What will happen if I don’t self certify before the deadline?
If you don’t self-certify, your CDL will be removed and will indicate “not certified,” and you won’t legally be allowed to operate a commercial vehicle. CDL fees will apply to reinstate the CDL to a valid Washington license.
Is there a fee to change my self-certification status after I have already self certified?
A $10 fee applies to drivers whose self certification status requires a new license issuance to add or remove the intrastate “U” restriction.
I’m not an active commercial driver. Can I maintain my CDL without keeping my medical certificate current?
Yes, but only if you self-certify as an intrastate driver and don’t operate a commercial vehicle. If you start driving again, get your medical certificate updated and, if operating in interstate commerce, submit a new self-certification form and your medical certificate at 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) and they apply to CDL holders nationwide. All states are required to adopt these new standards, and Washington State adopted these standards as state law 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 were operating illegally without valid medical certificates. Commercial vehicle crash data also shows that more than 3,000 truck crashes per year result from the driver having a heart attack or other physical impairment. Requiring self-certification and valid medical certificates will help to prevent medically unqualified drivers from operating commercial vehicles on our highways.
If you have questions about your medical certificate or self-certification, call us at 360.902.3900 or email email@example.com.