Wisconsin state waivers for CDL drivers

Wisconsin DMV offers waivers to drivers who are insulin-dependent or who do not meet federal vision standards.   

Please be aware that a Wisconsin State Waiver (intrastate) is not the same as a fede​ral waiver (interstate) and cannot be used in conjunction with a Federal Medical Examiner’s card. 

​Drivers who wish to obtain a Federal Waiver/Variance for interstate driving should contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) at (703) 448-3094.

When would you need a Wisconsin State Waiver?

For diabetes, if you:

  • Are insulin-dependent 
  • Operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) in intrastate commerce 
  • Are not in an excepted industry
  • Are not “grandfathered”

For vision, if you:

  • Have less than 20/40 vision in either eye or less than 70-degree field of vision in either eye 
  • Operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) in intrastate commerce
  • Are not in an excepted industry
  • Are not “grandfathered

How to apply for a State Diabetes or Vision Waiver:

  • ​​​​Check your driving record. 
    • ​​If you are applying for a diabetes waiver, your driving record will need to be free of any moving violations or at-fault accidents due to the diabetes in the past 3 years to qualify for the waiver.​
    • you are applying for a vision waiver, your driving record will need to be free of any moving violations or at-fault accidents in the past 3 years to qualify for the waiver. ​​
  • ​​Submit a Driving Description which includes the following information:
    • type of vehicle you intend to drive (i.e. straight truck, tractor/trailer combination, tank, etc.)
    • type of driving you intend to do (i.e. long-distance transport, local transport, etc.)
    • type of cargo you will transport
    • number of hours and miles you will drive, listed by daytime and nighttime operation
    • modifications made to the vehicle you intend to drive
  • Submit your medical or vision report(s):
    • If you are applying for a diabetes waiver:
      • Submit 2 separate Medical Examination Report MV3644 completed by 2 different healthcare professionals (MD, DO, APNP or PA-C). Examinations must be conducted within 90 days of its receipt at the DMV. 
    • If you are applying for a vision waiver:
      • ​Submit a Certificate of Vision Examination by Competent Authority MV3030V​​ based on an examination conducted within 90 days immediately prior to applying for the waiver. 
  • Send all documents to the DMV address listed at the bottom of this page for review.

Reminder: if you are a “grandfathered”, you do not need this waiver for CMV operation. However, if you drive a school or passenger bus, you will need to get licensing approval (also called an "exception") by getting a board review.

What happens after your waiver material is reviewed?

  • If approved:
    • You will receive a letter approving the waiver. The waiver expiration date will appear on the letter.
    • You will need to carry a copy of the waiver letter when operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle.
    • The appropriate renewal forms will be sent to you at the time of renewal. If the completed forms are not returned within the required time period, the waiver will expire.
    • A waiver can be cancelled due to non-compliance with applicable reporting requirements, a change in medical condition or driving history.
  • If denied:
    • ​Information regarding your appeals options will be sent to you.

What if I am a school  or passenger bus driver or want to be a school  or passenger bus driver and I now have insulin-dependent diabetes or do not meet federal vision standards?

You will need to get a board review. It does not matter whether you have a Wisconsin state waiver, a federal waiver, an industry exception or grandfathering, for driving school bus, you will need to get the special exception available only after consideration by the medical review board.​

Medical information specific to ongoing school or passenger bus drivers​​​

BD​S353 - Wisconsin State Waiver Information for CDL Drivers


​​Medical Review & Fitness Unit
P.O. Box 7918
Madison WI 53707-7918

Email Wisconsin DMV email service​​
Phone (608) 266-2327
Fax (608) 267-0518