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Washington CDL Requirements

All CDL holders must self-certify in person between January 30, 2012 and January 30, 2014.

If you don’t self-certify before the deadline, Washington SDL will change your CDL record to show “not certified,” and you won’t legally be allowed to operate a commercial vehicle. You can return your status to normal by submitting a self-certification form and, if required, a copy of your medical certificate.

You must visit a driver licensing office to self-certify. Mailed in forms are not accepted.


The category you self-certify will determine whether you have to keep a medical certificate on file with Washington SDL, or not.  
See WA State Licensing Official Site

Interstate Non-Excepted
You must meet the Federal DOT medical certificate requirements. You must keep a current copy of your medical certificate on file with WA SDL.

Intrastate Excepted
You must meet the Federal DOT medical certificate requirements. You do not have to keep your medical certificate on file with WA SDL but you must carry it with you when operating a CMV.

You must meet the Federal DOT medical certificate requirements. You do not have to keep your medical certificate on file with WA SDL but you must carry it with you when operating a CMV.


How to Self-Certify and File your Medical Certificate

  • You must submit a completed self-certification form in person at a driver licensing office. Mailed in forms are not accepted.
  • Non-excepted interstate drivers must also submit a valid medical examiner’s certificate with the self-certification form.


Keep Your Medical Certificate Current With Washington Department of Licensing

The first time you self-certify as a non-excepted interstate driver, you must submit your medical certificate in person.

After that, you may mail, or fax your new medical certificate before the old one expires.

By Mail:
CDL Medical Program
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9030
Olympia, WA 98507-9030

By Fax:


Other Information:
Washington State Department of Licensing – Commercial Driver License (official website)

Self-Certification and Medical Certificate FAQ


If you have questions about your medical certificate or self-certification, you may call WA SDL at 360.902.3900 or email


Special Information Updates  – JANUARY 2015 –
Pertaining To ALL STATES


The FMCSA has requested that all medical examiners continue providing drivers with a paper copy of the medical certificate so that Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders can provide a copy to the State licensing agency, and the non-CDL drivers can provide the documentation to their employers and Federal and State enforcement officials.

The Agency is currently completing efforts to put into place an electronic system to enable medical examiners to transmit the medical certificate information from the National Registry system to the State licensing agencies. However, until that system is completed, medical examiners must continue to issue paper copies of the medical certificates to drivers who pass the medical exam.


Commercial Drivers – You still need to carry a paper copy of your medical card, until FMCSA announces that this is no longer necessary.

driver feedbackYour Feedback Is Welcome

Dealing with Federal DOT Regulations across the board is tough enough!
But when it comes to State Regulations — There are 50 different sets of rules. Someone could move the goal posts at any time…

To help us all avoid the black eye experience — AARGH! —
Please leave your feedback about your experience in this State.
Go to the Questions and Comments box below and post your feedback.

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NOTE: This website is not affiliated with, or endorsed by FMCSA or any government or state agency.


  1. Terry says

    What i would know is why when you get a physical they turn away from you and wisper and then ask what did i say when you are in a big rig there is no one in there wispering to you so why does the dot requere them to do this test.

    • says

      It’s true that no one is going to be sitting in your truck whispering to you, but the FMCSA wants to make sure that you hear well enough to hear a siren or other emergency vehicle coming up from behind you, or any other issue around you. It’s a safety issue not a judgement call.

  2. Don says

    If I’ve had open heart surgery, am I required to do a Stress test before I can renew my CDL/DOT Medical Card?
    What is required for the Medical Variance/Waiver?

    • says

      Stress test need to be completed every two years for you to maintain your class A license. Also have your doctor complete a medical release form for you before you go for the examination with the DOT/CME. If you are ready to return to work, just be aware that your medical card will be limited to one year at the time from this point on.

  3. Bradley says

    I renewed my intrastate CDLON Dec 24 2014 in wa. St. Where I live by a DOT Doctor and I never sent my physical copy to anybody and I passed got a one year card. Now do I need to send it to someone? I haven’t been stopped or anything. Don’t know what to do.

    • says

      Each state is requesting that you complete a self-certification as a driver and send a copy of your medical certificate and self-certification to the state Drivers License Department.
      You’ll find WA information on this page.
      The medical examiner submits the examiner’s required information to FMCSA, but it is the driver’s responsibility to submit a copy of the medical card and self-certification to their local DLD.

