May the medical examiner restrict a driver’s duties?
The only conditions a medical examiner may impose upon a driver otherwise qualified involve the use of corrective lenses or hearing aids, securement of a waiver or limitation of driving to exempt intracity zones (see §391.43(g)). A medical examiner who believes a driver has a condition not specified in §391.41 that would affect his ability to operate a CMV safely should refuse to sign the examiner’s certificate.
Is the use of coumadin, an anticoagulant, an automatic disqualification for drivers operating CMVs in interstate commerce?
Although the FHWA 1987 “Conference on Cardiac Disorders and Commercial Drivers” recommended that drivers who are taking anticoagulants not be allowed to drive, the agency has not adopted a rule to that effect. The medical examiner and treating specialist may, but are not required to, accept the Conference recommendations. Therefore, the use of coumadin is not an automatic disqualification, but a factor to be considered in determining the driver’s physical qualification status.
Is it possible to get exemptions for some medical conditions?
Under 49 United States Code 31315 and 31136(e), the FMCSA may grant an exemption from the FMCSRs if the agency determines it is in the public interest and would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by complying with the safety regulation. Section 381.300 through 381.330 of the FMCSRs describes procedures applicants must follow to apply for exemptions and can be viewed at 49 CFR 381.330. FMCSA currently has exemption programs for vision and insulin-treated diabetes mellitus, and offers a certificate program for drivers with limb impairments. FMCSA also has a special certification program for drivers with missing and/or impaired limbs (49 CFR 391.41(b)(1).
How long does it take to get my medical certificate once my medical examination is complete?
The FMCSRs do not specify that the Medical Examiner must give a copy of the Medical Examiner’s Certificate to the driver immediately following the examination. The Medical Examiner may require additional medical tests or reports from your treating physician.
Why is the DOT physical examination important?
The FMCSA physical examination is required to help ensure that a person is medically qualified to safely operate a CMV. In the interest of public safety, CMV drivers are held to higher physical, mental and emotional standards than passenger car drivers.