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What are the physical qualification requirements for operating a CMV in interstate commerce?

NOTE:  This guidance revises FMCSA-MED-391.41-Q3, issued on February 28, 2020, and rescinded on March 22, 2022. See FMCSA-FR-87FR3390(2022-01-21).



Guidance Q&A

Question 3: What are the physical qualification requirements for operating a CMV in interstate commerce?

Guidance: The physical qualification regulations for drivers in interstate commerce are found at §391.41. Instructions to medical examiners performing physical qualification examinations of these drivers are found at §391.43.

The qualification standards cover 13 areas, which directly relate to the driving function. All but two of the standards require a judgment by the medical examiner. A person’s qualification to drive is determined by a medical examiner who is knowledgeable about the driver’s functions and whether the driver’s physical condition is adequate to enable the driver to operate the vehicle safely. In the case of hearing and epilepsy, the current standards are absolute, providing no discretion to the medical examiner. However, drivers who do not meet the current requirements may apply for an exemption as provided by 49 CFR part 381.

Contact Info: FMCSA Medical Programs Division,

Note: This guidance document does not have the force and effect of law and is not meant to bind the public in any way.  It is intended only to provide information and clarity regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.

Regulatory Topic: Driver Physical Qualification Standards
Effective Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Issued Date: Friday, January 21, 2022