Driving is one of the most dangerous activities that we undertake, and many of us drive on a daily basis. It is for this reason that states require testing and licensing for various types of vehicles. Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV), such as a trailer truck or even a school bus, requires a higher level of knowledge, expertise, skill and physical aptitude than that required to drive a non-commercial vehicle like a car or motorcycle.

In order to operate a commercial vehicle, drivers have been mandated to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) since April 1, 1992.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has developed and issued standards for State testing and licensing of CDL holders. Commercial drivers are required to hold a CDL if they are to operate interstate, intrastate, or abroad.


How to Obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

To obtain a CDL, applicants must demonstrate that they possess the skills, knowledge and physical fitness essential to meeting the higher standards of operating a commercial vehicle. Furthermore, CDL-certified drivers are held to a higher standard even when operating non-commercial vehicles or any type of motor vehicle on public roads. Serious traffic offences committed by a CDL holder can gravely affect the status of their current certification as well as their ability to renew and maintain current certifications.

In addition, special endorsements may be required if drivers or their company will be operating any of the following vehicles:

  • Trucks with double or triple trailers
  • Trucks with a tank
  • Trucks carrying hazardous materials
  • Passenger-carrying vehicles

Medical Documents and Commercial Motor Vehicle Certification

The FMCSA asserts that “the most important safety feature is YOU – the driver! Each time you turn the key, you are responsible for your own safety, as well as the safety of all the people who share the road with you.” Having a medical professional perform a physical examination and issuing a medical certificate is confirmation that the driver is healthy enough to safely perform the demanding tasks associated with operating a CMV and keeping the nation’s roads safe.

In order to obtain a medical certificate, a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination must be conducted by a licensed medical examiner listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) National Registry. We’ve compiled a list of the medical forms you’ll need to for commercial motor vehicle certification.

Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination

The FMCSA requires that all commercial motor vehicle drivers that operate interstate maintain a current Medical Examiner’s Certificate to operate a CMV. This usually entails a USDOT (United States Department of Transportation) physical examination which assesses a range of conditions including cardiovascular disease, respiratory and muscular functions, vision and hearing.

Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate Application New Driver Application Package

Drivers must complete a skill performance evaluation in the event that they have a physical impairment that affects their ability to safely operate a CMV.

Medical Examiner’s Certificate

The main goal of the extensive physical examination required by the FMCSA is to ultimately obtain a Medical Examiner’s Certificate. If the Medical Examiner deems that the person being physically examined is physically qualified to operate a CMV, the examiner will complete and issue a Medical Examiner’s Certificate and give the original to the person who was examined.


Document Management Systems and Medical Recordkeeping

The medical examiner is required to keep a copy of the Medical Examiner’s Certificate on file for at least 3 years. However, with eFileCabinet’s document management system (DMS), users can keep a copy of their certificate indefinitely. Documents stored on eFileCabinet are regularly backed up on the cloud ensuring that users can retrieve their certificate and other vital compliance documents in the event of theft, fire, flooding, hard drive failure etc.

With eFileCabinet’s mobile app, drivers can also securely retrieve their certificates at any location should it be needed for verification. eFileCabinet online stores documents on the cloud using the latest cloud-based technology. This means that drivers can pull up Medical Certificates on demand anywhere an internet connection is available.

Finally, eFileCabinet’s security measures include sophisticated 256-bit encryption, SAS 70 type II data centers, and other numerous physical intrusion barriers to ensure that all sensitive medical information is secure and confidential.

To find out more about how eFileCabinet can help you maintain your medical certificates and preserve your medical records, fill out the form provided for a free 15-minute demo.