The web Browser you are currently using is unsupported, and some features of this site may not work as intended. Please update to a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox or Edge to experience all features Michigan.gov has to offer.
Information for Drivers and Carriers
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE INTRASTATE MEDICAL WAIVER?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) grants medical waivers for interstate drivers only and will not issue waivers to intrastate drivers. FMCSA publishes regulations used to determine physical qualification standards for all commercial drivers. These regulations are applicable in all states and have been adopted into Michigan law under Public Act 181 of 1963. A driver unable to qualify under these standards cannot legally operate a commercial vehicle and could be denied a CDL. Public Act 181 of 1963 gives our agency the legal authority to grant intrastate waivers. This affords drivers who are unable to qualify under FMCSA guidelines the ability to obtain a CDL and to be employed as a commercial driver. There is no charge to apply for or obtain a waiver. Not every state has an intrastate waiver program, and some states charge a fee to apply.
DO I QUALIFY? HOW DO I APPLY?
Qualification information and all forms necessary to apply are found on our website. Return to the home page and click on the specific disqualification condition for more information.
I HAVE A LICENSE FROM ANOTHER STATE, CAN I APPLY?
In cases where a driver resides in a neighboring state but works in Michigan only and does not participate in interstate commerce, the driver could be eligible for an intrastate waiver. This waiver would not be valid in the driver’s home state. Part time residents of the state may also be eligible for a waiver valid in Michigan only. A driver who has established a permanent residence in Michigan is required by Michigan law to obtain a Michigan driver's license and must do so before a waiver will be processed.
HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS TAKE?
We will begin to process your application immediately upon receipt. Our goal is to process the waiver within ten days of receiving the application, however, incomplete applications or missing information can add to the time necessary to process a waiver. Please ensure you review your application before it is submitted to our office.
CAN I CHECK THE STATUS OF MY APPLICATION?
You may contact the Medical Waiver Unit for any questions concerning your application. Normally, if there is anything causing a delay in processing, we will contact you or your carrier to obtain information or documentation needed to keep your application moving forward.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO CARRY WHILE DRIVING?
Intrastate drivers are required to carry a valid medical certificate while operating a commercial vehicle. A driver with a medical waiver is required to carry both the medical card and medical waiver.
CAN I CHANGE CARRIERS?
Current State law requires the application to be a joint application between a driver and employer. A waiver cannot be issued to a driver only. The waiver is not transferrable to another carrier. A driver wishing to change carriers will be required to submit another application which will be handled the same as an initial application. A driver who is employed by more than one carrier will be required to obtain a waiver for each carrier.
WILL I GET A RENEWAL NOTICE?
Previously, renewal notices were sent along with all necessary forms to renew a waiver. All forms and instructions are now available online and can be found on our website. The forms may be downloaded and can be submitted electronically if you wish. This reduces the amount of printed paper and expedites the process. As a reminder, it is the responsibility of both the carrier and driver to know when the waiver expires and initiate all necessary action to renew a waiver before it expires.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MY WAIVER EXPIRES? CAN I GET AN EXTENSION?
When the waiver expires you are no longer qualified per MCL 480.12d and may not operate. It is the responsibility of the driver and carrier to know when the waiver expires and take appropriate action prior to the expiration to renew a waiver. The expiration date is printed on both the approval letter and the waiver card. Expired waivers will not receive an extension.
HOW LONG IS MY WAIVER VALID FOR?
The expiration of your waiver will generally be the same date your medical card expires.
I’M CURRENTLY NOT WORKING BUT WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF I QUALIFY FOR A WAIVER
Michigan Law MCL 480.13 only permits a waiver to be issued as a joint application completed by a driver and employer and does not provide for the issuance of a waiver to an individual only.
I LOST MY WAIVER CARD or IT HAS BECOME ILLEGIBLE; HOW CAN I GET A REPLACEMENT?
If you lost your card, contact this office for a replacement. The replacement card will be identical to the card issued and will not extend the expiration date or change any conditions of the waiver. There is no charge or fee to obtain a replacement.
IF MY HEALTH CHANGES, DO I NEED TO GET ANOTHER WAIVER?
Not necessarily, this will depend upon whether the driver’s ability to operate has been impaired. 49 CFR 391.45 provides guidance. If a driver is re-examined and a change in health history is found that would further disqualify the driver or another disqualifying condition is found, the current waiver will be invalid, and it will be necessary to apply for a new waiver.
IF I AM DENIED A WAIVER, HOW LONG MUST I WAIT TO REAPPLY?
If you are denied a waiver, you will receive a letter explaining the reason for denial and what options are available to re-apply if you are eligible.
REPORTING OF MOVING VIOLATIONS AND CRASHES:
As a condition for operating under a medical waiver, you are required by Michigan law MCL 480.13 to report all moving violations and crashes regardless of vehicle type or fault to this office within 15 days of the crash or receiving the citation. A court dismissing or plea bargaining a citation to a non-moving violation does not relieve you of reporting the citation to our office. This must be done in writing and can be a statement by regular mail or email. This office will review all crash reports and moving violations to determine your continued eligibility to operate under a waiver. Failure to report any crash or moving violation will result in the suspension or revocation of the medical waiver. Your employer should retain a copy of the notification sent to us in the driver’s qualification file.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM CAUGHT OPERATING WITHOUT A WAIVER OR WITH AN EXPIRED WAIVER?
If you do not have a current medical waiver and are required to have one, you are not qualified to operate per MCL 480.12. You risk being placed out of service and/or being issued a citation. Your employer could also be issued a citation and could be subjected to a compliance review by our agency or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
SHOULD I HAVE MY DOCTOR SEND THE FORMS TO YOU?
No. Each doctor is only responsible for a small portion of your application and most likely will not have access to other documents required to apply. Additionally, because this is a joint application by both driver and carrier, the carrier should be reviewing all documents in the application and have knowledge of any information contained within, including the medical examinations.
WHAT IF I GET A FEDERAL WAIVER FROM FMCSA?
If you obtain a waiver from FMCSA you will no longer need the intrastate waiver and should contact our office so we can update our records. Your intrastate waiver will be invalid upon receipt of a FMCSA waiver.
CAN THE DOT MEDICAL EXAMINER REQUIRE ME TO SEE A SPECIALIST?
Yes. The DOT medical examiner is completing a physical exam only and not providing treatment or diagnosing any condition. The examiner may ask you to return with a statement from a specialist to assist in deciding if you meet certain criteria to be considered qualified.
CAN THE DOT EXAMINER REQUIRE ME TO TAKE A DRUG TEST?
Yes. Unless you are already taking one of the mandated DOT drug tests (Pre-Employment, Random, Post-Crash, or Reasonable Suspicion) that can be used to verify compliance with 49 CFR 391.41(b)(12), the examiner may require you to submit to a non-DOT drug screen.
WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH THE MEDICAL EXAMINER?
The medical examiner is a licensed medical professional following best practices and must abide by the guidelines set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. A driver who does not agree with a medical examiner’s decision may seek a second opinion from another medical examiner or appeal to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety Standards. See 49 CFR 391.47 for specific information pertaining to appealing a medical examiner’s determination.
DOES A MEDICAL MARIJUANA CARD DISQUALIFY ME? WHAT ABOUT RECREATIONAL USE?
The use of any drug or substance identified in 21 CFR 1308.11 Schedule I is prohibited. Although many states have enacted laws allowing for both medicinal and recreational use of certain substances, doing so would disqualify a commercial driver under 49 CFR 391.41(b)(12). Michigan does not grant a waiver for Schedule I drugs or substances.