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What medical criteria are required to obtain a medical certificate? (And who needs one?)

Drivers of commercial motor vehicles must undergo a physical examination to make sure they are medically fit for duty. If the truck driver passes the medical exam, the examiner will complete a medical examiner’s certificate, which can be submitted to the Department of Transportation. Below is some information to help you understand this certificate and determine whether you need it.

When is a medical certificate required?

A medical certificate is required for any commercial motor vehicle driver who does not have a waiver or exemption. Certain aspects of the medical requirements may be waived, but you must meet certain qualifications and complete an application.

About the exam:

A licensed medical examiner listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration must perform the Department of Transportation physical examination. Professionals who may be listed as licensed medical examiners include doctors of chiropractic, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, doctors of osteopathy, and doctors of medicine.

Each DOT physical exam will be valid for a maximum of 24 months. If certain conditions require monitoring, the medical examiner may decide to issue a certificate that is valid for less than 24 months.

Completing the Certification Process:

The form that must be completed to obtain a medical certificate includes several parts. The first part of the form asks the driver to supply basic information about his or her health, including any known issues, surgical history, and any medications he or she is currently taking. The next part of the form must be completed by the examiner and will include a significant amount of information about the driver’s health. Some of the information recorded by the medical examiner includes:

  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Visual acuity test results
  • Hearing test results
  • Urinalysis results
  • An evaluation of each major body system, including the skin, eyes, cardiovascular system, spine, and neurological system

In the last part of the form, the medical examiner must make determinations based on federal and state regulations. The examiner may determine that the driver qualifies for a two-year certificate, requires periodic monitoring, or does not meet the medical standards set by the federal or state government. The examiner may also determine that the driver needs a follow-up examination or that the examination was incomplete. If the driver needs corrective lenses, a hearing aid, or a waiver in order to qualify for a certificate, the medical examiner must indicate these requirements on the form.

The DOT medical certificate is only one requirement drivers must satisfy in order to be in compliance with all applicable regulations. Drivers of commercial vehicles must also carry an appropriate truck insurance policy in order to protect themselves and others on the road.

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To learn more about truck insurance requirements or to explore your coverage options, talk to our team. We can help you get great big rig insurance at a great rate. To get started with your quotes, fill out our online form, give us a call, or message us on LiveChat. We’re here to help you get the coverage you need at the best possible rate.