Health requirements for a commercial driver's license prevent most individuals with hearing loss, vision loss, epilepsy and insulin use from legally operating a commercial motor vehicle. Additionally, commercial motor vehicle drivers must prove to an examining physician that they are physically, mentally and emotionally healthy enough to operate a vehicle.
Commercial motor vehicle operators can apply for the Federal Diabetes and Vision Exemption Program in cases of limited vision impairment or insulin use. With this exemption, the medical examination, employment history, motor vehicle records and driving experience of an individual are weighed. Generally, commercial driver's license holders with an exemption are required to have a physical exam more often to monitor ongoing health issues for signs of decline.
The U.S. Department of Transportation mandates that a physical examination must be performed on commercial driver's license holders every two years or sooner, depending on extenuating health concerns, regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The exam is required in the interest of public safety, as larger and heavier commercial motor vehicles are capable of causing significant damage when operated by unqualified individuals.
Commercial motor vehicle operators with missing or impaired limbs can continue to work legally, provided that a Skill Performance Evaluation is conducted. Passing this indicates that, despite a disability, a driver has a continued record of safe vehicle operation.