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DOT Medical Cards for CDL Truck Drivers
Driver Resources February 14, 2019

DOT Medical Cards for CDL Truck Drivers

***The FMCSA has granted a waiver to drivers and states concerning expiring CDL Licenses and Medical Cards. The waiver grants extensions to 9-30-2020 for any CDL License or Medical card that expires between 3-1-2020 and 9-30-2020. ***

Fundamental Labor Strategies is a truck driver leasing company. We cannot assist you in acquiring a DOT card. This is information for educational purposes.

All commercial licensed drivers must be medically qualified to drive a commercial vehicle. Not only does this ensure the driver’s safety, but also the safety of the people sharing the road. Driving a vehicle over 5-tons requires a special set of skills, and being medically fit is an important part of that.

Below is important information and steps to obtaining a CDL medical card:

  • Medical Exam. In order to be medically qualified to drive a commercial vehicle, a driver must complete a physical exam performed by a certified medical examiner. To find an examiner near you, a national registry of medical examiners can be found here.
    • If a driver is medically qualified, they will be issued a medical card with either a 3 month, 12 month or 24 month expiration. At Fundamental Labor Strategies, we require at least a 12 month certification to drive with us.
      • Drivers should always obtain a copy of the medical card after passing the physical exam. If the examiner does not give them one, they should ask for it.
      • Drivers should always carry their valid medical card with them. While it is technically not required once you self-certify, some states may have issues retrieving this information.
    • Self-Certification: Once the medical certificate is issued, drivers need to update their record with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the state in which they live and hold their CDL. This allows each state, as well as, motor carriers to track and make sure the drivers are medically qualified to drive.
      • Each state is different, but the best way to self-certify is to physically take the new medical card to the DMV, they will update the record and it will show on the driver’s Motor Vehicle Record (MVR).
      • Regardless of how often a driver gets a new med card, the most recent medical card is the valid card, and the driver must carry that card and self-certify with that card.
      • The driver has up to 14 days from when his/her last medical card expires to self-certify with their new medical card, otherwise their driver’s license will be downgraded.
      • When self-certifying for the first time the driver must select whether they will operate in interstate or intrastate commerce, and are excepted or non-excepted from Federal DOT Requirements.
        • Interstate: the driver can operate within multiple states.
          • Non-excepted Interstate: you must meet the Federal DOT Medical Card requirements. FLS requires this form of certification.
          • Excepted interstate: you do not have to meet the Federal DOT Medical Card requirements.
        • Intrastate: the driver can only operate within the state that they hold their CDL.
          • Non-excepted Intrastate: you must meet the Federal DOT Medical Card requirements
          • Excepted Intrastate: you do not have to meet the Federal DOT Medical Card requirements

Once a driver has received a valid medical card and has self-certified their MVR with the DMV, they may begin driving.

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