CDL Medical Requirements

CDL Medical RequirementsSome basic CDL medical requirements need to be met before you can drive commercially. Below we walk you through exactly what you need to do to get medically certified, where you can find a medical professional to perform the test required, and the types of tests provided.

For an in depth guide to what’s required in order to meet Department of Transportation guidelines, download the PDF below.

Right Click Here & Select “Save As” To Download The CDL Medical Requirements Report

A medical examination is always required when obtaining a commercial drivers license. US DOT (Department of Transportation) has clear procedures in place to help make the examination as easy and fast as possible.

The physical medical examination must be performed by a licensed “Medical Examiner”. In most cases it’s easy to find a medical examiner qualified to conduct the DOT physical examination. The best place to start is to call your local medical care provider and ask them if they can conduct the “DOT physical exam”. Another good place to find DOT physical examiners is in the yellow pages of your telephone book.

DOT physical exams remain valid for 24 months so if you work as a commercial driver, it’s your responsibility to ensure you renew your medical certification to stay in line with the CDL Medical Requirements.

Here’s a brief overview of the main sections covered CDL medical examination:

Driver Information: Before the CDL Medical exam even starts you’ll be asked to provide basic information such as your full name, social security number, and address.

Health History: The second section takes a look at your health history by asking you a series of simple “Yes”/“No” questions. Examples of questions in this section include:

  • Have you experienced any illness of injury in the last 5 years?
  • Have you experienced fainting or dizziness in the last 5 years?
  • Have you experienced eye disorders or impaired vision in the last 5 years?

Vision: The objective of the vision section of the CDL medical exam is to ensure you eyesight is good enough to drive safely. You’ll need to perform a basic vision test. Technically speaking, a level of 20/40 acuity is required in each eye with or without correction.

Hearing: Like the vision test, the hearing test is designed to ensure you can drive safely. You hearing will be tested in both ears. In order to pass this test you must be able to hear a whispered voice from over 5ft away and have an average hearing loss in your better ear of less than 40dB. Hearing aids can be used during the test.

Blood Pressure/Pulse Rate: In this section of the exam, your blood pressure and pulse rate will be tested for abnormalities.

Lab & Test Findings: Urine samples will be required and used for lab testing. The purpose of the lab tests is to identify any other underlying medical problems you may have.

Physical Examination: The final part of the CDL medical examination is to look at your general physical appearance. The medical professional performing the test will take into account your general appearance, your eyes, ears, mouth, throat, heart, lung and chest appearance as well as several other factors.

Signs of drug use, alcohol abuse, weight problems and other noticeable factors will be noted down.


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration –
Visual Acuity –

17 Responses to “CDL Medical Requirements”

  1. Clay Washington says:

    Hey Aidan, just so your readers know, a buddy of mine failed his medical because of his diabetes. He has to take insulin evry day. But he found out about some kind of exemption program and after jumping through a bunch of bureaucratic hoops, he finaly got approved to drive. So don’t give up hope if you don’t pass your med exam because your diabetic.

  2. Jimmie Powers says:

    I failed the drug test…stopped smoking weed, but not soon enuff I guess. Now what? Will anybody ever hire me?

    • Aidan says:

      Man, hard to say, Jimmie. When enough time has lapsed and you’ve been clean, maybe…it’ll depend on the laws of the state you apply in and the policies of the specific company you want to work for.

  3. Tyrone Pierce says:

    How much does the medical exam cost and does the trucking company pay for it?

    • Aidan says:

      Sometimes the trucking company will reimburse you for it. You’ll need to ask though, since it can vary between companies.

  4. matt higgins says:

    Will I be disqualified if I have diabetes?

  5. g c canella says:

    Thanks Aidan, found out just what I needed to know about passing the physical from the download link you gave. Really good website.

  6. Keith Davenport says:

    Good information! Thanks, man!

  7. Paul O. says:

    I have high blood pressure, but it’s controlled with medicine. Will that keep me from getting the DOT card?

    • Aidan says:

      Hi Jerry,
      What’s allowed varies from state to state. Just check with your state DOT to see what their requirements are about high blood pressure.

  8. Sandra C. says:

    Is there a weight limit?

    • Aidan says:

      Hi Sandra, I’m really sorry, but I’m not sure I understand the question. Is there a weight limit on the trucks or on the drivers? If you mean on the trucks, yes. If you mean for the drivers, it’s possible, but I’ve not seen any weight limits enforced.

  9. Donnie Gruner says:

    What happens if you don’t pass the medical exams?

    • Aidan says:

      Donnie, it may depend on why you didn’t pass them, but in some cases I think there’s a waiting period and then you can take it again. To know for sure, you’ll need to check with the DOT in the state you want to be licensed.

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