Operating a commercial motor vehicle comes with the added responsibility of keeping informed of the additional laws that govern the transportation industry. To become a commercial driver you must pass a CDL (Commercial Driver License) physical. You must renew your physical regularly and keep a copy of the physical with you when you are in your commercial vehicle. Violation of any of these requirements could result in fines, sanctions and the loss of your job.
Federal Requirements for a CDL
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires you to have a DOT (Department of Transportation) physical before being issued a CDL. You must have your physician complete the DOT physical document, sign it and date it. You must give your physical to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles before taking any CDL tests. Your local Bureau of Motor Vehicles will send your physical to your state Department of Motor Vehicles for review. In essence, if you do not have a valid DOT physical on file with your state, you will not be issued a CDL.
Driving With an Expired DOT Physical
You have to renew your DOT physical every two years. If you do not renew your DOT physical, your state Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your CDL. If that happens, you will be driving without a license. When you drive through a state weigh station, state port of entry or are stopped for any reason, DOT officers will issue an out-of-service violation and prevent you from proceeding in your vehicle. Tickets, fines and sanctions are the possible result of driving without a license.
Accidents and Incidents Without a DOT physical
If you are involved in an accident while driving a commercial motor vehicle and your license is suspended or revoked because of an expired DOT physical, you could lose your license for life. You could also be arrested if the incident involved alcohol or an illegal substance.
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Serious Violations while operating a motor vehicle
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: 384.210 Limitation on licensing
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: The States Certification and Record Checks
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Disqualification for violating out-of-service orders (OOSO), while operating a CMV. Category 1
- Trucking Success: Penalties and Disqualifications
- Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images