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Commercial Driver License (CDL) Medical Certification Requirement

All commercial drivers are required to comply with the CDL medical certification requirement. This requires all CDL holders to self-certify to a single commercial operation status to obtain or maintain their CDL status.

You can now review CDL medical certification status by accessing driver eligibility here.

Medical Certification Instructions

Applicants are required to complete one of the following forms for medical certification.

Each form allows applicants to certify to one of the following CDL categories. The category that the applicant certifies to, determines if a medical variance or a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) medical examiners certificate is required.

Category 1: Non-Excepted-Interstate Commerce (CDL-4)
Most CDL holders who drive CMV’s in interstate commerce are non-excepted interstate commerce drivers. This category requires a medical examiners certificate. If CDL holders operate in both excepted and non-excepted interstate commerce, they must follow non-excepted interstate commerce guidelines and present a medical examiners certificate.

Category 2: Excepted-Interstate Commerce (CDL-10)
This certification category is for applicants that will operate their CMV for excepted activities. Applicants will be restricted to operate their CMV in the excepted activity to which they certify. This category will NOT require a medical examiners certificate, but are required to meet Texas medical standards.

Category 3: Non-Excepted-Intrastate Commerce (CDL-5 part B)
This certification category is for applicants that will only drive a CMV in intrastate commerce and are required to meet the medical requirements for Texas. A medical examiners certificate will be required.

Category 4: Excepted-Intrastate Commerce (CDL-5 part A)
This certification category is for applicants that operate a CMV only in intrastate commerce. The driver has been regularly employed operating a CMV in Texas prior to August 28, 1989 and is not operating a CMV requiring a hazardous materials placard. This category will NOT require a medical examiners certificate, but the driver is required to meet Texas medical standards.

Category 4: Excepted-Intrastate Commerce (CDL-5 part C)
This certification category is for applicants that operate a CMV only in intrastate commerce for excepted activities (oil/water well servicing and/or drilling or mobile crane operations). Applicants will be restricted to operate their CMV in the excepted activity to which they certify. This category will NOT require a medical examiners certificate, but the driver is required to meet Texas medical standards.

CDL Category CDL Form Operating Status Medical Examiners Certification Requirement Excepted Activity Displayed on the CDL
1 CDL-4 Non-Excepted Interstate YES NO
2 CDL-10 Excepted Interstate NO YES
3 CDL-5 Section B Non-Excepted Intrastate YES NO
4 CDL-5 Section A Excepted Intrastate NO NO
4 CDL-5 Section C Excepted Intrastate NO YES

Medical Certificate Renewal Notifications Non-Excepted Medical Status (Category 1 or Category 3)

On January 30, 2015, Texas implemented the Medical Certification Downgrade process as required by the Federal Regulation. Failure to keep a current medical variance or medical examiners certificate on file with DPS will result in the downgrade of the individual’s CDL.

Drivers that have certified to a non-excepted medical status may submit the valid medical variance or medical examiners certificate by email for fastest processing.  If you do not have access to send email, you may use mail or fax to send the document. All documents submitted by email should be sent as attachments not links. Please do not send duplicate documents unless instructed to resend due to a problem or issue with the document you have submitted. You may send in your medical examiners certificate for processing only if the CDL is not downgraded.

Or, if you do not have access to Email: 

You may check to ensure your Medical Certificate has been processed by accessing the License Eligibility application. Please allow up to 10 days from the time you have submitted for your record to be updated.

CDL Downgraded for Medical Certification

A CDL that has been downgraded for Medical Certification requires a visit to a DL Office to be upgraded. A CDL that was downgraded to a driver license (DL) solely for failure to provide a valid medical variance or medical examiners certificate, may be upgraded back to their previous CDL status (including restrictions and endorsements) without taking CDL knowledge and skills exams provided the following:

Change Commercial Operation Status Category

Drivers who are changing their operation status category must visit the Driver License office if a restriction must be added or removed from the CDL.

Example:
If a driver self-certified to Category 3 – Non-Excepted Intrastate and now meets the qualification of Category 1 – Non-Excepted Interstate. The driver will need to visit the driver license office to remove the intrastate restriction and certify to interstate CDL qualifications. The driver will also be required to present a medical examiners certificate and pay the applicable transaction fee.

Additional information on Department of Transportation medical requirements may be found in the commercial federal regulations.