DOT Medical Card
Commercial Driver License (CDL) Medical Certification Requirement
Commercial drivers and Commercial Learner Permit (CLP) applicants are required to certify to the type of commercial driving they are or will be performing.
- Depending upon your certification, a current medical examiner's certificate may be required to be on file with the Department.
- If a medical examiner's certificate is required, it must be valid at all times to prevent the downgrade of your CDL or CLP. Downgrading will result in the loss of your commercial driving privileges and require you to complete the knowledge and skills exams again.
- Notification is provided as a courtesy to you, as a CDL or CLP holder, approximately 60 days before the expiration of your current medical examiner's certificate to allow you the opportunity to place a new medical examiner's certificate on file with the Department.
You can review a driver's current CDL medical certification status by accessing driver eligibility.
Medical Certification Instructions
As a CDL holder, you are required to complete one of the following forms for medical certification.
- Texas Commercial Driver Application - Interstate Driver Certification CDL-4
- Texas Commercial Driver Application - Intrastate Driver Certification CDL-5
- Certification of Physical Exemption 49 CFR PART 391/390 CDL-10
These forms allow you to certify to one of the CDL categories listed below, which determines if a medical variance or a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Medical Examiner's Certificate is required to be on file with the Department.
For more information on the difference between interstate commerce and intrastate commerce, go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
To assist you in determining which of the four categories of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operation you should self-certify to, go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Category 1: Non-Excepted-Interstate Commerce (CDL-4)
Most CDL holders who drive CMV's in interstate commerce are non-excepted interstate commerce drivers. This category requires a medical examiners certificate.
- Commercial driving is permitted across state lines
- You must be 21 years of age or older
If you operate in both excepted and non-excepted interstate commerce, you must follow non-excepted interstate commerce guidelines and maintain a current medical examiners certificate with the Department.
In certain instances, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration may provide an exemption to specific medical conditions. For more information, see Driver Exemptions Programs. If you have been granted a federal waiver, you must include it with your medical examiner's certificate.
Category 2: Excepted-Interstate Commerce (CDL-10)
This certification category is for applicants that will operate their CMV for excepted activities.
- For a list of excepted activities, please review the CDL-10 form.
- You must be at least 18 years of age or older
- You will have a restriction placed on your CDL restricting you to operating within the activity to which you have certified.
This category will NOT require a medical examiners certificate, but you are still required to meet Texas medical standards.
Category 3: Non-Excepted-Intrastate Commerce (CDL-5, Section B)
This certification category is required when you are only driving a CMV in intrastate commerce and are required to meet the medical requirements for Texas.A medical examiners certificate will be required.
In certain instances, the Department may provide an exemption to specific medical conditions when operating in intrastate commerce. For more information, please review forms CDL-36 and CDL-37. If you have been granted a state waiver, you must include it with your medical examiner's certificate.
Category 4: Excepted-Intrastate Commerce (CDL-5 part A)
This certification category is required when you are operating a CMV only in intrastate commerce. You certify that you have been regularly employed operating a CMV in Texas prior to August 28, 1989 and are not operating a CMV requiring a hazardous materials placard. This category will NOT require a medical examiners certificate, but you are still required to meet Texas medical standards.
Category 4: Excepted-Intrastate Commerce (CDL-5 part C)
This certification category is when you are operating a CMV only in intrastate commerce for excepted activities (oil/water well servicing and/or drilling or mobile crane operations). You will be restricted to operate your CMV in the excepted activity to which you have certified. This category will NOT require a medical examiners certificate, but you are required to meet Texas medical standards.
|CDL Category||CDL Form||Operating Status||Medical Examiners Certification Requirement||Excepted Activity Displayed on the CDL|
|3||CDL-5 Section B||Non-Excepted Intrastate||YES||NO|
|4||CDL-5 Section A||Excepted Intrastate||NO||NO|
|4||CDL-5 Section C||Excepted Intrastate||NO||YES|
Medical Certificate Renewal Notifications Non-Excepted Medical Status (Category 1 or Category 3)
If you are certified to a non-excepted medical status and have a medical examiner's certificate on file with the Department that is going to expire, you can send your updated certificate to the Department via email, fax, or mail. Please do not send duplicate documents unless you have been instructed to resend due to a problem or issue with the document you previously submitted. You may send in your medical examiners certificate for processing only if your CDL or CLP has not been downgraded.
CDLMedCert@dps.texas.gov (Please send in a PDF format)
If you are sending by email, the medical examiner's certificate must be sent as an attachment and not as a link.
The fax number to submit your medical examiner's certificate to the Department is 512-424-2002.
Please set your fax to accept a confirmation receipt for your records.
Texas Department of Public Safety
License and Record Service
Attn: CDL Section
P.O. Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773-0320
You may check to ensure your Medical Certificate has been processed by accessing the License Eligibility application. Please allow up to 10 business days from the time you have submitted for your record to be updated.
CDL Downgraded for Medical Certification
If your CDL or CLP has been downgraded due to an expired Medical Examiner's Certificate, you must visit your local driver license office to be upgraded. A CDL that was downgraded to a driver license (DL) solely for failure to provide a valid medical variance or medical examiners certificate, may be upgraded back to your previous CDL status (including restrictions and endorsements) without taking CDL knowledge and skills exams provided the following conditions are met:
- The record status must be Eligible (NOT suspended, revoked, disqualified, canceled)
- The DL has not been expired for more than two years
- The DL has not been renewed or re-issued (address change, name change, replacement) as a non-commercial driver license since the CDL was downgraded
- You must meet all CDL requirements and provide valid medical variance or medical examiners certificate (if applicable) or certify to an excepted status
- Applicable transaction fees will apply
Change Commercial Operation Status Category
If you are changing your certification status between categories, you must visit your local driver license office to complete the change. The driver license office personnel will assist you in determining if any restrictions should be added or removed from your CDL or CLP.
