Medical Examination Requirements for CDL Holders in Georgia
The Georgia CDL physical is required before any driver can legally operate a commercial motor vehicle in the state. The CDL physical exam, otherwise known as the CDL medical exam, is a critical component in the process for obtaining a commercial drivers license. The purpose of the CDL physical test is to gauge the overall health of the driver, and use this measurement to see if he or she meets the CDL medical requirements outlined by the state. It is important for drivers to understand what to expect from a commercial drivers license physical test, as well as who can perform the test, in order to make it acceptable by law. Determining if a commercial driver is physically capable of operating a commercial vehicle benefits not only the driver, but also those on the road. In order to find out more regarding the physical exam for CDL, including any exemptions from taking the CDL medical exam in Georgia, continue reviewing the sections below.
What to Expect From the CDL Medical Exam in Georgia
The CDL physical exam in Georgia is important, because operating a commercial vehicle is no easy task. Unlike with regular motor vehicles, CDL medical requirements use the difficulties that accompany operating commercial vehicles, and test each driver against those requirements. Knowing what CDL physical exam requirements there are in advance can help a driver to expect what is being tested, along with preparing his or her body, accordingly. In order to pass the CDL exam in Georgia, applicants must:
- Have at least 20/40 vision in each eye, with or without vision corrections.
- Be capable of distinguishing the different colors of traffic signals.
- Have hearing that is good enough to acknowledge a forced whisper at a minimum distance of 5 feet.
- Have a maximum allowable blood pressure of 160/100.
- Use of prescription medication to achieve these numbers is not permitted.
- Not have diabetes controlled by insulin injections.
- Not have a blood sugar level higher than 200.
- Not use Schedule 1 controlled drugs.
- Provide a medical examiner stress test with a note from a physician, if driver has cardiovascular disease in any form.
Once a Georgia commercial driver passes the CDL physical exam, then he or she should be exempt from having to take the physical test for CDL again for a period of 24 months. However, there are certain circumstances in which CDL licensed driver will need to take the CDL medical exam within that time period. For example, if a driver has a health issue that needs management or at least further check-ins, then more frequent medical testing will be necessary. High blood pressure is a notable reason for more frequent CDL physical testing, as it is a health condition that needs to be further monitored for each driver.
Who can perform a CDL physical in Georgia?
A Georgia CDL physical cannot just be performed by any medical professional. In fact, as of May 2014, commercial motor vehicle drivers can no longer receive CDL physical exams from just any healthcare providers. In order to legally receive a CDL medical test, the medical examiner conducting the test must be licensed and registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration National Registry (FMCSA). There are resources drivers can use to search for licensed medical examiners in GA in order to ensure they receive acceptable physical for CDLs. The FMCSA provides a comprehensive registry to search, which will produce the most thorough results. If the medical examiner is not part of the FMCSA registry, then he or she is not considered certified, and the results of the exam will not be accepted.
Download our free guide to read more about the requirements associated with CDL medical tests.
Additional Georgia CDL Medical Certification Details
After a medical examiner conducts the CDL physical exam, he or she will issue a medical certificate, which can be used by the driver to prove that he or she is in acceptable health. All drivers must keep their CDL medical exam certificates up-to-date and on file with the Georgia Department of Drivers Services (DDS). The CDL physical test results can be submitted in one of four ways:
- By fax
- Via mail
- In person
Submitting online is a simple way for drivers to meet the CDL medical exam requirements. All they need to do is log in to their DDS accounts, or create accounts if they have not done so already, and upload their medical documents. Another easy way to submit CDL medical exam results is through fax. Mailing is often used when a driver is out of the state or cannot visit a local DDS Customer Service Center. Finally, drivers can always submit their results in person by visiting their nearest DDS Customer Service Centers. The in-person visit can be the most beneficial, as drivers can also have all their questions answered by trained professionals.
Keep in mind that in addition to the CDL physical exam, applicants are required to pass knowledge and road tests and complete the CDL application process prior to being permitted to driving commercial vehicles on state roads. Review more details about CDL requirements in Georgia by downloading our comprehensive guide.