Medical Examination Requirements for CDL Holders in Virginia
Passing a CDL physical is one of the key parts of obtaining a Virginia CDL drivers license, as CDL medical requirements must be met before a license is issued. Along with CDL driving tests, the CDL medical exam is required to ensure that all CDL drivers are fit to operate motor vehicles safely. Therefore, there are also disqualifying medical conditions that you should learn about. While you will need to complete a CDL physical prior to obtaining your license, these exams are also required periodically in order to maintain a CDL. For more information about the CDL medical requirements, refer to the sections below.
The CDL Physical Exam Requirements in Virginia
A CDL physical is required in Virginia when you initially apply for a CDL drivers license, and again every two years. Additionally, some medical restrictions may require you to complete a CDL medical exam more frequently. The CDL physical exam is a safety precaution intended to protect you and the motorists around you. Therefore, it is crucial that you understand this process and know your expectations in order to obtain and maintain your Virginia CDL drivers license. Learn more about CDL exams by downloading our free, informative guide.
Virginia CDL Medical Exam Requirements for Physicians & Forms
A CDL physical cannot be completed by just any Virginia physician. In fact, as of May of 2014, a Medical Examination Certificate can only be completed by a physician who is registered on the National Registry of Medical Examiners. These medical examiners have had to take a special training course in order to pass a certification exam to become listed on the National Registry. Examiners who are qualified for a CDL physical exam can include physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and chiropractors. In order to find out if your preferred doctor is certified for the CDL physical, you can contact your doctor and ask for his or her registry number, or you can find a medical examiner that is listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, website.
As outlined above, while a CDL medical exam will be required prior to obtaining your CDL drivers license, you will need to complete an additional medical exam and resubmit your certification every two years, unless you have a medical condition that dictates a sooner date.
The Virginia DMV has a number of ways that your CDL physical exam paperwork can be turned in once it has been completed by a qualifying physician. Not only can you visit your local Virginia DMV in person, but you can also mail your medical forms or fax them.
Perhaps the most convenient way to turn in your CDL physical documentation and Medical Examiner’s Certificate (DL 8 form) is through the Virginia DMV website. The Virginia DMV now accepts these documents online so that you can complete the last step of your CDL physical exam requirements from the comfort of your own home.
CDL Physical Test Disqualifiers in Virginia
A CDL physical will cover your general health, your medical conditions and your medical history will be reviewed. For safety concerns, there is a variety of medical disqualifications that could prevent you from obtaining a CDL drivers license. In general, you will pass the CDL medical requirements, so long as you do not have a medical condition that impairs your driving, or one that requires you to take medication or receive treatment that will impair safe driving.
Some of the CDL physical exam requirements include, but are not limited to the following:
- The loss of an extremity
- Diabetes that requires the use of insulin
- Cardiovascular diseases, such as myocardial infarction, angina pectoris and thrombosis
- Certain respiratory disease that may impact your driving, such as chronic bronchitis, sleep apnea and chronic asthma
- Poor vision or hearing
- Meniere’s disease
Learn more about the disqualifiers for CDL licenses in Virginia by downloading our complimentary guide.
In addition to these CDL physical disqualifying medical conditions, there are several medications that could also potentially disqualify you from obtaining a CDL drivers license in Virginia. Medications that could interfere with safe driving, such as seizure medications, are disqualifying. Additionally, prescription drugs that are considered amphetamines, narcotics or other habit-forming drugs are generally disqualifying.
If you do not pass your CDL medical exam, you may still be able to obtain an exemption or a waiver, depending on the nature of your disqualification. This is most commonly done in some cases of diabetes, poor vision, poor hearing or when missing an extremity. When applying for an exemption, it is important to know that it can take up to 180 days for a final decision to be reached, and that there may be additional requirements that will need to be met in order to obtain and maintain a CDL drivers license.
Additionally, a Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate Program, or SPE, may be available to you if you were disqualified for a missing extremity. An SPE certification would allow you to operate a motor vehicle, even across state lines, if you have been fitted with a prosthetic device and you can demonstrate the ability to operate a commercial vehicle safely. Learn more about CDL medical exemptions in our free, downloadable guide.