If a driver self-certified to Category 3 – Non-Excepted Intrastate and now meets the qualification of Category 1 – Non-Excepted Interstate. The driver will need to visit the driver license office to remove the intrastate restriction and certify to interstate CDL qualifications. The driver will also be required to present a medical examiners certificate and pay the applicable transaction fee.
Additional information on Department of Transportation medical requirements may be found in the commercial federal regulations.
Responsibilities, work schedules, physical and emotional demands, and lifestyles among commercial drivers vary by the type of driving that they do. Some of the main types of drivers include the following: turn- around or short relay (drivers return to their home base each evening); long relay (drivers drive 8-10 hours and then have an 8-hour off-duty period); straight through haul (cross country drivers); and team drivers (drivers share the driving by alternating their 4-hour driving periods and 4-hour rest periods). The following factors may be involved in a driver's performance of duties: abrupt schedule changes and rotating work schedules, which may result in irregular sleep patterns and a driver beginning a trip in a fatigued condition; long hours; extended time away from family and friends, which may result in lack of social support; tight pickup and delivery schedules, with irregularity in work, rest, and eating patterns, adverse road, weather and traffic conditions, which may cause delays and lead to hurriedly loading or unloading cargo in order to compensate for the lost time; and environmental conditions such as excessive vibration, noise, and extremes in temperature. Transporting passengers or hazardous materials may add to the demands on the commercial driver.
There may be duties in addition to the driving task for which a driver is responsible and needs to be fit. Some of these responsibilities are: coupling and uncoupling trailer(s) from the tractor, loading and unloading trailer(s) (sometimes a driver may lift a heavy load or unload as much as 50,000 pounds of freight after sitting for a long period of time without any stretching period); inspecting the operating condition of tractor and trailer(s) before, during and after delivery of cargo; lifting, installing and removing heavy tire chains; and lifting heavy tarpaulins to cover open top trailers. These tasks demand agility, the ability to bend and stoop, the ability to maintain a crouching position, frequent entry and exit of the cab and the ability to climb ladders on the tractor and/or trailer(s). In addition, a driver must have the perceptual skills to monitor a sometimes complex driving situation, the judgment skills to make quick decisions when necessary, and the manipulative skills to control an oversize steering wheel, shift gears using a manual transmission and maneuver a vehicle in crowded areas.
49 CFR, 391.41 PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR DRIVERS
A person shall not drive a commercial motor vehicle unless he/she is physically qualified to do so and, except as provided in 391.67, has on his person the original, or a photographic copy of a medical examiner's certificate that he/she is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
A person is physically qualified to drive a motor vehicle if that person:
Has no loss of foot, a leg, a hand or an arm, or has been granted a Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate (formerly Limb Waiver) pursuant to 391.49;
Has no impairment of a hand or finger which interferes with prehension or power grasping; or an arm, foot or leg which interferes with the ability to perform normal tasks associated with operating a commercial motor vehicle; or any other significant limb defect or limitation which interferes with the ability to perform normal tasks associated with operating a commercial motor vehicle; or has been granted a SPE Certificate pursuant to 391.49;
Has no established medical history or clinical diagnoses of diabetes mellitus currently requiring insulin for control;
Has no current clinical diagnosis of myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, coronary insufficiency, thrombosis, or any other cardiovascular disease of a variety known to be accompanied by syncope, dyspnea, collapse or congestive heart failure;
Has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of a respiratory dysfunction likely to interfere with his/her ability to control and drive a commercial motor vehicle safely;
Has no current clinical diagnosis of high blood pressure likely to interfere with his/her ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely;
Has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of rheumatic, arthritic orthopedic, muscular, neuromuscular or vascular disease that interferes with his ability to control and operate a commercial motor vehicle safely;
Has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which is likely to cause loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a commercial motor vehicle;
Has no mental, nervous, organic or functional disease or psychiatric disorder likely to interfere with his ability to drive a commercial motor vehicle safely;
Has distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in each eye without corrective lenses or visual acuity separately corrected to 20/40 (Snellen) or better with corrective lenses, distant binocular acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in both eyes with or without corrective lenses, field of vision of at least 70 degrees in the horizontal meridian in each eye, and the ability to recognize the colors of traffic signals and devices showing standard red, green and amber;
First perceives a forced whispered voice in the better ear not less than 5 feet with or without the use of a hearing aid, or, if tested by use of an audiometric device, does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without a hearing aid when the audiometric device is calibrated to American National Standard (formerly ASA Standard) Z24.5-1951;
Does not use a controlled substance identified in 21 CFR 1308.11 Schedule 1, an amphetamine, a narcotic or any other habit-forming drug. (A driver may use such a substance or drug, if the substance or drug is prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner who is familiar with the driver's medical history and assigned duties and has advised the driver that the prescribed substance or drug will not adversely affect the driver's ability to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle); and
Has no current clinical diagnosis of alcoholism