Driver Licensing

CDL Medical Certification

Physical Qualifications for Commercial Driver License (CDL) holders

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has amended the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to merge information from a driver’s medical certificate into the Commercial Driver License (CDL) process. CDL holders subject to the physical qualification requirements are required to provide a current copy of their medical examiner’s certificate to the Driver Licensing Program. 

Under the new regulations, which went into effect July 1, 2011, CDL holders who are subject to the physical qualification requirements outlined in 49 CFR Part 391 must provide the Driver Licensing Program with a new medical examiner's certificate before their current medical examiner's certificate expires, generally every two years.

Who does this affect?

Every applicant for a CDL is required to self-certify as to whether he or she is subject to the physical requirements for CDL holders, as outlined in 49 CFR Part 391.  This is not a new requirement.   

Those applicants for a CDL who certify themselves as subject to 49 CFR Part 391 continue to be required to present a medical examiner’s certificate upon application for a CDL.  Effective July 1, 2011, drivers are required to submit a copy of their medical examiner's certificate to the Driver Licensing program each time a medical examiner's certificate is issued.  

Effective July 1, 2011, the requirement to maintain a valid medical examiner's certificate on file with the Driver Licensing Program applies to all new CDL applicants.

All drivers who were issued a CDL prior to July 1, 2011 must present a valid unexpired medical examiner's certificate to the driver licensing program prior to January 1, 2014 unless they already have a valid medical emaminer's certificate on file as of that date.  

Drivers will be notified by mail 60 days prior to their medical examiner's certificate expiration date. This will allow the driver ample time to submit a valid medical certificate or self-certify that the driver is no longer subject to the physical requirements as outlined in 49 CFR Part 391.  If the driver does not self-certify or send in a new medical examiner's certificate prior to the expiration date of their medical examiner's certificate, their CDL will be downgraded 60 days from the medical examiner's certificate expiration date. 

How is a medical examiner's certificate submitted to the Driver Licensing Program?

A driver may mail, fax, or email a copy of his/her medical examiner's certificate and medical self-certification statement to:

SD Driver Licensing Program

118 West Capitol Avenue

Pierre, SD 57501

Fax: 605.773.3018

Email: DPSCDLMedCert@state.sd.us

Submit a copy of your medical examiner's certificate.  Originals should be retained for your records and will not be returned.

A completed Medical Examination Form for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination (i.e. the long form) will not be accepted and will not be returned to you.

If you submit a medical examiner’s certificate that is incomplete, illegible, or otherwise unacceptable, it will be returned to you (with instructions on correcting the situation).  When you re-submit your medical examiner’s certificate, please contact our office by calling 1.800.952.3696 to ensure your medical information has been received.

 

When did this happen?

CDL holders have been required to certify whether or not they are subject to the physical requirements as outlined in 49 CFR Part 391 since the CDL requirements went into effect in SD several years ago.  If a driver is subject to the physical requirements, they have also presented the driver examiner with a medical examiner's certificate.  However, the driver only needed to present the medical examiner's certificate when they renewed their driver license.  The majority of medical examiner's certificates expire in 2 years.  Therefore there was a period of time in which the Driver Licensing Program did not have a valid medical examiner's certificate on file.  That was sufficient under the old regulations but since the regulations have changed, a medical examiner's certificate must be submitted to the Driver Licensing Program more frequently.

Effective July 1, 2011, all drivers issued a CDL must self-certify as to whether or not they are subject to the physical requirements.  If they are subject to them, the driver must maintain a valid medical examiner's certificate on file with the Driver Licensing Program.

Effective January 1, 2014, all existing CDL holders issued a CDL prior to July 1, 2011 will be required to self-certify as to whether or not they are subject to the physical requirements.  If they are subject to them, the driver must submit a valid medical examiner's certificate to the Driver Licensing Program and must maintain a valid medical examiner's certificate from that point forward.   

What if I change my medical status and it is not time to renew my CDL license?

The Medical Self-Certification Statement needs to be completed by CDL drivers when their CDL medical status has changed, even if they are not applying for a driver license (the same information is available on the driver license application form).  One example is a driver who was driving interstate but has since changed jobs and now only drives in-state - this person would no longer be required to have a medical examiner's certificate (unless he/she drives a school bus).  Another example is a driver who previously drove in-state and wasn’t required to have a medical examiner's certificate but is now driving interstate and, therefore, is currently required to have a medical examiner's certificate.  In this scenario, the driver would have to send both the Medical Self-Certification Statement and a copy of his/her medical examiner’s certificate.  The Medical Self-Certification Statement should also be used by anyone wanting to send, email, or fax in a copy of their medical examiner's certificate for the first time (and isn’t applying for a license).

Medical Examination Form for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination - (DOT Physical Form)