People with a commercial driver’s license — CDL — who operate vehicles for interstate commerce with a weight over 10,000 pounds, vehicles with nine or more passengers, or vehicles that transport hazardous materials, must receive a CDL medical examination and certificate. The DOT Medical Examiner in College Point, NY, explains what’s involved in a CDL medical examination.
Guide to the CDL Medical Examination
As with most doctor’s visits, the first part of the DOT physical involves paperwork. You’ll fill out forms to answer questions about your health history, including family health and personal experiences with issues such as loss of hearing, neurological disorders, seizures, vision impairment, heart disease or heart attacks, dizziness, fainting, kidney disease, and paralysis. You’ll also need to disclose issues such as digestive problems, strokes, spinal cord injuries, and psychiatric disorders. Be honest with all of your answers, including symptoms such as chronic pain or numbness. The doctor will ask for a list of current medications as well.
After going over your health history, the medical examiner will conduct a comprehensive physical evaluation. This includes a hearing and vision test as well as examining your throat, mouth, and skin. They’ll also check your blood pressure and heartbeat and ensure you’re breathing correctly. If you’ve had any previous injuries or surgeries, they’ll check your range of motion to see if you have musculoskeletal issues. If you wear glasses or a hearing aid, bring these with you. If you have diabetes, bring your glucose logs as well.
The medical examiner will determine if you meet the requirements. Drivers must have at least 20/40 vision in each eye with or without the help of corrective lenses. You must also be able to perceive a forced whisper from five feet away with or without a hearing aid. Blood pressure must be 140/90 or lower, although those with pressure between 140/90 and 180/110 may qualify for a provisional short-term certificate.
Disqualifying conditions include a history of epilepsy, narcolepsy, poor kidney health, and diabetes requiring insulin. Those that use certain drugs or pharmaceuticals without a prescription, have a history of alcoholism, and have impairment or loss of a limb that could inhibit safe driving may also be disqualified.
If you’re a New York commercial vehicle driver needing a CDL medical examination and certificate, turn to the DOT Medical Examiner. These professionals provide comprehensive physical examinations for everyone from taxi drivers to long-haul truckers, bus drivers, and pilots. They also do drug testing — which is required for many machinery operators and drivers — and green card physicals for those looking to live and work in the U.S. as immigrants. Call (718) 701-5949 to schedule your appointment today or visit the website to learn more about their services.