Today I had a truck driver in for recertification.  He had diplopia which was corrected by prescription glasses.  He met all the vision requirements with his eyewear.  According to the regulations diplopia is an automatic disqualifier.  Is there any provision for correction with glasses?

Monocular vision is disqualifying.  Diplopia often results in monocular vision.  However, if it is corrected with prescription lenses, the driver may be qualified.

The Medical Expert Panel reports:

Key Question 5: Is diplopia associated with increased crash risk?

There is insufficient evidence to determine whether diplopia increases crash risk.

A single small study of moderate quality provided self-reported driving performance through response and reaction time recognition in simulated driving performance tasks among non-CMV drivers with diplopia and non-diplopic vision. No study directly compared crashes among diplopic and non-diplopic drivers. Although the included study did not provide evidence of increased risk among diplopic drivers of any type, a single small study is insufficient to rule out an increase in risk. Moreover, we were not able to assess crash risk among CMV drivers with diplopia. The lack of data from studies enrolling CMV drivers with diplopia precludes one from determining whether CMV drivers with this type of vision impairment are at an increased risk for a motor vehicle crash. Thus, one cannot determine from the existing evidence base whether diplopic CMV drivers are at an increased risk for a motor vehicle crash.

If the driver remains monocular even with correction, and they are otherwise qualified, they may apply for the Federal Vision Exemption.

Federal vision exemption for an otherwise qualified driver with monocular vision:  If the applicant ALREADY has the exemption it is clear you can issue a medical certificate, however the program goes on about advising the applicant who does not yet have an exemption that they can apply for a vision exemption and instructs the medical examiner to give the applicant a copy of both (my words) the medical exam report AND the medical certificate.
My question:  does the medical examiner complete a medical certificate for the otherwise qualified driver who does NOT YET have the waiver?  Clearly the medical certificate specifies that the vision exemption is required.
The procedure for application to the federal vision exemption program is that if the driver is otherwise qualified, you would complete the entire exam, fill in the long form with the appropriate entries:
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and issue the medical examiner’s certificate with the appropriate box checked :
(click image to enlarge)

Colorblind Commercial Drivers

Anyone who is colorblind can not be certified, correct? Because they need to be able to see the red, green, and amber colors?

The driver does not need to pass an Ishihara test.  If s/he can reliably distinguish between red, green and amber in the office they can pass.  I usually point to different objects of these colors in the office and ask the driver to tell me what color they are, just avoid objects that are too obvious, like a typically red sharps container.

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