How to Meet CDL Driver’s Medical Qualifications

CDL: To operate a commercial motor vehicle, you must provide proof that you are medically capable of the task without risk of incident due to poor health. The Department of Transportation provides specific requirement for those holding a CDL license. Take these steps to see that you meet the qualifications set forth by the DOT for meeting the CDL medical requirements for operating a vehicle.


Meet the vision requirements set by the DOT to assure that you safely see and judge traffic control devices and safely see things around your truck, allowing for appropriate control of your commercial vehicle. Wearing corrective lenses will not necessarily disqualify you from meeting the requirements, but a second set of glasses are usually required to be carried by a driver in the vehicle.

Control diabetes without the use of insulin, or be free from diabetes altogether. Diabetes is a dangerous condition that may cause sudden and unexpected heath problems that can be severe in nature and cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

Have no loss of or impairment to your limbs or digits. This includes arms, hands, fingers, legs or feet. If you do have loss or impairment that you feel would not impair your driving ability, you may be able to qualify for an exemption. Contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, at (503) 399-5775 for details or to plead your case.

Pass a medical examination and physical administered by a qualified doctor showing that you meet all of the requirements to drive a vehicle with a CDL license using the standards set by the DOT.

Get a current medical examiner’s certificate, often referred to as a medical card, and keep it in your possession any time you operate a commercial vehicle.