You must have a valid Medical Examiner's Certificate (MCSA-5876), or a photographic copy of your valid Certificate, to receive a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or other commercial license product (e.g., commercial learner’s permit). The Medical Examiner’s Certificate is a federally mandated (U.S. Department of Transportation) document that certifies you meet all physical and medical standards for operating a commercial motor vehicle and the original or photographic copy must be in your possession whenever you are driving.
- If you have a valid/unexpired Maryland CDL, you will be required to provide the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) with your current medical documentation, even if you are not currently operating a commercial motor vehicle.
- Currently, the Maryland MVA requires all Commercial Driver's License (CDL) holders to provide a copy of their Medical Examiner's Certification when renewing a CDL or when applying for a new, duplicate, or corrected CDL. This requirement will remain in effect. However, in order to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulation, Maryland will also impose the same requirements.
- CDL Holders are currently required to possess a valid DOT card and an intrastate or interstate waiver/exemption or Skills Performance Evaluation (if required) while operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). Therefore, since medical certifications (DOT Cards) are only valid for two (2) years or less, CDL holders will be required to submit their updated medical document(s) prior to its/their expiration. CDL drivers will be able to update their medical information with the MVA via fax, mail, email, or by visiting any MVA branch office. If the MVA does not have proof of the CDL holder's valid medical document(s), the commercial license holder will be required to downgrade to a noncommercial driver's license, or they will have their commercial driving privilege cancelled.
- As of January 30, 2012, commercial drivers must provide the MVA with copies of their updated medical documentation (DOT Card & waiver/exemption if required) for the duration of their CDL, whether they are actively operating a commercial motor vehicle or not. You DO NOT need to wait for the MVA to contact you but if you are contacted by the MVA you will need to provide them with this documentation. If you fail to do so within the time frame indicated, your commercial driving privilege will be cancelled and your CDL will be automatically downgraded. However, if you visit a MVA branch office to renew or obtain a duplicate, corrected, or new CDL, you will be required to present valid Med Cert documentation at that time. The driver must also declare a self-certification category relating to their type of commerce. Click here for information on the self-certification categories. See Obtaining a CDL for more information.
If you are not able to meet certain standards, you may still be able to obtain a federal (interstate) exemption or waiver, or an MVA (intrastate) waiver which must kept with your Medical Examiner’s Certificate. Note that the MVA’s waiver restricts you to driving in Maryland ONLY.
Note: Even if you are not required to have a CDL, you may still need a Medical Examiner’s Certificate. Maryland law requires you to carry a DOT card if your vehicle:
- is used for commercial purposes; and
- weighs more than 10,000 pounds.