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Millions of drivers hold commercial driver licenses (CDL), allowing them to operate commercial vehicles. The Department of Transportation (DOT) established regulations requiring medical examiners to certify that these drivers are medically fit to operate their vehicles and provides oversight of their implementation. Little is known on the extent to which individuals with serious medical conditions hold CDLs. Because the effectiveness of the medical certification process is not known, this testimony, and the accompanying report (GAO-08-826) that GAO is releasing today focuses on (1) GAO's analyses of the magnitude of commercial drivers with serious medical conditions, and (2) examples of cases where careful medical examinations did not occur on commercial drivers with serious medical conditions. To examine the extent individuals holding CDLs have significant disabilities, GAO identified those who were in both DOT's CDL database and selected disability databases of Social Security Administration, Office of Personnel Management, and Departments of Veterans Affairs and Labor and have been identified as 100 percent disabled according to the program's criteria. GAO obtained current CDL data from 12 selected states. To provide case studies, GAO focused on 4 states--Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, and Virginia. For 15 drivers identified from data mining, GAO interviewed, as appropriate, the driver, the driver's employer and the driver's physician.

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