What is a medical card?
A US DOT medical card is a document usually carried in a commercial Driver's possession; that states that the driver has had a physical examination by a registered and qualified medical doctor and is medically certified and physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. The card is good for a 2 year period unless the driver has some other health issues that require monitoring. The card is to be presented to any law enforcement officer or inspector of commercial motor vehicles when asked.
There are two medical certificate forms provided to the driver if they pass:
- The long form: - This contains all the information from the exam. A copy should be kept on file with the drivers company. Here is a link to the form for viewing: https://cms.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Medical_Examination_Report_for_Commercial_Driver_Fitness_Determination_649-F%286045%29.pdf
- The short form: - This should be kept on the driver at all times. Here is a link to the short form: https://cms.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Medical_Examiners_Certificate.pdf
Who needs a medical card?
Any commercial truck driver that is compensated for driving a vehicle used in commerce and operates on any public highway; and only if the vehicle’s GVWR is above 10001 pounds.
Where do I get a medical certificate?
Prior to May 21, 2014 commercial drivers could go to any medical doctors to get a medical certificate. Effective May 21, 2014, this will no longer be the case. CMV driver examinations will only be completed by Certified Medical Examiners (MEs) listed on FMCSA’s National Registry. You can find them in this location: https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/NRPublicUI/Drivers.seam
What are some of the medical conditions that might disqualify me?
Not all the medical conditions below will disqualify you completely from driving. The best solution to any problem is communication. Talk with your doctor and your local DOT to see if you can get an exemption certificate or a pass to drive.
- Current alcoholism
- Current or recent drug use
- Vision loss without corrective lenses
- Hearing loss greater than 40 decibels at 500, 1000 and 2000 Hertz without a hearing aid.
- A mental, nervous, organic or functional disease or psychiatric disorder likely to interfere with the drivers ability to function.
- Loss of a foot, leg, hand or an arm.
- Impairment of a hand or finger which interferes with ability to grasp an object (steering wheel).
- Impairment of an arm, foot or leg which interferes with the ability to perform normal tasks associated with operating a truck; or any other significant limb defect or limitation which interferes with normal tasks required to operate a truck.
- A diagnosis of diabetes requiring insulin for control.
- Heart troubles including: myocardial infarction, angina, coronary insufficiency, thrombosis or any other cardiovascular disease of a variety known to be accompanied by syncope, dyspnea, collapse or congestive cardiac failure.
- A medical history of respiratory dysfunction likely to interfere with the ability to drive the vehicle safely.
- A current diagnosis of high blood pressure likely to interfere with the drivers ability to function.
- An established medical history of rheumatic, arthritic, ortopedic, muscular, neuromusclular or vascular disease which interferes with the drivers ability to function.
- Epilepsy or any condition causing loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a commercial vehicle.
- Use of certain medications.