New Jersey DOT Physical Exam for CDL


  1. Bring Medical Records, if necessary
  2. Bring a list of current medications
  3. Bring eye glasses/contact lenses/hearing aids
  4. Drink plenty of water; a Urinalysis is included (no drug testing)

Medical records to bring. The more information you bring, the faster the process.

  • Diabetic Condition – Bring a list of medications and name of prescribing doctor.
  • High Blood Pressure – Bring a list of medications and name of prescribing doctor.
  • Heart Condition – If you’ve had a heart attack or cardiovascular disease, you’ll need to bring a copy of your last stress test.
  • Sleep Apnea – Bring a copy of your latest sleep test results, if you have one.
  • Medications – List all the prescription medicines you take, including strength and dosage. If you regularly take over-the-counter medications such as antacids or allergy pills, list them, too.
  • Contact information – Have names and phone numbers of your doctors in case you need to call and have them fax missing information

Dr. Constandinos Shizas is a certified NRCME medical examiner for DOT (Department of Transportation) / CDL exams.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration guidelines are used to determine correct driving status.

It is mandated by federal guidelines that anyone applying for a CDL must pass the DOT physical exam. The purpose of this test is to check whether an applicant is fit enough to drive safely now and in the foreseeable future.

Successfully passing the exam usually means you only have to take the exam in 24 months, unless you have some health problem which might become worse in the future, in which case you’ll have to take the exam sooner.

Department of Transportation Requirements

Below are the basic requirements for passing the DOT physical exam.

  • With or without vision corrections, each eye, as well as both eyes combined, need to have 20/40 vision.
  • Ability to distinguish color is necessary.
  • Should be able to perceive a forced whisper at a distance of at least 5 feet.
  • Blood pressure has to be lower than 160/100. Prescription medication to control blood pressure is permitted.
  • An applicant can have diabetes which is controlled through diet or medication.
  • The maximum level of blood sugar an applicant is allowed to have is 200.
  • Use of schedule 1 drugs is strictly disallowed.
  • If you are currently diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease such as collapse, congestive cardiac failure or cardiac insufficiency, then you will have to provide the Medical Examiner with a stress test as well as with a note from your physician stating that you are able to drive a commercial motor vehicle without restrictions.

FMCSA Driver Exemption Programs

Drivers who are unable to meet the full CDL physical exam requirements due to a medical condition may still be able to obtain a commercial license by applying for an exemption document. For example, drivers who do not meet the diabetes, hearing, seizure and/or vision standards of their CDL medical exam can submit a formal request for a waiver with the FMCSA federal exemption programs.

Commercial drivers applying for these exceptions may be required to include copies of their medical exams, employment history and driver’s records . Note that these exemption programs are only available to drivers who fail their DOT physical requirements for interstate commercial operations. The FMCSA is not authorized to grant waivers to drivers who are only operating within their states.

Even commercial motorists who fail their CDL physical tests as a result of impaired or missing limbs, such as hands, fingers, arms, feet or legs may be able to qualify for a commercial driving license. The FMCSA Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) program was implemented to offer an opportunity to drivers fitted with a prosthetic device to successfully obtain a CDL credential.

For instance, even if you do not meet the DOT physical standards due to a physical impairment, you can enroll in the SPE program for a chance to demonstrate your ability to safely operate a commercial vehicle. If you pass the skills test, you will earn eligibility for a SPE certificate. Note that this program is also limited to drivers engaged in interstate commerce.

Intrastate drivers who fail to meet the full CDL medical exam requirements may also be able to obtain a waiver to operate their commercial vehicles within their states. Commercial operators in Maryland, for instance, can contact a nearby DMV office of the state Motor Vehicle Administration to inquire about the procedure of obtaining an intrastate waiver.

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