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.
How do I obtain a Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MCSA-5876)?
To obtain a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, you must be examined by a doctor. In some cases, your employer or prospective employer will make the arrangements.
The doctor who sees you must complete a medical examination report and certify that you meet the federal qualifications included in Section 391.41(b)(10) of Title 49 CFR (Federal Motor Carrier Regulations). The doctor will also complete, sign and give to you the Medical Examiner’s Certificate (DOT card), noting any restrictions, including the need for a federal or MVA waiver.
The Medical Examiner’s Certificate you receive can be valid for up to two years; the doctor who examined you will determine the card’s expiration date.
How do I obtain a federal (interstate) exemption or waiver?
If you don’t meet certain physical or medical standards included in Section 391.41(b)(10) of Title 49 CFR (Federal Motor Carrier Regulations), you may be able to continue driving interstate if you qualify for a federal (interstate) exemption or waiver. Federal exemptions or waivers can be granted for the following:
- Loss of limb or limb impairment (exemption) - see Section 391.41(b)(10) of Title 49 CFR
- Vision problems (exemption) - see Section 391.41(b)(10) of Title 49 CFR
Note: If you don’t qualify for the federal exemption/waiver, you still may be eligible for an MVA (intrastate) waiver; however, this waiver restricts your driving to Maryland ONLY.
To obtain a federal (interstate) exemption or waiver, you must contact the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) which will advise how to proceed. Note: Federal (interstate) exemption/waiver can be valid for up to two (2) years.
Additional FMCSA Documentation Issued
Loss of limb or limb impairment
Attn: Medical Program Specialist
Office of Bus & Truck Standards and Operations
A federal (interstate) exemption/waiver can be valid for up to two years.
How do I obtain an MVA (intrastate) waiver?
This waiver restricts your driving to Maryland ONLY. Further, the cargo carried in your vehicle also may not cross State lines. MVA (intrastate) waivers can be granted for the following:
- Loss of limb or limb impairment (waiver) - see Section 391.41(b)(10) of Title 49 CFR
- Vision problems (waiver) - see Section 391.41(b)(10) of Title 49 CFR
To apply for an MVA (intrastate) waiver, you must submit a written request to MVA's CDL Intrastate Waiver Program. The request must include the following information:
- Personal information: name; address; telephone number; driver's license number; and signature;
- Description of your medical condition;
- Type and class of vehicle you'll be operating;
- Completed and signed a copy of the Medical Examiner’s Report (MCSA-5875) and Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MCSA-5876).
A public road test and skills demonstration may be required.
An MVA (intrastate) waiver can be valid for up to two years.
If you receive an MVA (intrastate) waiver, you are not eligible for the following endorsements:
- School Bus (S)
- Passenger (P)
- Hazardous Materials (H)
- Tanker/Hazardous Materials (X)
- There is no MVA fee for either the federal (interstate) exemption/waiver or the MVA (intrastate) waiver.
- The doctor who examines the customer and issues the Medical Examiner's Certificate may charge a fee.
Driver Services Division
6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062
To request an MVA (intrastate) waiver:
CDL Intrastate Waiver Program
Driver Services Division
6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062
MVA Customer Service Center: