CDL Waivers and Exceptions

February 2, 2024

Texas Limb Waiver
If you cannot pass the physical requirements to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), you might be able to apply for a special waiver.  A Texas Intrastate Limb Waiver will only let you drive commercial vehicles within Texas, not across state lines.  To get this waiver, you will need to fill out a Texas Commercial Driver Application Intrastate Driver Certification - Section B and provide a Department of Transportation (DOT) medical examiners certificate (form CDL-5).

Texas Intrastate Limb Waiver Application (PDF) is available at any driver license office or can be downloaded.

The application packet must be fully completed and returned to DPS within 45 days of the physical examination date.

Mailing Address:
Texas Department of Public Safety
Issuance Services
Attn: CDL
P.O. Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773-0320

NOTE:    To get a Texas Limb Waiver, you must first have a valid Texas Driver’s License.  If you have a driver’s license from another state, you will need to transfer the out-of-state license to a Texas driver’s license before you can apply for the waiver.  Once you have the waiver, you will need to take and pass the required knowledge and skills test within 60 days of getting the waiver.

Texas Vision Waiver
As of January 1, 2023, the Texas Vision Waiver program is no longer available due to changes in federal regulations.  However, individuals who previously relied on the program to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMV) may now be eligible under the new federal alternative vision standards.

Individuals currently holding a Texas Vision Waiver must comply with the new standards by December 1, 2024 or by the medical certificate expiration date, whichever occurs first.

Federal Vision Exemption Program

Effective March 22, 2022, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) eliminated the current vision exemption program.  Individuals who are unable to meet federal vision standards may now physically qualify to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) under the new alternative vision standards.  Additional information on the alternative vision standards can be found on the FMCSA website.

The Federal Vision Exemption Programs have specific requirements for each application. For more information on these programs please visit the FMCSA Driver Exemption Programs.

Federal Skills Performance Evaluation Certification Program

The Federal Skills Performance Evaluation Certification Program (SPE) is a federally sponsored program available to certain individuals who hold a CDL. This program provides an opportunity for some individuals who would otherwise be medically unqualified to obtain a CDL to apply for and maintain an interstate CDL.

For more information on the SPE Certification Program or other interstate medical variances that are available including the Federal Seizure Variance Program, please visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Farm-Related Service Industry
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) may waive the knowledge and skills tests and issue a restricted CDL to an individual who is an employee of a farm-related service industry. The applicant must certify to the Texas Commercial Driver License Application - Restricted Commercial Driver License (CDL-1F) and meet all other CDL requirements.

  1. Farm retail outlets and suppliers
  2. Agri-chemical businesses
  3. Customer harvesters including cotton modular operators
  4. Livestock feeders

NOTE: A CDL with a Farm-Related Service Industry waiver is only issued for Class B and Class C vehicles.