Medical waivers: CDL

Things to know

  • The CDL Intrastate Medical Waiver Application has been revised and we have a new CDL Intrastate Medical Waiver Removal Application
  • If you don't meet the minimum federal medical standards, you may qualify for an intrastate medical waiver or a federal interstate medical exemption. A certified ME will determine if you qualify. If you don't have or haven't applied for a CDL we can't issue an Intrastate medical waiver.
  • If we're unable to read your CDL medical form(s), we can't process them and won't be able to notify you of any issues.
  • If you have or are getting an original CDL, go to a certified Medical Examiner (ME) listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. They'll complete an exam and determine if you meet the minimum federal medical standards.
  • We can only accept your most current Intrastate Medical Waiver Application (IMWA) and ME Report (MER) signed by a Medical Examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiner. This applies even if you have an IMW or MER that expires after the most recent one.
  • Washington Law requires you to carry your MEC any time you're driving a commercial vehicle in Washington state.

How to apply for an intrastate medical waiver

  1. Have your certified ME complete the following forms:
  2. If you have an amputee and are applying for an Intrastate Medical Waiver a drive test called a Special will be required.
    • If IMW is approved, we will issue you a two month temporary IMW and contact you to schedule the Special.
    • Once the Special is complete a new IMW will be issued for the full amount of time.
    • Note: The Special is a driver test for the medical condition. A separate Skills Performance Drive Test is required to obtain the CDL.
  3. Submit the completed Medical Examination Report and Commercial Driver License Intrastate Medical Waiver Application forms to us by:
  4. We'll get back to you by mail, to the address we have on record, within 2 weeks.

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 CDL Intrastate Medical Waiver Removal Application showing medical condition(s) you no longer have.

A new license will need to be issued to remove the medical variance "V" restriction, and if you no longer want to be restricted to intrastate operation you must also change your self-certification status to remove the "K" restriction was a "U" restriction before January 2017. There is a $10 fee for getting a revised license before your next renewal.

What is a medical variance?

Drivers with physical impairments, which affect their ability to safely operate CMVs, in interstate or intrastate commerce must get a "variance." The medical variance shows as a restriction "V" on the driver license.

A variance may consist of the driver having one or two following:

  • A Skills Performance Evaluation (SPE)
  • An Intrastate Medical Waiver
  • Federal Exemption

Once you're no longer required to have a medical variance, you'll need to:

  • If you have an Intrastate Medical Waiver submit a copy of your Medical Examination Report and CDL Intrastate Medical Waver Removal Application showing it's no longer required.
  • Get a new license to remove the restriction. A $10 fee will apply. If needed, you can also change your self-certification status at that time.

To apply for a federal medical exemption

Visit Driver Exemption Programs for:

  • Diabetes Package
  • Vision Package
  • Hearing Package
  • Seizure Package

To apply for a Federal Skills Performance Evaluation Certificate (SPE)

Visit the Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate Program. SPE is for drivers with physical impairments or missing limbs.

Related information

Questions? Need help?

For questions about Contact
  • Medical condition(s),
  • if you qualify for a medical examiners certificate, or
  • if you can be certified with a disqualifying condition.
A Certified Medical Examiner can complete a Medical Examination Report.
If it's been more than 2 weeks since you applied for your intrastate medical waiver.
Applying for a federal medical exemption.
Applying for a skills performance evaluation (SPE).
Finding a Certified Medical Examiner. National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners
Washington Healthcare Finder
Good To Go!
Access Washington – official state government website