The Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements, determined by federal guidelines, don’t only demand a future commercial driver to take written and practical exams before obtaining their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), but also ask a commercial driver to pass the health exam. This way the DOT can make sure that the potential driver is capable of driving safely now and in future.
The health exam has to be taken every 2 years. However, if a driver experiences serious health problems in the future, the period of 2 years might me decreased and you will have to take the health exam earlier. The driver will have to carry his DOT medical examiner’s certificate, which he receives after passing the health exam, in their commercial motor vehicle until January 30, 2014.
To pass the health exam successfully, you will have to meet several requirements; starting with the eyes, each eye, as well as both eyes combined, need to have 20/40 vision. Of course a potential commercial driver has to be capable of distinguishing colors on traffic signals.
With regard to the ability of hearing, a commercial driver should be able to notice a whisper at a minimum distance of 5 feet.
On top of that, the maximum blood pressure allowed is 160/100. Consuming prescription medication to achieve this is permitted. Blood sugar shouldn’t be higher than 200. It is also allowed for diabetics to control their diabetes through diet or medication, but drivers who have to control it through insulin injections won’t be able to pass the health exam. Regarding drugs, Schedule 1 drugs, amphetamine, narcotic or any other habit forming drugs are prohibited.
In order to drive your commercial vehicle without restrictions, you might also have to provide a stress test with a note from your physician in case you were diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease such as congestive cardiac failure, collapse or cardiac insufficiency.
To find out where you can take your CDL Physical Exam, go here.