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Information For CDL/CMV Medical Examiners
Overview

This page offers information that medical examiners may use to help ensure federal and state laws associated with commercial driver license (CDL) and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) medical certification are satisfied.

Use any of the links below to go directly to any section:

Medical Examination Requirements

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators must undergo a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) medical examination performed in accordance with federal regulations, CFR 49 §391.41 and CFR 49 §391.43. Examiners must be familiar with these references before conducting the medical examinations. Additional guidance may be found in the FMCSA Medical Examiner Handbook and in commercially available publications.

A patient who does not meet the standards described in regulations may still qualify for commercial driving privileges depending on whether a federal or state waiver, exemption or skills performance evaluation (SPE) is available for the disqualifying condition and whether the driver intends to operate a vehicle in interstate commerce or intrastate commerce only.

Federal waivers/exemptions, acceptable for use in INTERstate commerce, may be available for vision, hearing, seizure or diabetic conditions. A federal skills performance evaluation (SPE), also acceptable for use in INTERstate commerce, may be available for loss/impairment of limbs.

An Oregon Waiver of Physical Qualification, acceptable for use in INTRAstate commerce only, may be available for vision, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, limb impairments or amputation, hearing or seizure/seizure disorder.

Who May Perform CDL Medical Examinations

DOT medical examinations may be conducted by a licensed medical examiner as defined in CFR 49 §390.5. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Doctors of Medicine;
  • Doctors of Osteopathy;
  • Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine;
  • Advanced Practice Nurses;
  • Physician Assistants; and
  • Doctors of Chiropractic

After May 21, 2014, the medical examination may only be performed by a medical examiner listed on the National Registry of certified Medical Examiners. 49 CFR, Part 390, Subpart D describes the requirements to be listed in the National Registry. Additional information about the National Registry is available at: http://nrcme.fmcsa.dot.gov/

Completing the Medical Examination Report

A Medical Examination Report should be completed for all drivers examined for the purpose of qualifying for operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The examiner should retain a copy of the report for at least 3 years.

The Medical Examination Report form may be printed directly from the FMCSA web site.  Instructions are included with the form.

Alternatively the form is available from commercial resources such as J.J. Keller and Willamette Traffic Bureau. If you use a commercial supplier, DMV recommends you obtain forms that include examination instructions.

Completing the Medical Examiner's Certificate

When a CMV operator meets medical qualifications, with or without waivers, exemptions or skills performance evaluations (SPEs), a Medical Examiner's Certificate must be issued. Federal rules and state law require the driver carry a copy of the certificate while operating commercial motor vehicles and also require the driver’s employer to maintain a copy of the certificate. In addition, new federal regulations compel states to disqualify commercial driver license (CDL) and commercial permit holders who do not submit current, complete and legible Medical Examiner Certificates to their state licensing agency.

DMV must manually enter all the information shown on the medical certificate into a database that is accessible to other state licensing agencies and law enforcement. It is imperative, therefore, that the Medical Examiner's Certificate DMV receives is fully legible and properly completed. Otherwise we cannot process the document and driver’s commercial driving privileges may be cancelled.

Drivers began submitting copies of the Medical Examiner's Certificates to DMV towards the end of 2011 and we have noted a large number that are missing information, improperly completed or not entirely legible. Some of the problems are related to an incomplete understanding of medical examination requirements but legibility issues are often due to the quality of the carbon copies produced during completion.

If you complete a Medical Examiner's Certificate that was obtained from a commercial suppliers, such as J.J. Keller or Willamette Traffic Bureau, please make sure the carbon copy that may be sent to DMV is fully legible and properly completed.

As an alternative to producing a carbon copy for DMV, we ask that you consider using the fillable Medical Examiner's Certificate available on this web site. This form also includes instructions and additional notes to help ensure the form is completed properly. Additional prints can also be produced for the driver, employer and your records. If the form is printed for driver use, you may want to print it on card stock, laminate a copy, or suggest the driver laminate the form.

DMV asks that you consider the following when completing the Medical Examiner's Certificate:

  • Please ensure you have positively identified the patient by checking the driver license or commercial driver license before conducting the examination and entering the driver's name, license number and state on the certificate.
  • "Driving within an exempt intracity zone" is not applicable in Oregon.
  • Only a very small number of drivers (< 10) are "qualified by operation of 49 CFR 391.64" in Oregon. If your patient was a participant in this 1990s waiver pilot program, he/she should be able to present documentary evidence of that participation. A Medical Examiner's Certificate issued to a person in this program cannot be valid for more than one year.
  • If the patient is not medically qualified under 49 CFR 391.43, he or she may qualify through issuance of a waiver/exemption or a skill performance evaluation (SPE). Oregon waivers are valid for intrastate commerce only while FMCSA waivers/exemptions/SPEs are valid for both interstate and intrastate commerce. See additional information below.
    • Waivers or exemptions may be available from FMCSA for vision, hearing, seizure or diabetic conditions. Check "Accompanied by a _____________ waiver/exemption" on the Medical Examiner's Certificate, filling in the blank with "vision," "hearing," "seizure" or "diabetes" and have the patient call (503) 399-5775.
    • A Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate may be available from FMCSA for loss/impairment of limbs. Check "Accompanied by a Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate (SPE)" and have the patient call (503) 399-5775.
    • An Oregon waiver may be available for vision, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, limb impairments or amputation, hearing or seizure/seizure disorder. This waiver permits operation of a commercial vehicle in INTRAstate commerce only. Check "Accompanied by a _____________ waiver/exemption" on the Medical Examiner's Certificate, filling in the blank with "vision," "diabetes," "limb," "hearing" or "seizure" and have the patient call (503) 945-0891. 
  • Expiration date may not be more than 2 years after date of examination. If, for instance, the examination was completed on March 15, 2012, the expiration date may be no later than March 15, 2014.
  • All dates must include month, day and year.
Sample of Completed Medical Examiner's Certificate
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Related Information

Additional information that may be relevant includes: