Basic DOT CDL Qualifications
The US Department of Transportation has established some minimum qualifications to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) as defined in the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations These include:
- Minimum age of 21 years old to drive interstate
- Ability to read and speak the English language sufficiently to converse with the general public,understand highway traffic signs & signals in the English language, respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records
- Can, by reason of experience, training, or both, safely operate the type of commercial
motor vehicle he/she drives
- Has a valid CDL issued by one state or jurisdiction. Cannot hold more than one driver's license.
- License cannot be suspended, cancelled or revoked. CDL holder is not disqualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle under the rules in §391.15
- Have successfully completed a driver’s road test and has been issued a certificate of driver’s road test in accordance with §391.31, or has presented an operator’s license or a certificate of road test which the motor carrier that employs you has accepted as equivalent to a road test in accordance with §391.33.
- Has prepared and furnished the motor carrier that employs him/her with the list of
violations or the certificate as required by §391.27
- Successfully completed a driver’s road test and has been issued a certificate of driver’s road test in accordance with §391.31, or has presented an operator’s license or a certificate of road test which the motor carrier that employs him/her has accepted as equivalent to a road test in accordance with §391.33.
- Is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle in accordance with Subpart E
— Physical Qualifications and Examinations of 49 CFR 391 - See DOT Physical Exam information below.
DOT Physical Requirements
The US Department of Transportation requires all drivers to pass a physical examination as part of the qualifications for a CDL license or permit. The qualified medical professional will provide you a ‘Medical Examiner’s Certificate’ or 'DOT medical card' if you meet the medical guidelines the Department of Transportation has established. To help you understand the requirements, we have highlighted some of the major conditions below. Consult the FMCSA website for further information.
- You must have 20/40 correctable vision in each eye. Glasses or contact lenses are acceptable to correct a driver's vision.
- You cannot be a diabetic on needle-injected insulin; diabetes controlled through a diet or oral medication is permitted.
- Your blood pressure must meet the following criteria
* Prescription medication to control blood pressure is permitted.
- 140-159/90-99 for 1 year certificate
- 160-179/100-109 for a 3 month temporary certificate at examiners discretion
- Greater than 180/110 is disqualifying
- Your blood sugar level must be under 200 for a fingerstick test or under 10% for a A1C test.
- Use of medications varies. Please see your physician, contact your local DOT office, or visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov.
- If you have a current diagnosis of cardiac insufficiency, collapse, congestive cardiac failure or any other cardiovascular disease you will be required to provide the Medical Examiner with a stress test (needs to be performed within the last 12 months) along with a release from your physician stating that you can drive a commercial motor vehicle without restrictions.
Other factors or conditions which could prevent you from obtaining the required DOT clearance include: sleep apnea, recent back injury, recent major surgery, a current hernia, or recent workmen's compensation claims. If you have questions about your medical health, please consult your physician before beginning the training program.
DOT Drug Screen
In conjunction with the DOT physical, CDL drivers are required to take random drug screens throughout the drivers’ employment in the trucking industry. The DOT drug screen will detect the usage of illegal narcotic drugs including marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates and phencyclidine (PCP).
"Any person who holds a CDL shall be deemed to have consented to such testing as is required by him/her by any state or jurisdiction in the enforcement of §383.51(b) and §392.5 (a) (2).
The Driver Solutions Network will provide you with a DOT physical & DOT drug screen during the first week of CDL training.