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There is no doubt that one of the most dangerous vehicles on the road is an 18-wheeler. Its size and weight make it incredibly hazardous to other vehicles. Because of this, the requirements to get a commercial driver’s license are a bit more involved than those to get a regular driver’s license. The state wants to be sure that you are going to be a skilled and safe driver. One such requirement that passenger vehicle drivers do not have to have is a medical examination.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the medical exam requirement is for everyone’s safety. It is to ensure that you do not have a medical condition that could lead to an accident. After all, driving a large truck makes you responsible for the safety of everyone around you since an accident with your rig is more likely to lead to a fatality than an accident with two passenger vehicles.

You must get your exam from a doctor approved by the FMCSA for it to be valid and usable. Once you get an exam, it is usually good for 24 months, but if you have certain health conditions, you may have to undergo monitoring, which will require more frequent exams.

You will receive a medical examiner’s certificate that will become part of your driving record when you pass your medical exam. The state will monitor your certificate. If you do not renew your exam on time, you will lose your CDL privileges. The results of your exam may also limit your CDL privileges. For example, you may not be able to drive certain classes of vehicle or travel interstate.