Commercial Driver Medical Examination| Rules and Regulations

The DOT Physical Examination

After you complete and sign your medical history form or “long form” a.k.a (Medical Examination Report For Commercial Driver Fitness Determination), a complete physical examination will be performed by your certified medical doctor as per requirements of The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

What are the qualifications for commercial driving?
See: **Top Tips to prepare for your DOT Physical**:
Is Your DOT Physical Examination Stressing You Out?
  • First be prepared (review 49 CFR 391.41 Physical Qualification For Drivers.
  • Know what the physical requirements are for commercial driving to know what your doctor will be looking for during your physical exam.

Summary of physical requirements:

Vision: at least 20/40 acuity in each eye with or without correction (eyeglasses or contacts) reading the Snellen Chart, and at least 70 degrees of peripheral vison on the horizontal meridian in each eye.
Driver must also be able to recognize and distinguish standard traffic signals red, green and amber colors.

Hearing:  You Must perceive a forced whisper voice at 5
feet or more with or without hearing aid. Otherwise, you must  undergo  a formal hearing test with an audiometer and pass.  

 Blood Pressure:  Driver qualified if less than or equal to
140/90.  If your blood pressure is more than 140/90
but less than 180/110, you may qualify for a shorter interval depending on whether this is an initial or re-certification and also on your medical examiner’s discretion.

What Medical Conditions Can Disqualify a Driver?1. History of epillepsy (seizure disorder).  *(Please see following link for

2. Diabetes requiring the use of insulin( unless you have an exemption issued by the Federal government).

3. If you don’t meet the minimum vision and hearing standards listed above, even with the help of corrective lenses or a hearing aid) you may be disqualified.

* (Please see the following link regarding:  FMCSA exemptions given from the Hearing Standards): 
If you don’t meet the vision standards or you are using insulin for your diabetes it is also possible to apply for an exemption by going to  theFederal Diabetes and Vision Exemption Program at the FMCSA website.

Medications: Use of methadone is automatically disqualifying

Use of a narcotic, amphetamine,or other habit forming drug without a prescription from a treating physician is disqualifying.

5. Loss or impairement of an arm or limb that interferes
with commercial driving or tasks related to driving,
unless accompanied by a Skills performance Evaluation 
(SPE) Certificate. 

6. A driver with a history of alcoholism is disqualifying.

Well, be prepared.  Know your medical history and don’t forget that these requirements are created not to “hassle” you but to insure public safety.  As a professional truck driver with a lot of responsibilities in your hands please remember safety foremost  and take care of yourself !

We will review other medical conditions affecting commercial drivers in more details in future blogs: like Insulin dependent diabetes, cardiac conditions, sleep apnea, etc.  For a preview and information on some of these topics click Insulin Diabetes and the Commercial truck Driver to listen to my guest appearance on Truth About trucking (with host Allen Smith) on blogg talk radio.