The Ins and Outs of the CDL Medical Exam

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How To Prepare for the CDL Medical Exam

Once you have decided to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you should start collecting all the information, documentation, and requirements you need to meet for the CDL exam.

There are certain medical criteria you need to fulfill to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). This medical examination shows your fitness to perform the job.

What Is the CDL Medical Exam?

A CDL medical exam or a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination is the physical and mental checkup you need to pass to receive your CDL. A commercial driving job can be challenging for your health, and that is why DOT created a standardized test to make sure you and all the others on the road are safe.

Who Can Conduct the CDL Medical Exam?

Not all doctors can conduct your CDL physical exam as they have to be licensed and listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) National Registry.

If medical examiners determine CDL applicants have physically qualified to operate CMVs, they will complete a Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC), and you can proceed with the following CDL exam steps.

A CDL DOT physical exam is valid for two years, but certain medical conditions require more frequent monitoring. In that case, the medical examiner will issue a certificate for a shorter period.

CDL Medical Exam Near Me

As only certified medical examiners can conduct CDL physical exams, you should find the most suitable location for you.

You can search for a medical examiner by entering one of the following:

EnterStepsAdditional Information

National Registry number

  1. Enter the National Registry number
  2. Click Search

If there are no results, either the National Registry number is not valid, or the medical examiner is not certified

Name of the medical examiner

  1. Click Advanced Search Options
  2. Enter the first and last name
  3. Click Search

If there are no results, the medical examiner is not certified

Business name

  1. Click Advanced Search Options
  2. Enter the business name
  3. Click Search

City and state/the ZIP code

  1. Enter the city and state or the ZIP code
  2. Click Search

If there are no results, enter a new city and state or a different ZIP code

The last option offers a way to find medical examiners near you, saving you time and money. Use the provided contact information to schedule your CDL medical exam.

What Does the CDL Medical Exam Include?

The CDL medical exam includes the tests of your:

  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Heart
  • Blood pressure
  • Urine

Apart from that, the medical examiner will check your general appearance, ears, eyes, mouth, throat, abdomen, and other body systems to see if there are any abnormalities. The examiner will note obesity, hernia, heart murmurs, or other irregularities on the report.

You should provide your medical records or any relevant medical documents from your doctor to help the medical examiner conducting the CDL DOT physical exam understand your overall health condition.

Are You Qualified To Operate CMVs?

If the medical examiner identifies a medical condition, they will decide whether it is a disqualifying factor preventing you from obtaining a CDL. In that case, the examiner should suggest treatment options that will allow you to take your CDL exam.

Disqualifying criteria might be temporary, and you can apply for a CDL medical exam after undergoing adequate medical treatment.

You should inform the examiner of a medical condition being treated and provide any additional information from your treating doctor. Unless your condition or the medication you use affects your driving, the medical examiner should issue your medical certification.

Can You Apply for an Exemption?

If you have disqualifying medical conditions, such as vision or hearing impairment and epilepsy, but your medical examiner finds you fit to operate a CMV, you can apply for the FMCSA’s driver exemption programs. In case of additional questions, you can call the Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, FMCSA, at 703-448-3094.

Drivers with an impaired or missing limb need to get a Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) Certificate and perform a road test as part of the CDL application process.

Who Can I Contact Regarding CDL Medical Exam Questions?

Should you need any further explanations, you should contact FMCSA via email at or mail at the following address:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Medical Program

1200 New Jersey Avenue SE

Washington, DC, DC 20590

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