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You must meet minimum, federally-mandated medical standards to get a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). You are physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if you either:
To ensure that you meet these medical standards, you must pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) medical examination.
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.
Follow this link to find a medical examiner who is certified by the FMCSA to perform DOT physical exams: https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/NRPublicUI/Drivers.seam
A DOT medical examiner's certificate is generated by this examination. Medical examiner's certificates are valid for a maximum of 2 years.
In order to operate a commercial motor vehicle with a gross vehicle rating in excess of 10,000 pounds in interstate commerce, a medical examiner's certificate may also be required, even if you do not have a CDL.
The federal government has a vision and diabetes medical exemption program for interstate commercial driving.
If you do not meet the federal vision and/or diabetes medical standards, you may be able to obtain an exemption from those standards for interstate commerce from the federal government.
A commercial driver who has obtained a medical interstate exemption should continue to have in his/her possession the original or copy of that medical exemption documentation at all times when operating a commercial vehicle.
The RMV will waive compliance with the federal medical requirements pertaining to commercial vehicles for the purposes of driving intrastate (within the borders of Massachusetts only) and will issue intrastate medical waivers for the following conditions only, provided the Registrar determines that the condition will not interfere with the safe operation of a commercial vehicle. If you are issued an intrastate medical waiver you must have a “W” (commercial motor vehicle intrastate only with medical waiver) restriction put on your license.
To apply for an intrastate waiver, you have to complete an application for intrastate medical waivers to operate Class A, B, or C commercial motor vehicles. In addition to the application, the following documentation must be submitted, certified by a medical professional, to the Medical Affairs:
The RMV will only issue an intrastate medical waiver for a vision impairment if you have:
The RMV will only issue an intrastate medical waiver for a diabetic condition if you submit a written statement from your health care provider which:
The RMV will only issue an intrastate medical waiver for a cardiovascular condition if you:
If you have an automated implantable cardiac defibrillator and are determined to have an automated implantable cardiac defibrillator that appropriately "fires", you will be considered the same as a customer who has had a "sudden death event" and be subject to a 6 month period during which there is documentation of no episodes of appropriate device firing.
If you have an automated implantable cardiac defibrillator placed purely for prophylactic reasons, you are eligible for an intrastate commercial driver's license waiver and will not be subject to the 6 month, no-trigger, "waiting" period.
If you were formerly deemed ineligible to receive a waiver due to your automated implantable cardiac defibrillator implant or classification as a Class III or IV heart patient, and are now eligible, you must submit a written statement from your health care provider to the RMV which indicates that:
The RMV will only issue an intrastate medical waiver for a loss or impairment of limb if such loss is not likely to interfere with the safe operation of a commercial motor vehicle.
The RMV will only issue an intrastate medical waiver for a deaf and hard of hearing if the certifying health care provider states the condition will not interfere with the safe operation of a commercial vehicle.
For vehicles with air brakes, you must be able to hear the air compressor cutting out and detect an actual air leak in the braking system- a safety precaution in case the gauges have malfunctioned. Therefore, a profoundly deaf person would be restricted to a commercial vehicle without airbrakes.
If you are unable to meet the medical qualifications to obtain a medical waiver as set forth in the 2010 CDL intrastate medical waiver guidelines, but held a valid intrastate medical waiver prior to June 16, 1998, you will be eligible to retain or renew your intrastate medical waiver, provided:
CDL intrastate medical waiver qualifications in effect immediately prior to June 16, 1998 required that customers with any one of the following conditions may be granted an intrastate medical waiver provided the condition will not interfere with the safe operation of a commercial motor vehicle:
From area codes 339, 617, 781, and 857, or from outside Massachusetts
From all other Massachusetts area codes
For people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing (in Massachusetts)