Obtaining your commercial driver's license can be a lengthy process, and one of the steps along the road is obtaining a medical examiner's certificate. This is a non-negotiable requirement, and you will not be granted a commercial driver's license without a valid certificate. Since CDL requirements are federally mandated, a medical examiner's certificate will be required no matter which state you will be receiving your CDL in. Additionally, you will need to complete a physical and receive a new certificate at least once every two years.
What Is a Medical Examiner's Certificate?
A Medical Examiner's Certificate (MEC) is a document provided by your physician which certifies that you are physically capable of operating a commercial vehicle. The MEC is a standardized form and does not contain any sensitive health information, it simply indicates that a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical has been completed and that it did not turn up any problems which would restrict your ability to operate a commercial vehicle. Your physician will keep a more complete and detailed report on file, but this additional information is not required to receive your CDL.
What Is the DOT Physical?
In order to receive an MEC, you will need to undergo a DOT physical. This is a physical examination conducted following a set of guidelines created by the Department of Transportation. Since operating a commercial motor vehicle has the potential to put both your own safety and the safety of the public at risk, it is important to determine if there are any underlying health issues which may impact your ability to operate a vehicle in a safe manner.
Having to receive a specialized physical may seem intimidating, but the DOT physical is not much different from any other routine examination. The doctor will check for specific issues with vision, hearing, and blood pressure, as well as conduct a general physical examination to look for any other obvious problems. You will be expected to provide a urine sample, but the DOT physical does not require that blood work be taken.
If you have any pre-existing conditions, you may be expected to bring additional documentation to your physical. Contact the physician's office where the exam will be performed to confirm any special requirements, as in some cases, you may need to first schedule an exam with your primary care physician and bring the results of that examination to your DOT physical. If you wear glasses or contacts, be sure to have them with you for the vision test as well.
Where Can I Have My Physical Performed?
DOT Physicals must be conducted by Certified Medical Examiners. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains an online national registry of certified medical examiners, and this should be your first stop when attempting to find a qualified physician. If your primary care physician is a certified medical examiner, then you are free to have them conduct your DOT physical if you wish.
For more information, contact a commercial driving license school.
As the son and grandson of mechanics, I spent much of my child hood under the hood of many cars. I have listened and learned about so many different problems and how to repair them effectively. I created this blog to cover as many car problems as possible without overwhelming readers. You will find tips for troubleshooting, advice for when to take it to a professional and suggestions for when to stop driving the car or truck immediately to prevent further and more costly damage. We hope that you find all of this information helpful and useful, allowing you to have a great running car.