Three Things You Should Know About Getting Your Department Of Transportation Medical Certificate

If you want a commercial driver's license, one of the requirements is that you pass a physical examination to ensure that you are physically qualified to operate a truck. These federal regulations are specifically designed to protect public safety on the roads. Passing a written test to obtain your driving permit and learning to drive a truck is not enough. If you pass this physical, you will be issued a medical certificate. The following are a few things you should be aware of.

There are certain medical conditions that disqualify you

A CDL is not the same as a license to drive a car, so it may come as a surprise to you to find out that there are medical conditions that exclude you from getting your license. There is a long list of these conditions in the code of federal regulations. Among these conditions is diabetes. Although diabetics can drive cars, those who are insulin dependent cannot drive trucks. This means only those who are not using insulin can get a truck license. There are many heart conditions that relate to a possible cardiac event that will result in the loss of control of a truck. The same is true with respiratory failures due to lung problems.

There are standards for your eyesight and hearing

Most states allow for one good eye to drive a car, but this is not true for trucks. Your eyesight needs to be relatively good. This requirement can be met with or without glasses. Also, you need good peripheral vision in each eye, and you must distinguish between the three colors of traffic lights: green, yellow, and red. You must also pass a hearing test as part of your physical. Just as corrective lenses are allowed for an eye test, you can also use a hearing aid for the audio exam.

There are standards for drugs and alcohol

The rules of alcohol use are no different for truck drivers, but to get your license, you should not have a record of alcoholism, such as a clinical diagnosis. There should be no record of drug use, nor a record of prescription amphetamines or opioids, but it may be possible to get around this if a doctor will sign off on the prescription use, having no discernible effect on your driving.

It takes time and effort to become a truck driver, so you should determine from the start whether you will be able to pass a physical examination. The conditions listed above are painted with a broad brush; there are more, but there are also exemptions available.

For more information on MCSA-5876 medical certificates, contact a professional near you.