Rural Health Clinic Advice on CDL/DOT Exams

In May 2014, new procedures were mandated by the West Virginia Department of Transportation requiring physicals for all CMV drivers (Commercial Motor Vehicles) to be performed by a “Certified Medical Examiner.” In addition, new recommendations and guidelines were put in place regarding certifications. Pocahontas Memorial Hospital’s Rural Health Clinic understands that driving is many people’s livelihood in this area and wants to keep you in your job, on the road, and providing for your family. To help you understand the new procedures, here are some frequently asked questions.

What are the changes to the exam process?

CDL/DOT examinations must now be conducted by a Certified Medical Examiner. Your regular provider who has conducted the exam in the past may no longer be able to provide this service. A Certified Medical Examiner has taken an 8-hour course and testing to become certified by the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, Federal Motor Safety Administration, and the West Virginia Department of Transportation.

Who do the new changes apply to?

The new exam requirements apply to anyone trying to obtain or renew a license to operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle—bus drivers, log truck drivers, trailer truck drivers, etc.

Where can I find a “Certified Medical Examiner”?

PMH’s Rural Health Clinic has two providers currently certified to perform these exams. Dr. Neal Rehberg, DO and Valarie Monico, PA-C are two of only three certified providers in Pocahontas County.

How soon in advance should I schedule an exam?

We HIGHLY advise you to schedule an appointment well before your current certification expires—at least thirty days prior. Do NOT wait until your certification has expired. The medical provider may be required to obtain additional testing, specialist referrals, and/or past medical records before you can be granted medical clearance to drive. This can be a lengthy process which may take several weeks or even months to complete.

How long will my certification last?

Certification periods range from three months, six months, one year, or two years depending you’re your specific health conditions. According to new guidelines, some chronic health conditions will now limit a medical provider to approving a driver for certification for periods less than two years.

Will conditions like high blood pressure affect my certification?

They could. In the past, as long as the blood pressure reading at the time of examination was normal and no other health conditions were present, two year certification was typically granted. Now, under new requirements, even if high blood pressure is controlled by medication and it is normal at the time of the exam, you may be given a shorter certification period. This is a case by case situation to keep you and other drivers on the road safe.

How do I make an appointment for an exam?

Please call the Rural Health Clinic at 304-799-6200. Appointments can be made Monday through Friday 8:30am—6:30pm, as well as the first Saturday of each month from 8:30am—3:30pm. Same day appointments are available. The Rural Health Clinic wants to work with you to obtain and maintain your certification. Do not hesitate to reach out to the clinic if you have any questions about the new certification procedures.