  4. Chris Sauer says

    I have sleep apnea and currently use a c pap machine at night when I sleep. I see my sleep doc every year then go in for my cdl physical. In the past I have gotten a 2 year card. This year the PAC would only give me a one year card. I have a letter from my sleep doc that says I use my machine every night and will continue to do so. So my question is why did the PAC only give me a one year card?? Does anyone have an answer to this?

    • says

      Basically it all boils down to the FMCSA. They are requesting that all drivers be re-certified once a year and the CME needs to see both your letter from your doctor and a report showing your compliance with the unit. Thats all it is.

  5. Robert Bundy says

    I want to make a formal complaint on how I was treated and classified by a docter at a Healthworks clinic at Painefield in Everett Washington, Dr. Stuart Austin. I was in their office on Monday Nov. 3, 2014 to renew my card as well as several other of my fellow employees, I work for a Company called Prologix West(TNG). I filled out all my paperwork as instructed, I have had some blood pressure issues but very minor at that, I take meds that my personel doctor prescrbes for me an d very much under control at this time. The Medical aide gave me a physical my blood pressure was okay as she told me, When the doctor checked me out he did not bother to check me blood pressure himself, so he inturn only gave me a one year card nor a two year. I later found out that he wrote a two year card to a fellow emploaee with a sleeping disorder. That is a totally upset about, So it is okay for the fellow employee to go out anbd kill a school bus full af kids if he were to fall asleep at the wheel? By the way I do not have a class A or B license I only drive a staraight axle/Automatc transmission. I think I need to be reissued a two year card. Could you look into it or let mee make a serious formal meeting with you and investegate the company I work for. You should…

    • says

      FMCSA has a portal on their website that allows you to enter into conflict. Once you can find it, they are very willing to listen to your situation.

      The CME was correct to give you a one year card. When you are on blood pressure medication, the DOT deems this as a condition that needs to be monitored, so you have to re-certify annually. For more information see FAQ – BP & Hypertension.

  6. lisa says

    What happens if blood sugar is elevated past 9 and the dot doctor says you need a letter from your doctor and your doctor tells you that he may not do that for you to get your card. Can you get a waiver still and just be off from work till they get back in control or will you lose your job? If you can not renew can you be on a medical leave and then get your Card back.

    • says

      The medical examiner is simply requesting a medical release from your doctor. All that means to you is your doctor needs to confirm that his treatment has been effective, adequate and safe. You doctor is not being ask to do anything else. So go back to your primary with your medical release form in hand and have him fill it out.
      No waiver in necessary for something so simple.
      Can’t answer any of the questions regarding work or jobs or medical leave. Too many variables.

  7. michael liesberg says

    If I passed a dot physical and my b m I is over 35. Doc wants me to take a sleep apnea study. Can I go to another doc for the physical without taking that studyy. It’s expensive

  8. Woody says

    I recently got on with a local parcel delivery company, it is a Non CDL driving job but I am still required to carry a medical card. This would be considered an “intrastate” possition. My question is why since it is “intra-state” not “inter-state” the clinic is trying to charge over $200.00 more for the SAME med card & test, with the Only differance is the Doc marks the “Intra-State” box instead of the “Inter-State” box????

    • says

      On average across the US the average fee for a DOT physical is $80 to $120.00.
      I wouldn’t pay someone $200.00 for a DOT examination unless I had no other choice (and I would complain loudly too.)

  9. ConWatcher says

    Am I required to submit a copy of my medical certification to DOL every time it is renewed? Or does the doctors electronic copy take care of that?

    • says

      The bottom line is that the responsibility falls on the CDL holder to make sure their driving record is updated or they risk their CDL being downgraded or suspended.
      Since May 21, 2014, CMEs have to update the NRCME online system when doing DOT physicals. But I do not believe the State systems and the Federal systems are tied together yet.
      Here at my office in Utah, we still do a courtesy service for Utah CDL holders, and fax a copy of their medical card to Utah DMV. Although we do DOT physicals for drivers from all states, we’re not able to handle submitting to other states because they are all different.
      At this stage I recommend you submit a copy of your medical certificate to DOL every time it is renewed.
      This may change in the future when the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) is fully operational.

  10. Bean Coleman says

    If you live in the state of WA., and have an intrastate CDL, are you required to have a physical by a certified DOT medical examiner, or a regular doctor? Also, if you have a blood pressure reading of 138/86, will you be certified for two years?

    • says

      Until May 20, 2014, any qualified doctor can do your DOT physical. (Unless your company has a different policy). See our FAQ pages for more information.
      If your blood pressure reading is as stated, and you are not on a high blood pressure medication, you should not have any issues with getting a 2 year card.

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