Medical Qualifications and Drug Testing FAQ'S

Is it possible to get exemptions for some medical conditions?

The FMCSA may grant an exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations if the agency determines it is in the public interest and would likely achieve a level of safety no lower than that which would be achieved by complying with the safety regulation. Sections 381.300 through 381.330 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations describe the procedures applicants must follow to apply for exemptions. FMCSA currently has exemption programs for vision and insulin-treated diabetes mellitus, and offers a certificate program for drivers with limb impairments. FMCSA also has a special certification program for drivers with missing and/or impaired limbs.

Is the certification limited to current employment or job duties?

When a Medical Examiner grants medical certification, he/she certifies the driver to perform any job duty required of a commercial driver, not just the driver’s current job duties.

Am I required to have a medical certificate if I only operate a commercial motor vehicle in intrastate commerce in my home state?

Intrastate drivers are subject to the physical qualification regulations of their States. All 50 States have adapted their regulations based on some of the Federal requirements.

Can a Commercial Motor Vehicle driver be disqualified for using a legally prescribed drug?

Although the driver has a legal prescription, he/she may be disqualified if the medication could adversely affect the driver’s ability to drive a CMV safely.

How do I find a qualified Medical Examiner to obtain my DOT medical card?

Beginning May 21, 2014, drivers were required to obtain their FMCSA medical examination from a certified medical examiner that is listed on the Expressway Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. Designed to improve safety by achieving high-quality medical exams that are consistent with Federal regulations and guidelines, the Expressway Registry helps commercial motor vehicle drivers find trained and qualified medical examiners to perform physical qualification examinations. Medical Examiners have to take a training course and pass a certification exam to be listed on the Expressway Registry. The list of certified medical examiners including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and chiropractors, is available on the Expressway Registry website.

I have a CDL but do not drive a CDL vehicle. Do I have to be drug tested and be in the random selection pool?

No, you are only subject to the drug and alcohol testing when you possess a CDL and operate a CDL vehicle.