Federal guidelines mandate that anyone applying for a CDL must pass the Department of Transportation physical exam. The purpose of this exam is to determine whether a potential driver is physically capable of driving safely at the present time as well as in the foreseeable future.

Passing the exam successfully usually means you have 24 months before you need to do it again. In some instances, this period might be decreased in case that serious health issues could arise in the future.

Department of Transportation CDL Physical Requirements

To pass the physical for the CDL you:

  • Vision in both eyes, as well as each eye individually, need to be 20/40, with visual improvement devices, such as glasses or contacts permitted.
  • Needs to be capable of distinguishing colors found on traffic signals.
  • Needs to be able to perceive a forced whisper at a distance of at least 5 feet.
  • Maximum allowable blood pressure is 160/100. Use of prescription medication to achieve this threshold is permitted.
  • An applicant can have diabetes which is controlled through diet or medication. Diabetes controlled through insulin injections is not permitted.
  • The maximum level of blood sugar an applicant is allowed to have is 200.
  • No use of a Schedule 1 drug, amphetamine, narcotic or any habit forming drug is permitted.
Last updated on Wednesday, March 6 2019.

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