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CDL Medical Certification Requirements FAQs

Overview

This page provides answers to frequently asked questions about medical certification requirements (medical card) for commercial drivers (CDL holders).

FAQs
I have always gone to my doctor to have the CDL physical examination to get my medical card. I heard I won't be able to do that anymore. Is this true? 
 
Beginning May 21, 2014, only medical examiners listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners may perform the physical examinations needed to qualify for operation of commercial motor vehicles. You may continue to see your health care provider for the medical certificate examination as long as they are a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry.
How do I know if a health care provider is a certified medical examiner? 
Certified medical examiners will be listed in a registry on the FMCSA web site. You can find certified medical examiners in your area - or anywhere in the country - by following these three simple steps:

(1) Go to the National Registry at https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.gov.
(2) Click on the U.S. map to bring up a list of certified medical examiners in your area. You can search by Zip Code, State, or examiner name.
(3) Choose a certified medical examiner from the list and call to make an appointment.

What is the National Registry program?
The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry) program was developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to improve highway safety and driver health. It requires all medical examiners who wish to perform physical examinations for interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to be trained and certified in FMCSA physical qualification standards. Beginning May 21, 2014, you must have your medical examination performed by a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry.
 
Why is the National Registry program necessary?
The National Registry program is necessary to ensure that medical examiners can effectively determine if your physical qualification meets FMCSA’s standards. The National Registry program will help reduce the occurrence of crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses by making sure you are physically and mentally able to perform your job safely.
I don’t currently drive a CMV. Will I have to maintain a valid medical certificate (medical card) at DMV to continue holding my CDL? 
Yes, on January 30, 2012, DMV began collecting medical certificates from CDL holders and monitoring expiration dates. Since January 30, 2014, DMV has been monitoring the medical certificate expiration dates of all CDL holders.
 
How will I know when it is time for me to send in a copy of my medical certificate (medical card)? 
You are responsible for knowing when your medical certificate (medical card) will expire and for providing DMV with a copy of your new medical certificate (medical card). You must maintain a valid medical card on record with DMV at all times. If your medical card expires before DMV receives a new card, you will be sent a CDL cancellation notice that will be effective 30 days later.  
 
If I submit a copy of my medical certificate (or card), so I still need to carry the original when operating a commercial motor vehicle?
Yes, until further notice you should carry the original medical certificate (medical card) with you when operating a CMV.
 
Can I submit a copy of my medical certificate (medical card) to DMV by mail? 
Yes, you may mail it to:
DMV Driver Safety
CDL Medical Certification
1905 Lana Ave NE
Salem, OR 97314
A Medical Examiner's Certificate is often two-sided or has two parts. Ensure you submit a copy that is complete and legible. If it is not complete and legible, return to your examiner to have another certificate completed before submitting it to DMV. If the original expiration date remains the same and is unexpired, a new examination should not be necessary.
 
If there is any chance that DMV may not be able to read the license number on the medical card, DMV recommends you either include a copy of the front of your CDL or write your name and license number legibly on a separate piece of paper enclosed in the mailing.
 
Can my employer submit a copy of my medical certificate (medical card) to DMV for me?
Yes, your employer may send copies of employee certificates to:
DMV Driver Safety
CDL Medical Certification
1905 Lana Ave NE
Salem, OR 97314
Is a photocopy of my medical certificate (medical card) acceptable?
Yes, DMV encourages you to submit a fully legible photocopy of your certificate. If the copy is not readable, however, DMV may not be able to document your compliance with requirements and/or may request that you mail another copy. We recommend that you include a copy of the front of your CDL or ensure, by some other means, that we can identify the name and license number of the person that submitted the medical card.
 
May I fax a copy of my medical certificate (medical card) to DMV? What is the fax number?
If necessary, you may fax a legible copy of your medical certificate to (503) 945-5329. However, unless your CDL is in danger of cancellation, DMV suggests you mail a copy of your certificate to:
DMV Driver Safety
CDL Medical Certification
1905 Lana Ave NE
Salem, OR 97314
Medical Examiner's Certificate are often two-sided or have two parts. Ensure you submit a copy that is complete and legible. If it is not complete and legible, return to your examiner to have another certificate completed before submitting it to DMV. If the original expiration date is retained and unexpired, a new examination should not be necessary.
 
If there is any chance that we may not be able to read the license number on the medical card, DMV recommends you either include a copy of the front of your CDL or write your name and license number legibly somewhere on the fax. If any of the information on the certificate is unreadable, DMV will request that you mail a copy.

Can I e-mail a copy of my medical certificate (medical card) to DMV? 
Yes, ensure you submit a copy that is complete and legible. If it is not complete and legible, return to your examiner to have another certificate completed before submitting it to DMV. If the original expiration date remains the same and is unexpired, a new examination should not be necessary. Please add your name and driver license number to the e-mail, if not completely legible on the copied medical certificate. The e-mail address is: DSMEC@odot.state.or.us.
 
Can my medical examiner send the "long form" (Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination) to DMV instead of a copy of the Medical Examiner’s Certificate (medical card)?
No, if you meet medical standards, your medical examiner must complete the medical card and a copy of that card is the document that must be submitted to DMV.
 
