Commercial Motor Vehicle

The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry) is a new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) program. All commercial drivers whose current medical certificate expires on or after May 21, 2014, at expiration of that certificate must be examined by a medical professional listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. Only medical examiners that have completed training and successfully passed a test on FMCSA’s physical qualification standards are listed on the National Registry.

The DOT physical exam certifies that a driver does not have any physical, mental, or organic condition that might affect his or her ability to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle. The exam incorporates the required medical assessment (including vision, hearing, blood pressure, pulse, urine specimen testing, and review of medical history) and includes the DOT medical certificate.

You are required to have a physical exam and carry a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) medical certificate if:

  • You operate a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)
  • or gross combination weight rating (GCWR) or gross vehicle weight (GVW)
  • or gross combination weight (GCW) of 4,536 kilograms (10,001 pounds) or
  • more in interstate commerce.
  • You operate a motor vehicle designed or used to transport more than 15
  • passengers, including the driver, in interstate commerce.
  • You operate a motor vehicle designed or used to transport between nine
  • and 15 passengers, for direct compensation, beyond 75 air miles from
  • your regular work-reporting location, in interstate commerce.You transport hazardous materials in quantities requiring placards, in
  • interstate commerce.

The US Department of Transportation sets the following guidelines:
CDL holders (Drivers) must have 20/40 correctable vision in each eye.

  • Glasses or contact lenses are permitted.
  • Drivers cannot be a diabetic on needle-injected insulin unless
  • accompanied by a waiver by an endocrinologist; diabetes controlled
  • through a diet or oral medication is permitted.
  • A driver’s blood pressure must be under 140/90. Prescription
  • medication to control blood pressure is permitted but has limitations up
  • to a one year certification.
  • Use of a Schedule 1 drug, amphetamine, narcotic or any other habit
  • forming drug is not permitted.

If a driver has a current diagnosis of cardiac insufficiency, collapse, congestive cardiac failure, or any other cardiovascular disease, he/she will be required to provide the Medical Examiner with the results of a stress test (performed within the last 12 months) along with a release from the driver’s physician stating that he/she can drive a commercial motor vehicle without restrictions.

The DOT physical exam is valid for up to 2 years. The medical examiner may also issue a medical examiner’s certificate for less than 2 years when a medical condition warrants such designation. You must carry a current copy of your medical examination certificate with you when you drive.

If you need a Department of Transportation (DOT) Medical Examination, please contact Dr. Stiles at 919-782-3870. The exam cost is $80 and should take about 30 minutes.