Drivers license and diabetes



Very nice resource! Thanks for posting the link. :slight_smile:


I’m in CA and it’s one of those states that you have to answer medical questions when getting a license.
I did lose my license for 6 months due to a low while driving. Left work at 98, my first pregnancy and thought that was good enough to drive home. It wasn’t. Didn’t hit anything or hurt anyone. I drove up a hill on the side of the road right by my house. Sheriff department reported my to DMV. Got a lawyer through ADA to look into it for me and with help of endo, got it back but was on probation for 3 years and my blood sugar needed to be 120 or above to drive. I still 20+ years later still do the 120 before driving.
But the sad thing is that a doctor can report you also to the DMV. Had a talk w/ my doctor about the catch 22 here. If I’m having problems with lots of lows, I really can’t tell my doctor that I might have been unconscious for some of them because she would have to report it. It is a legal requirement for them to report anytime someone losses consciousness. No matte the reason. So if I may need help, I can’t ask. Kind of sad isn’t it. So now if I run into that problem, I never say I lost consciousness, just that I am having lows. But especially for teenagers, this is a huge issue with many doctors and their teenage patients.


Nice link. In Tennessee, the reason I never saw any bureaucratic oppression is that I answered the medical problem question “No”. I did so because I do not consider diabetes to make me dangerous on the road.

I drive too fast which is much more dangerous than diabetes. I am one of those who is mostly aware when his glucose goes low. I checked one time while driving and my BG was 54, my wife made me pull into a sushi place to eat.

The Tennessee Diabetes ID card is six bucks. I ain’t paying for a card that says I’m diabetic. That seems like it would be a self inflicted wound.


Ugh Can’t fathom my license at risk due to diabetes. I 'm hoping the undertaker will have to pry my car keys from my cold dead fingers.


Wow, I wasn’t aware of any issue with diabetics and their driver’s license. I crashed into a parked car about 28 years ago in MD due to a hypo… I’ve lived in MD, CA, NY, and MA and have never indicated that I’m T1 when getting a license. If the question was asked, I probably didn’t even notice.


I do believe that I am going to win in court. But, you just never know. They have threatened me with 30 days jail time for not submitting this paperwork. Anybody know if I can have an Omnipod/Dexcom receiver in jail…just in case?


ADA covers us in jail - this is a very interesting link that everyone should read because diabetics frequently get thrown in jail when they are hypo and someone thinks they are drunk. Families/Friends should know how to respond. ADA diabetes care in jail

No pumps. Questionable if you get insulin at all. Diabetics are prevented from having snacks in their cell that contain sugar because ‘its not good for them.’ Non diabetics can have sugary snacks. Seems pretty archaic. In actual practice, it seems most likely that one would die from hyper. Google ‘diabetic dies in jail,’ for specifics.


I won in court. I don’t think I won anything valuable, except to not be wrongfully persecuted. I guess that’s something.


congrats that’s a huge win for all of us with T1D how did you win I been trying to get a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) but cant because the federal has the same requirements except if you use insulin you are banned from operating a commercial vehicle and I don’t understand it we can operate a vehicle I think more safely than any else because of what is at stake


Thats a real bummer about the CDL, but maybe you could get an exemption. “Type 1 Diabetes – Can I get a CDL?
Yes, you can get a CDL. Be advised that there are certain medical criterions that you will have to meet. You will need to file for the Federal Diabetes Exemption. We will discuss how you can file for the exemption and the requirements you must meet in detail further below. You will want to study these requirements, and make sure that you meet them before getting involved in the long, drawn out process of getting a Federal Diabetes Exemption.”

BTW, what I learned about winning in court is that you don’t actually win anything. No one threw any confetti. No balloons. In fact, nothing changed and I fully expect to have the same problem all over again next year. On the upside, they did not throw me in jail like the prosecutor said they might.


Here we go! This is the update…

license letter_Identifiable_Removed.docx (1.2 MB)


@mohe0001 that is a very well written letter that speaks to the inadequacies of the system and the specific needs of a group of ADA protected citizens. I am glad your appeal went well and you were able to get a Federal CDL exemption. Until very recently you would have been part of a very select group that comprised 1 tenth of 1% of those that had applied for the exemption. Obtaining the exemption speaks to your exemplary control for which you should be very proud. Congratulations!


hehehe, El_Ver. I don’t have a CDL. Although, I see the confusion in how the post reads. The county took me to court for driving with a suspended license (which I didn’t know was suspended because their computer system has bugs and cant send me mail.) It was still a big win, though, because they were threatening me with jail time. :scream:

BTW, there are no insulin pumps allowed in jail. I did research. I was scared.

Thanks so much for feedback on the letter. I’m going to try to hold our state to do just as much work as you guys did, and actually read it.


I could recommend 49 other US States you may want to consider.


@mohe0001 Sorry for the confusion. Ihave some experience with the DMV, CDLs and arcane Federal rules. Glad you stuck it to the man though!!! Hopefully it will start discussions to bring about change for the future.


Your the driving expert, @El_Ver. All complicated driving questions are now coming your way. Glad I have you in my back pocket, if I need.

@Tim35, it is clear to me that I will NEVER live in Chicago. Have you seen the medical form for that? As I understand it, in order to drive in IL, you have to sign over the right to read your entire medical record to the DMV. Its really serious. Someone on the forum showed it to me. Its the worst in the nation, that I have seen.

Imagine what a breech would do.


@mohe0001 I am always glad to help, but am in no way an expert. I drive commercial for many many years, and saw just as many changes in the regulations. I now hold in my tenacious grasp a regular old dl like everyone else.


For sh!!!T. I just realized that there is NO bipartisan support for my pet bill. What does that mean? Is it hopeless? Diabetes paperwork doesn’t strike me as a partisan issue. Am I missing something? Who do I talk to? The party that is not supporting it or the people who are? So confusing.


@mohe0001 you might start chasing after members if the opposing party and try to. Sway them


OK, that might be possible since my reps are not supporting it. Its super hard to get a response if you are not in their district. So, maybe this is the better case.