The information on my Medical Examiner's Certificate is incomplete or not legible.  What do I do?
Return to your examiner to have another certificate completed before submitting it to DMV. If the original expiration date remains the same and is unexpired, a new examination should not be necessary.
 
My doctor gave me a copy of the "long form" (Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination). Can I send that to DMV instead of a copy of my "medical card" (Medical Examiner’s Certificate)?
No, the long form includes information DMV does not need or want, and does not include other information from the medical card that DMV requires for compliance with Federal law.
 
I understand my CDL may be cancelled if I do not provide DMV with a valid medical certificate (medical card). How can I avoid this cancellation?
You can either submit a copy of a valid medical certificate to DMV or surrender your commercial driving privileges at a DMV office.  If you elect to surrender your CDL, you will need to provide the information shown in the following link: Oregon DMV Replacing a Driver License or Permit.
 
If I receive notice that my CDL is going to be cancelled because DMV has not received a valid medical certificate (medical card), how much time do I have to submit a new certificate?
The CDL cancellation will be effective 30 days after the notice is mailed. However, once your medical certificate expires, you may not legally operate a commercial motor vehicle.
 
If my CDL is cancelled for not maintaining a current medical certificate (medical card) with DMV, do I have to retake all tests to get a CDL again?
You will have three years from the cancellation date or three years from the date you drop your CDL, whichever is earliest, to get another CDL without testing.
 
Can I operate a non-commercial motor vehicle if my CDL has been cancelled for failure to submit a copy of my medical certificate (medical card)?
Yes, as long as your non-commercial privileges are not expired, revoked, suspended or cancelled under a separate action. Keep in mind, however, that Oregon law (ORS 809.500) requires you to return suspended, revoked or cancelled licenses to DMV and you could be cited for failure to do so. If you operate a CMV while your CDL is cancelled, you could be cited for operating a vehicle without driving privileges.
 
The Federal regulations only apply to drivers who operate a CMV, or certify operation of a CMV, in non-excepted interstate commerce. I operate a CMV exclusively in intrastate commerce. Do I still have to submit a medical certificate (medical card)?
Yes, Oregon law (ORS 807.100) requires all CMV drivers to submit proof they meet minimum medical standards. There are small differences in the standards required for non-excepted interstate operation and other driving types that may allow restricted operation of a CMV even if you don’t meet the federal medical standards. See details on our web site using the following link: Oregon DMV CDL Medical Examination & Physical Qualifications.
 
I understand that I am required to certify commercial motor vehicle "driving type". Why do I need to certify driving type?
Some commercial motor vehicle operations are excepted from the need to meet federal medical standards and certain other federal standards. If you do not meet one of these standards, you may still be able to meet Oregon standards for holding a CDL but you would not be able to operate a commercial motor vehicle in unrestricted interstate commerce. Your certification of driving type tells DMV which qualifications you must meet to hold a CDL. DMV strongly recommends that you certify a driving type of "non-excepted interstate" if you meet federal qualifications and there is any chance you may be operating a commercial motor vehicle in unrestricted interstate commerce. Otherwise, your CDL may be needlessly restricted.
 
When will I have to certify "driving type"?
You’ll be required to certify driving type each time you renew, replace or upgrade your CDL at a DMV office. You might also be required to certify driving type at the same time you submit a medical certificate (medical card) as a result of a written request from DMV. All CDL holders have been required to certify driving type since January 30, 2014.
 
The Self-Certification of CMV Driving Type (Form 735-7369) is available online and in DMV offices.
 
I don’t understand "driving types" and don’t know which type I should certify. What should I do?
We understand the federal rules are complicated and somewhat confusing. Nearly all drivers should be certifying non-excepted interstate. DMV strongly suggests that you certify non-excepted interstate if you can pass the CDL medical examination and can/will meet the federal requirements and responsibilities identified below:
(1) Are at least 21 years old;
(2) Can read and speak the English language sufficiently to converse with the general public, to understand highway traffic signs and signals in the English language, to respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records;
(3) Can, by reason of experience, training, or both, safely operate the type of commercial motor vehicle he/she drives;
(4) Has a currently valid commercial motor vehicle operator's license issued only by one State or jurisdiction;
(5) Has prepared and furnished the motor carrier that employs him/her with the list of violations or the certificate as required by Part 391.27;
(6) Is not disqualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle under federal rules (Part 391.15);
(7) Has successfully completed a driver's road test and has been issued a certificate of driver's road test in accordance with Part 391.31
(8) Can, by reason of experience, training, or both, determine whether the cargo he/she transports (including baggage in a passenger- carrying commercial motor vehicle) has been properly located, distributed, and secured in or on the commercial motor vehicle he/she drives;
(9) Is familiar with methods and procedures for securing cargo in or on the commercial motor vehicle he/she drives.
If you do not or cannot meet these requirements and responsibilities, you will have to certify "excepted interstate" or "non-excepted intrastate". Certification of either of these driving types means your CDL privileges will be restricted. A description of all driving types available in Oregon is shown on the Self-Certification of CMV Driving Type (Form 735-7369).

Related Information
 Additional information that may be relevant includes: