The FMCSA has clear specifications on the health of semi truck drivers who will qualify for a CDL. A Frequently Asked Questions section of the FMCSA Medical Programs page details common misconceptions and clarifies exactly how drivers can ensure their health meets federal qualifications. A segment of these questions are below. See the full list HERE.
What medical conditions disqualify a commercial bus or truck driver?
The truck driver must be medically qualified to not only drive the vehicle safely, but also to do pre and post trip safety inspections, secure the load and make sure it has not shifted. Bus drivers have different demands.
By regulation, Specific Medically Disqualifying Conditions Found Under 49 CFR 391.41 are Hearing Loss, Vision Loss, Epilepsy and Insulin Use.
Drivers who require a Diabetes or Vision exemption to safely drive a CMV in addition to those pre-printed on the certification form are disqualified until they receive such an exemption.
Will my employer have access to my medical evaluation?
Although the FMCSRs do not require the Medical Examiner to give a copy of the Medical Examination Report to the employer, the FMCSA does not prohibit employers from obtaining copies of the medical examination form (long form). Medical Examiners should have a release form signed by the driver if the employer wishes to obtain a copy of the medical examination form (long form).
Employers must comply with applicable State and Federal laws regarding the privacy and maintenance of employee medical information. For information about the provisions of the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (the Privacy Rule) that was mandated by the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) (Public Law 104-191), contact the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services at the HIPAA Web site of the Office of Civil Rights. Their toll-free information line is: 1-866-627-7748.
Who can serve as a Medical Examiner and perform DOT physical exams?
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations define Medical Examiner as a person who is licensed, certified and/or registered in accordance with applicable State laws and regulations to perform physical examinations. The term includes but is not limited to doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses and doctors of chiropractic.