Commercial Trucking Medical Exams: New Requirements

Commercial Trucking Medical Exams: New Requirements

What new medical requirements must commercial motor vehicle drivers follow?

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are now required to obtain their license renewal medical examination from a “certified” medical examiner. This means that your current medical provider may not be able to issue your certificate for license renewal.

Why is this new medical exam required?

This new requirement is designed to improve highway safety through a high-quality medical exam that is consistent with federal regulations. It is also designed to help drivers meet all the health standards of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as well as help them find trained medical examiners through a national registry.

Who can serve as a medical examiner and perform CMV physical examinations?

Federal regulations define a certified medical examiner as a person who is licensed to perform CMV physical examinations. This includes doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, and doctors of chiropractic. Certified medical examiners take an intensive training course and must pass a certification exam to perform the physical exams and to be listed on the national registry.

Will Weeks be offering physical exams by certified medical examiners?

Weeks Medical Center has two certified medical examiners to provide CMV physical exams. Christopher Laurent, FNP-BC, is available for appointments in the Whitefield physicians office and Angelo Vozzella, PA-C, is available at the Lancaster physicians office.

How does the new medical examination differ from the previous exam?

The examination is similar to previous license renewal exams, but with more rigid requirements. All CMV drivers must meet the same minimum standards in order to receive their license renewal and a certified medical certificate.

What are the requirements to pass the physical examination?

You will be required to give a urine sample to test for blood, sugar, and protein and to determine kidney infection and early signs of diabetes and high blood pressure. You must meet certain requirements for blood pressure, vision and color perception, hearing, and cardiovascular health.

Can I get a medical certificate if I have a condition that is being treated by a physician?

The decision is made by your certified medical examiner. Every effort is made to meet a driver’s medical and employment needs within standards. Certification is permitted if the driver does not have a condition, use medication, or receive treatment that impairs safe driving. Waivers and exemptions are available for certain conditions. The goal is to keep people driving.

Do conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or physical impairments restrict medical certification?

High blood pressure and diabetes can prohibit medical certification. Your medical examiner will work with you and your primary care physician to monitor and control your conditions to keep you driving. Your medical examiner may issue a medical certificate for less than 24 months in order to monitor a condition. If you have diabetes that requires insulin, you will need to file an exemption in order to drive. Medical exam, employment history, driving experience, and motor vehicle record are used as considerations. If you have a physical impairment or missing limbs, you are required to obtain a skills performance evaluation (SPE) certificate in order to drive.

What should I do when my medical certificate is about to expire?

You must have a new medical examination and obtain a new certified medical certificate. Your new certificate is valid for two years if you have no restrictions.

How do I make an appointment or find out more information about a certified physical exam?

Appointments can be made either through your primary care physician or by calling 603-788-5625.

By Christopher Laurent, FNP-BC

Christopher Laurent is a primary care/family medicine provider based at the Whitefield Physicians Office. For more information or for an appointment, please call 603-788-5095.