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Frequently Asked Questions

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Is getting a medical certificate mandatory for all US Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers?

In general, all CMV drivers driving in interstate commerce within the United States must obtain medical certification from a medical examiner. CMV drivers from Canada and Mexico can be medically qualified in their countries. 

What if I am diagnosed with sleep apnea?

Drivers should be disqualified until the diagnosis of sleep apnea has been ruled out or has been treated successfully. As a condition of continuing qualification, it is recommended that a CMV driver agree to continue uninterrupted therapy such as CPAP with monitoring and objective testing as required.

A driver with a diagnosis of sleep apnea, probable sleep apnea, or excessive daytime somnolence (EDS) should be temporarily disqualified until the condition is either ruled out by objective testing or successfully treated.

Narcolepsy and sleep apnea account for about 70% of EDS. EDS lasting from a few days to a few weeks should not limit a driver’s ability in the long run. However, persistent or chronic sleep disorders causing EDS can be a significant risk to the driver and the public. The examiner should consider general certification criteria at the initial and follow-up examinations:

  • Severity and frequency of EDS
  • Presence or absence of warning of attacks
  • Possibility of sleep during driving
  • Degree of symptomatic relief with treatment
  • Compliance with treatment

What happens if a driver is not truthful about his/her health history on the medical examination form?

The FMCSA medical certification process is designed to ensure drivers are physically qualified to operate commercial vehicles safely. Each driver is required to complete the health history section on the first page of the examination report and certify that the responses are complete and true. The driver must also certify that he/she understands that inaccurate, false, or misleading information may invalidate the examination and medical examiner's certificate.

FMCSA relies on the medical examiner's clinical judgment to decide whether additional information should be obtained from the driver's treating physician. Deliberate omission or falsification of information may invalidate the examination and any certificate issued based on it. A civil penalty may also be levied against the driver under 49 U.S.C. 521(b)(2)(b), either for making a false statement of for concealing a disqualifying condition.

As an employee or employer, how do I know if I am subject to DOT testing?

Generally, DOT regulations cover safety-sensitive transportation employers and employees. Visit this link to see specific drug/alcohol testing regulations and to whom they apply.

Can an employer conduct pre-employment alcohol testing?

A DOT-regulated employer (except under USCG rules) wishing to conduct pre-employment alcohol testing under DOT authority may do so if certain conditions are met.

The testing must be accomplished for all applicants. The employer cannot select for testing some applicants and not others. Testing must be conducted as a post-offer requirement—the employer needs to inform the applicant that he/she has the job if he or she passes a DOT alcohol test.

In addition, the testing and its consequences must comply with requirements of Part 40.

Where can I find out more about DOT Drug and Alcohol testing?

Visit this link to see specific drug/alcohol testing regulations and to whom they apply.

Contact Us

Still have a question? Call us at 507.292.7186, use our Contact Us form, or log in to your MyOMC patient portal account to send us a secure message.

Contact Us

OMC's occupational health services can be reached Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM (except on holidays), at:

tel: 507.292.7186

fax: 507.292.7001

e-mail: occhealth@olmmed.org

Mailing address:

Olmsted Medical Center
Attn: Occupational Health Services
210 9th Street SE
Rochester, MN 55904

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