Commercial Drivers: Certification Process for Drivers with Serious Medical Conditions

GAO-08-826 Published: Jun 30, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2008.
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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. GAO was asked to (1) examine the extent to which individuals holding a current CDL have serious medical conditions and (2) provide examples of commercial drivers with medical conditions that should disqualify them from receiving a CDL. To examine the extent to which individuals holding CDLs have serious medical conditions, GAO identified those who were in both DOT's CDL database and selected federal disability databases of the 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. Because DOT's data also include inactive licenses, GAO obtained current CDL data from 12 selected states based primarily on the size of CDL population. To provide case study examples, GAO focused on four states--Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, and Virginia. For 15 drivers identified from data mining, GAO interviewed, as appropriate, the driver, driver's employer, and driver's physician. GAO is not making any recommendations.

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