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Commercial Driver License (CDL) Medical Certification Requirement

Commercial drivers and Commercial Learner Permit (CLP) applicants are required to certify to the type of commercial driving they are or will be performing.

  1. Depending upon your certification, a current medical examiner's certificate may be required to be on file with the Department.
  2. If a medical examiner's certificate is required, it must be valid at all times to prevent the downgrade of your CDL or CLP.  Downgrading will result in the loss of your commercial driving privileges and require you to complete the knowledge and skills exams again.
  3. Notification is provided as a courtesy to you, as a CDL or CLP holder, approximately 60 days before the expiration of your current medical examiner's certificate to allow you the opportunity to place a new medical examiner's certificate on file with the Department.

You can review a driver's current CDL medical certification status by accessing driver eligibility.

Medical Certification Instructions

As a CDL holder, you are required to complete one of the following forms for medical certification.

These forms allow you to certify to one of the CDL categories listed below, which determines if a medical variance or a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Medical Examiner's Certificate is required to be on file with the Department.

For more information on the difference between interstate commerce and intrastate commerce, go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

To assist you in determining which of the four categories of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operation you should self-certify to, go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Self-Certification Categories

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 you operate in both excepted and non-excepted interstate commerce, you must follow non-excepted interstate commerce guidelines and maintain a current medical examiners certificate with the Department.

In certain instances, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration may provide an exemption to specific medical conditions.  For more information, see Driver Exemptions Programs.  If you have been granted a federal waiver, you must include it with your medical examiner's certificate. 

Category 2: Excepted-Interstate Commerce (CDL-10)
This certification category is for applicants that will operate their CMV for excepted activities.

This category will NOT require a medical examiners certificate, but you are still required to meet Texas medical standards.

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

In certain instances, the Department may provide an exemption to specific medical conditions when operating in intrastate commerce.  For more information, please review forms CDL-36 and CDL-37. If you have been granted a state waiver, you must include it with your medical examiner's certificate.

Category 4: Excepted-Intrastate Commerce (CDL-5 part A)
This certification category is required when you are operating a CMV only in intrastate commerce. You certify that you have been regularly employed operating a CMV in Texas prior to August 28, 1989 and are not operating a CMV requiring a hazardous materials placard. This category will NOT require a medical examiners certificate, but you are still required to meet Texas medical standards.

Category 4: Excepted-Intrastate Commerce (CDL-5 part C)
This certification category is when you are operating a CMV only in intrastate commerce for excepted activities (oil/water well servicing and/or drilling or mobile crane operations). You will be restricted to operate your CMV in the excepted activity to which you have certified. This category will NOT require a medical examiners certificate, but you are 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)

If you are certified to a non-excepted medical status and have a medical examiner's certificate on file with the Department that is going to expire, you can send your updated certificate to the Department via email, fax, or mail. Please do not send duplicate documents unless you have been instructed to resend due to a problem or issue with the document you previously submitted. You may send in your medical examiners certificate for processing only if your CDL or CLP has not been downgraded.

Email:
CDLMedCert@dps.texas.gov (Please send in a PDF format)

If you are sending by email, the medical examiner's certificate must be sent as an attachment and not as a link.

Fax:
The fax number to submit your medical examiner's certificate to the Department is 512-424-2002.

Please set your fax to accept a confirmation receipt for your records.

Mail:
Texas Department of Public Safety
License and Record Service
Attn: CDL Section
P.O. Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773-0320

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

CDL Downgraded for Medical Certification

If your CDL or CLP has been downgraded due to an expired Medical Examiner's Certificate, you must visit your local driver license 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 your previous CDL status (including restrictions and endorsements) without taking CDL knowledge and skills exams provided the following conditions are met:

Change Commercial Operation Status Category

If you are changing your certification status between categories, you must visit your local driver license office to complete the change. The driver license office personnel will assist you in determining if any restrictions should be added or removed from your CDL or CLP.

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.