CDL Vision Issues In Illinois

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Jack's Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone

I am glad I came across this forum. I've been browsing and there's tons of information!

I'm having some issues and I hope someone can help me out. I was born with amblyopia. It is a vision issue in my left eye. It CANT be corrected, ever. In my left eye I am dam near legally blind. No surgery, glasses, or contacts will fix it. ever.

The only letters I can read on an eye chart with m left eye is the E and the F/P below the E.

I can't read anything else with the left eye only. I have color vision in both eyes and in my right eye its 20/20.

I went and took a DOT physical today because the doctor I spoke to said to come in and get it done. She will mark I need a waiver and I'll be good to go if I pass everything else. She acted like it was a piece of cake and it was simple as can be if I passed everything else. $100.00 for the physical down the drain as of now.

I went this morning and passed everything else other than the vision. She marked on my medical certificate I'm certified but I need a waiver/exemption for vision. Here's the problem...federal side will not give you a vision waiver until you have been driving with a CDL for THREE years.

How am I supposed to get a CDL if I can't pass the medical DOT exam to get a medical card? I know of one way. That's getting a CDL and working for a farmer in the state of ilinois ONLY for three years. No farmers around here will hire a guy if he can't go out of state. Besides that I don't want to work for a farmer for 3 years and make peanuts. Farmers need people who can drive out of state to haul grain. With the E.I. exemption you can't go out of state.

I just don't understand this....its okay to get a CDL and haul grain but I can't work for any other company without the waiver.

I have called every number in Illinois about this issues and I just get passed from one person to the next. I'm not sure what's going on or what to do ?

Here's the other problem. February 7th everyone must go through a licensed trucking school. I've already spoken to both local trucking schools and they have already told me I can't attend their training program without a vision waiver because they have the same vision requirements state/federal has.

This is just unreal. Surely there's something out there to get this figured out ???? I already called my local eye doctor and they pretty much said they have no idea what I'm talking about and they've never had anyone need a waiver for vision for a CDL and that they wouldn't even know where to begin; and for me to speak to the federal side (LOL) Its just getting passed off from one person to the next.

I talked to the federal side and they said get a waiver from Illinois but they couldn't tell me who to speak to.....

Has anyone dealt with something like this in Illinois? What did you find out? I'm wanting a CDL so I can haul heavy equipment for a local excavating company. sorry for the rant.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard Jack!

Here's the deal...

You can't get a CDL for interstate commerce unless you can pass the physical. You can get a CDL for intrastate with a vision waiver. To get the federal waiver you have to get the state waiver first and then just work intrastate for three years before applying for the federal waiver. The waiver you need comes from the state. Go online and search for it as an intrastate vision waiver from the state of Illinois.

The FMCSA is currently working on changing this, but nothing is final yet, and they have been working on it for several years. Don't hold your breath!

You said this...

I'm wanting a CDL so I can haul heavy equipment for a local excavating company.

If this is a job that you know you can already get, then all you need is the state vision waiver. You will be limited to staying within the state borders. That is your only option with a bad eye. After establishing three years of verifiable experience you can then go for the federal waiver.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Interstate Commerce:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Intrastate:

The act of purchasers and sellers transacting business while keeping all transactions in a single state, without crossing state lines to do so.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
John S.'s Comment
member avatar
The FMCSA is currently working on changing this, but nothing is final yet, and they have been working on it for several years. Don't hold your breath!

I have good news. This article says they're going to publish the change tomorrow. https://landline.media/fmcsa-moves-forward-with-new-vision-standards/

If that article is correct, you will be able to drive interstate after all. I also have a bad eye, but I passed the DOT physical the last time I took it. I was worried about passing it the next time, however.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Thanks John!

I've been following this closely. I get regular email updates from the Federal Register, but I haven't gotten anything about this step yet. I really appreciate you providing that article.

We will have to see how quickly they can get this ball rolling.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Wile E.'s Comment
member avatar

I have good news. This article says they're going to publish the change tomorrow. https://landline.media/fmcsa-moves-forward-with-new-vision-standards/

Thanks for posting that! I've been watching that as well, but haven't seen any public updates in a few months. Last I read was their medical review board had cleared it with a modification to the field of vision in the good eye. I have an eye issue as well, but my optometrist told me I could pass the existing standard. I took the physical early this month and passed (2 year card), but this new standard eases my mind for future physicals.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Jack's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard Jack!

Here's the deal...

You can't get a CDL for interstate commerce unless you can pass the physical. You can get a CDL for intrastate with a vision waiver. To get the federal waiver you have to get the state waiver first and then just work intrastate for three years before applying for the federal waiver. The waiver you need comes from the state. Go online and search for it as an intrastate vision waiver from the state of Illinois.

The FMCSA is currently working on changing this, but nothing is final yet, and they have been working on it for several years. Don't hold your breath!

You said this...

double-quotes-start.png

I'm wanting a CDL so I can haul heavy equipment for a local excavating company.

double-quotes-end.png

If this is a job that you know you can already get, then all you need is the state vision waiver. You will be limited to staying within the state borders. That is your only option with a bad eye. After establishing three years of verifiable experience you can then go for the federal waiver.

Here’s the problem. I can’t find a waiver any where online for illinois.

Im fully medically certified but I must have a waiver. I called everyone with DOT , SOS, and the illinois state police trucking division.

No one knew what I was talking about and kept sending me to the federal side. Federal side said it’s illinois deal and they have to give me a waiver for the 3 years and then I can apply for the federal one.

My head is spinning!!

So I saw the article and federal is changing the vision requirements. How does that help me if the state of illinois doesn’t have/doesn’t offer a waiver for vision for cdl’s? Or does illinois follow federal and once federal approves the vision issue I can call my eye doctor and go that route? Only problem with that is he’s going to ask for the waiver to fill out….but I can’t find one for cdl on illinois side.

Thanks so much for all the replies everyone.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Intrastate:

The act of purchasers and sellers transacting business while keeping all transactions in a single state, without crossing state lines to do so.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Some states do not offer a vision waiver. This new ruling will allow you to obtain a CDL. I am just not certain about a time line for when applications can be filed. We will try to stay on top of this and provide the information when we can.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Jack's Comment
member avatar

Some states do not offer a vision waiver. This new ruling will allow you to obtain a CDL. I am just not certain about a time line for when applications can be filed. We will try to stay on top of this and provide the information when we can.

It looks like it’s official now?

So now what do I do? Can the DOT medical examiner grant me the medical card now? Or do I now have to go through my actual eye doctor and he has to write it off as I’m good to go?

When you get the link for the new waiver will you please post it? If that’s what I’ll need for my actual eye doctor.

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/federal-register-documents/2022-01021

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Some states do not offer a vision waiver. This new ruling will allow you to obtain a CDL. I am just not certain about a time line for when applications can be filed. We will try to stay on top of this and provide the information when we can.

double-quotes-end.png

It looks like it’s official now?

So now what do I do? Can the DOT medical examiner grant me the medical card now? Or do I now have to go through my actual eye doctor and he has to write it off as I’m good to go?

When you get the link for the new waiver will you please post it? If that’s what I’ll need for my actual eye doctor.

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/federal-register-documents/2022-01021

In a nutshell, it will be released in 9 days.... "Their exemptions are applicable as of January 30, 2022 and will expire on January 30, 2024. Conditions and Requirements as stated in the register."

Hopefully, more info to follow!

~ Anne ~

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
John S.'s Comment
member avatar

Jack,

Sadly, that FMCSA link you linked to makes it sound like you'll have to wait. It says effective date: 3/22/2022

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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