Truck driving is a tough job that requires drivers to be at peak mental andphysical capability. After all, the essential safety feature in a truck is the driver.
To get a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) license, truck drivers must pass a medical exam to prove they’re fit enough to handle the job demands.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about passing the exam and getting your truck driver medical examiner’s certificate.
Department of Transport (DOT) Medical Exam
The Department of Transport (DOT) requires every truck driver to get a physical examination by a licensed medical examiner. That medical examiner mustbe **listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) national registry.
Luckily, the FMCSA has a tool on their website to search for all licensed medical examiners. Simply type in your location and search for a medical professional who can perform your physical.
Getting the Physical Exam
Once you find yourself sitting in the doctor’s office, you’ll have two parts of the medical examination.
The first part is filling out a medical report where you’ll need to list any medical conditions and prescription drugs you’re taking. You’ll need to discuss these conditions with your medical examiner.
The second part is the actual testing, and it includes a:
- Vision test
- Hearing test
- Blood pressure reading
- General examination of the heart, lungs, limbs, skin, throat, and more
Once your examination is complete, your medical examiner will determine if you’re fit enough to sit behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. If you are, you’ll receive your medical examiner’s certificate, which will be valid for two years.
However, if the examiner is concerned about a condition, you may need another checkup within two years.
There are a few conditions that may prevent some people from getting their medical examiner’s certificate.
Having too high blood pressure can prevent you from passing your examination. Ensure that your blood pressure is below 140/90 on the day of the exam to pass.
The urinalysis is not for testing drugs (that’s a separate test) but for blood, sugar, and proteins, which could signify health problems. If there’s anything of concern, you may need additional tests.
Diabetes is a health problem that used to be a disqualification, but now there are exemptions. However, people with diabetes will get a DOT medical certificate for a maximumof one year.
Epilepsy or seizures are typically an automatic disqualification. The FMCSA has some exemptions for seizures, but you’ll need proof that your condition doesn’t interfere with your driving ability.
Certain prescription medications could be a disqualification if the medication could potentially affect a driver’s ability to perform their job. However, there’s no master list for disqualifying prescription drugs, so you’ll need to be honest when filling out your medical report.
Stay Safe and Stay Healthy
Remember that your physical health is essential not just to your well-being but to your truck driving career. To keep yourself behind the wheel, try to keep yourself in an excellent physical condition so you’ll never have a problem getting your medical certificate.