Commercial drivers require a higher level of fitness because of the nature of their cargo, types of vehicles being driven, nature of physical work, exposure due to significant number of kilometres driven and the consequences of a collision involving a large vehicle.
Medical report requirements
A medical report is required when applying for or renewing a Class 1, 2 or 4 commercial driver’s licence. See the Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing for more information.
Medical reports are required:
- every five years until age 45
- every two years after age 45 until age 65
- annually after age 65
All medical reports are kept confidential and are only used to determine medical fitness to drive.
Report a medical condition
In Alberta, you are required by law to report any physical or medical conditions or changes in health that may affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Driving restricted outside of Canada
As part of the Canada/United States (US) Medical Reciprocity Agreement, Alberta and all other Canadian jurisdictions require a “W” identifier code to appear on the driver’s licences and driving records of driver's who are not medically eligible to operate a commercial vehicle outside of Canada.
This code applies to commercial drivers with a Class 1, 2 or 4 driver’s licence with one or more of the following conditions:
- insulin-dependent diabetes
- established medical history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy and/or seizures
- unable to meet minimum hearing requirements to transport dangerous goods
- monocular vision
Commercial drivers with a Code W are able to drive without restriction in Canada, but are not permitted to drive in the United States because of different minimum medical standards for commercial driving. Canada uses the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators Medical Standards as a guideline in establishing the basic minimum medical and visual qualifications for safe driving. The US uses the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations which prohibit driver's with the above conditions from operating commercial vehicles in the US.
Drivers with a Code W who are operating a commercial vehicle will not be allowed to enter the US. Those travelling with at Code W in a non-commercial vehicle will be granted access.
The US has a similar Code V which identifies commercial driver's with medical conditions who do not comply with Canadian standards.
Code W review
If you believe a Code W has been placed on your driver’s licence in error or if your medical condition has changed, you can contact Driver Fitness and Monitoring.
Connect with Driver Fitness and Monitoring:
Hours: 8:15 am to 12:00 pm, and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Main Floor, Twin Atria Building
Room 109, 4999 98 Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta T6B 2X3