Driver Exemption Programs
The Federal Vision Exemption Program and requests for hearing and seizure exemptions require specific information to be submitted to the Agency for review. This information may include medical exams, employment history, driving experience and motor vehicle records which must be submitted with the application. The Agency will make a final decision within 180 days of receiving a completed application.
Applying for an Exemption
An individual may apply for an exemption from the seizure, vision, and/or hearing standard, section 391.41(b)(8), 391.41(b)(11), or 391.41(b)(10) of the regulation, by utilizing these programs. If you do not currently meet the seizure, vision, and/or hearing standard and are unable to obtain a non-restricted medical card, you may be an eligible candidate.
Please note that all exemption programs are for drivers who intend to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. FMCSA does not have statutory authority to grant waivers/exemptions to drivers from states' intrastate requirements. Therefore, the FMCSA waivers/exemptions do not permit regulatory relief for drivers who plan to limit their operations to intrastate commerce.
Interstate Commerce is trade, traffic, or transportation involving the crossing of a State boundary. Either the vehicle, its passengers, or cargo must cross a State boundary, or there must be the intent to cross a State boundary to be considered an interstate carrier. Intrastate commerce is trade, traffic, or transportation within a single State.
Interstate commerce is determined by the essential character of the movement, manifested by the shipper's fixed and persistent intent at the time of shipment, and is ascertained from all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the transportation. When the intent of the transportation being performed is interstate in nature, even when the route is within the boundaries of a single state, the driver and the CMV are subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Please note, as discussed above, that the exemption programs are for drivers of CMVs that intend to operate in interstate commerce in the United States. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations define the United States as the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC, DC 20590
Phone: (202) 366-4001
9:00am-5:00pm ET, M-F