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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Seizure Exemption Application

The Department of Transportation DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has received your request for an exemption from Section 391.41(b)(8) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations which prohibits an individual with epilepsy or a seizure disorder from operating a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.  The process to determine if such an exemption should be granted includes a thorough review of your medical records and any other documents that would support your request for an exemption from this regulation. Include any information about your condition, such as diagnosis, medical history, laboratory tests, diagnostic tests and any medications you are taking. Include your most recent visit note from your treating physician.  Please indicate the following specifically:

  1. Physician Statement on letterhead, that includes: your diagnosis, the date(s) of your last seizure, the anti-seizure medication you take, the date of the last change in anti-seizure medication, and a sentence of support for your driving commercially.          
  2. A copy of your driver’s license, front and back.
  3. The type of vehicle you would be driving.  DOT #
  4. Completed Authorization for Release of Medical Information Form
  5. A statement that you are an interstate commercial driver.
  6. A copy of driving record for the last 3 years.  Include the accident report for any vehicle accidents within the last 3 years.

In order to grant an exemption, the Agency must ensure that each exemption would maintain a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level achieved without the exemption.

The Agency must carefully evaluate the application and, as required by 49 CFR U.S.C. 31315(b), prepare a Federal Register notice requesting public comment on the application for the exemption.  In order to publish relevant medical information to the Federal Register docket, we are requesting that you complete and sign the enclosed Release of Information.  After review of public comments received in response to the Federal Register notice, FMCSA will make a decision whether to grant or deny the exemption.  You will be notified in writing once a final decision is made.  Send information to:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Medical Programs Division, W64-221
Seizure Exemptions
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington DC 20590
Phone (202) 366-4001
Fax (202) 366-1265

Seizure Exemption Application

Welcome to the FMCSA Seizure Exemption Program application site. All of the information you will need to apply for an exemption from the epilepsy regulation in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8) is located here.

If you are applying for a Seizure exemption, please first review the following criteria, you must meet these conditions to be considered:

  • Seizure Disorder/Epilepsy diagnosis.  If there is a seizure disorder/epilepsy diagnosis, the applicant should be seizure-free for 8 years, on or off medication. If the individual is taking anti-seizure medication(s), the plan for medication should be stable for 2 years. Stable means no changes in medication, dosage, or frequency of medication administration. Recertification for drivers with an epilepsy diagnosis should be performed every year.
  • Single unprovoked seizure.  If there is a single unprovoked seizure (i.e., there is no known trigger for the seizure), the individual should be seizure-free for 4 years, on or off medication. If the individual is taking anti-seizure medication(s), the plan for medication should be stable for 2 years. Recertification for drivers with a single unprovoked seizure should be performed every 2 years.
  • Single provoked seizure.  If there is a single provoked seizure (i.e., there is a known reason for the seizure), the Agency will consider specific criteria that fall into the following two categories: low-risk factors for recurrence and moderate-to-high risk factors for recurrence.
  • Examples of low-risk factors for recurrence include seizures that were caused by a medication; by non-penetrating head injury with loss of consciousness less than or equal to 30 minutes; by a brief loss of consciousness not likely to recur while driving; by metabolic derangement not likely to recur; and by alcohol or illicit drug withdrawal.
  • Examples of moderate-to-high-risk factors for recurrence include seizures caused by non-penetrating head injury with loss of consciousness or amnesia greater than 30 minutes, or penetrating head injury; intracerebral hemorrhage associated with a stroke or trama; infections; intracranial hemorrhage; post-operative complications from brain surgery with significant brain hemorrhage; brain tumor; or stroke.         

If you meet the above criteria, then you may submit an application to be considered for an exemption. First, the Agency must make a thorough review of your medical records and any other documents that would support your request for an exemption from this regulation.  We require the following information:

  • Medical history: include any information about your condition, such as diagnosis, laboratory tests, diagnostic tests and any medications you are taking. Please indicate the following specifically:
  • Physician Statement on letterhead, that includes: your diagnosis, the date(s) of your last seizure, the anti-seizure medication you take, the date of the last change in anti-seizure medication, and a sentence of support for your driving commercially.
  • A copy of your driver’s license, front and back
  • 3-year driving history
  • The type of vehicle you would be driving.  DOT #
  • Completed Authorization for Release of Medical Information Form
  • A statement that you are an interstate commercial driver.

In order to grant an exemption, the Agency must ensure that each exemption would maintain a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level achieved without the exemption.

The process for determining whether to grant an exemption follows:

  • FMCSA must assure we have all the requested information.
  • FMCSA is required to prepare a Federal Register notice requesting public comment on any application for a medical exemption.
  • The notice includes personal information about you and your medical condition. There may be other drivers published in the same notice, asking for the same type of medical exemption.
    • To publish your name and relevant medical information to the Federal Register docket, we require that you complete and sign the “Release of Information”.
  • The public is allowed a 30-day period to comment on the exemption application.
  •  FMCSA reviews all of the comments.
  • Then the Agency makes a decision on your application.
  • You will be notified in writing of the decision.

 FMCSA will also evaluate your driving record to assess for serious violations and/or repeated violations (speeding, crashes, etc).

Once you have collected all of the requested information, please send it to the following address:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Medical Programs Division, W64-220
(Seizure Exemptions)
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington DC 20590

If you require any assistance in preparing your application or have questions regarding your eligibility, please contact the Medical Programs Division at 202-366-4001 or email at fmcsamedical@dot.gov

Thank you and we look forward to assisting you!

Last updated: Wednesday, January 21, 2015