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Commercial Trucker Medical Standards

Federal law holds truckers to a health standard for the safety of others.

Commercial Truck Driver Medical Requirements

Protecting the Safety of Others on the Road

The most important safety feature for any commercial driver is the driver themselves. Because truck drivers operate such heavy and dangerous machinery, they are required to abide by federal regulations regarding driver medical requirements; namely, they must undergo a physical examination to prove they are healthy enough to perform their job's duties. Negative consequences await trucking companies that hire unfit drivers.

FMCSA Medical Certification Process

Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truckers are required to undergo the medical certification process to ensure that they are physically qualified to meet the demands of their job. Every driver needs to take a DOT (Department of Transportation) physical exam with an examiner every 24 months.

These licensed medical examiners may include the following:

  • Doctors of Medicine
  • Doctors of Osteopathy
  • Physician Assistants
  • Advanced Practice Nurses
  • Doctors of Chiropractics

In some cases, certification may be valid for less than 24 months if the examiner determines that the driver in question has a condition such as high blood pressure that needs to be monitored more closely.

2012 Update

Since 2012, commercial drivers have been required to provide medical certification status to state driver licensing agencies to obtain a "certified" medical status on their record. This law is only required for interstate non-excepted and intrastate non-excepted commercial drivers. Once a commercial driver's license is revoked, an employer is no longer permitted to allow this driver to operate one of the vehicles. If a driver is found with a revoked driver's license, the driver and the employer will face severe penalties, ranging from termination of job to jail time.

Do Certain Medications Disqualify a Commercial Driver?

If a CMV driver takes any drug that is either a controlled substance or a prescription drug that is being used without a proper prescription, they will be considered unqualified. Approved and non-approved medications are determined considering the possibilities of hazards behind the wheel.

According to the FMCSA, drivers can also be disqualified if they use the following the medications:

  • Methadone
  • Anti-Seizure Medication
  • Drugs Identified in 21 CFR 1308.11 (391.42(b)(12))
  • Habit-Forming Drugs such as Amphetamines

In some cases, there may be exceptions for drivers who have received written proof from a doctor stating that they are safe to operate commercial motor vehicle while taking their medication.

In these situations, it will be up to the examiner to determine whether or not to qualify them. Currently, drivers using marijuana cannot become certified, whether it is being used medically or recreationally.

Do you have more questions about CMV driver medical requirements? Contact Arnold & Itkin today!

Case Results

Check Out Our Victories

  • $12 Million Massive Settlement Obtained for Truck Driver Arnold & Itkin is proud to announce that our firm has secured a $12 million settlement on behalf a truck driver who was crushed by his own cargo—which then led directly to a stroke. The driver, who was 56 years old at the time, now requires costly ...
  • $10 Million Settlement Obtained for Family Affected by Fatal Vehicle Accident Our firm represented the family of two people who were killed after their vehicle was hit by an 18-wheeler running a red light. We were successful in reaching an eight figure settlement on their behalf.
  • $10 Million Settlement Won for Family Against Negligent Trucking Company Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Caj Boatright, and Ces Tavares represented a family who had lost their father in a tragic 18-wheeler accident. He was driving home when a trucker made a dangerous maneuver and caused a massive collision. The trucking company ...
  • $3.2 Million Settlement Reached for Injured Husband & Wife Attorney Cory Itkin represented a husband and wife who were injured after being hit by two semi-trucks. The wife sustained back injures while the husband was knocked unconscious; he needed several surgeries. Our firm was successful in reaching a ...
  • $2.1 Million Settlement Obtained for Truck Accident Victim Arnold & Itkin LLP secured a multimillion-dollar settlement for a man who suffered severe neck and back injuries in a truck accident. Our firm aggressively pursued the case until the defendant settled with our client days before trial.
  • $2 Million Large Settlement Obtained for Grieving Family Arnold & Itkin is proud to have secured a massive settlement for a family who lost their loved one due to the negligence and reckless action of a commercial vehicle driver. Our work will allow our clients to live in financial stability while they ...
  • $1.6 Million Large Settlement Reached for Victim of Severe Truck Accident Truck accident attorneys at Arnold & Itkin secured a sizable settlement for a client who was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler on the highway. Her injuries required multiple surgeries, but the defendants refused to take responsibility. Her $1.6 million ...
  • $1.5 Million Big Rig Accident Victim Received Jury Verdict Arnold & Itkin LLP obtained a $1.5 million verdict on behalf of a client who suffered a torn meniscus when he was bumped by a tractor trailer. We are especially pleased with this result because the defendants accepted no responsibility for the injury ...
  • $1.5 Million Jury Verdict Ruled in Favor of Longshoreman Arnold & Itkin obtained a $1.55 million verdict on behalf of a client who was seriously injured when a yard mule driver collided with the pickup truck in which he was standing. The defendants only offered to settle for $35,000 while denying the ...
  • $1.49 Million Settlement for Man Struck by a Truck Our firm helped represent a client who was severely injured after he was struck by a truck. We helped recover $1.49 million on his behalf.
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“They were just so understanding and they got it. They got that we lost our child, they got that no one else probably loved our child like we loved our child, and they understood that. They said ‘We’re going to look at this and do everything we can to try to get your family some kind of justice.’”
Larry Client

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