Commercial driving jobs have specific qualifications that the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) have set. One qualification is a DOT medical certification. This certification is vital to have for driving commercial vehicles. The requirements for this certification vary from state to state, but you will likely need to complete a DOT physical. This article discusses how to get your DOT medical certification, with frequently asked questions for more insight.
What is a DOT Certification?
To be a commercial driver, you have to complete the Department of Transportation medical certification. It is a process where you show that you are physically, mentally, and emotionally able to do the job. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration awards this certification after completing a physical examination with a DOT-approved doctor. Completing the physical is required to get your DOT Medical Examiner’s Certificate and drive safely.
Different states have different rules for what is required to get a driver’s license. Make sure you research the specific requirements of your state transportation department.
Getting DOT Medical Certification
To get your DOT medical card, you must complete a few steps. Many commercial driving schools can help students with the process of obtaining their DOT medical card. The following are the steps you will need to take to pursue a career in commercial driving:
Contact Approved Clinic
The DOT requires drivers to have a physical exam. A doctor must do the physical exam that the DOT approves. There are different rules for interstate drivers and intrastate drivers. You can find a list of approved providers on your state’s website.
Take DOT Physical Examination
If you know which CMEs you can complete your physical with, consider finding a provider local to you. It can reduce travel time and ensure you submit your certification on time. Drivers usually make appointments and receive their medical cards from the DOT. The medical examiner also tracks a record of this certification.
Submit your DOT Card
To submit a DOT medical certification in ma, drivers must follow the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles requirements. After getting their medical cards from approved physicians, most drivers can submit the certificate in person, by mail, fax, or email.
Depending on your state’s requirements, there may be a time limit for submitting your medical certificate. So it’s essential to get this to your DMV as soon as possible after you receive it. Some motor vehicle departments allow you to check the status of your medical certificate online so you can assure it’s valid on your driving record.
Obey Renewal Guidelines
Almost all drivers who pass their physicals and receive their DOT medical cards have to renew this credential every two years. For commercial drivers who have health conditions that don’t impact their ability to do their job, they may need to continue every year, with health assessments done periodically to make sure the states haven’t gotten worse.
Suppose you have a condition like high blood pressure, diabetes, or sleep apnea. In that case, it’s essential to understand how your state will decide if you need to renew your commercial driver’s license. Each state has different renewal criteria that depend on the severity and impact of your condition.
Preparing for your DOT Physical exam
When you go in for your physical, you must bring several documents. Bring your license and any documents the DMV needs to verify your information. You will also need to have a completed DOT medical certification form for the medical examiner. Discuss these with the medical provider if you have current medications or certain health conditions that can affect your status.
Who needs DOT Medical Certification?
Not all driving professions require a Massachusetts cdl self certification or DOT medical certificate. Drivers who don’t need this credential operate smaller heavier vehicles and don’t meet specific transport class criteria. For example, drivers of passenger transport vehicles that don’t transport hazardous or toxic materials typically don’t need a DOT medical certification.