Eli Hendel M.D.
A Medical Corporation


Commercial Driver Medical Examinations: FAQ’s


Q.  I have a California commercial driver’s license; must I have a medical examination?

A.  Yes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that all commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers take a physical examination and be issued a medical certificate to confirm they are healthy enough to safely perform the demanding job of a CMV driver.


Q.  Where can I find out more information about FMCSA medical examinations and other requirements?

A.  Visit the FMCSA website for more information.  Additional information is also available on the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) website.


Q.  Who pays for the exam?

A.  If you are required to have a California commercial driver license as part of your job, your employer shall pay the cost of the examination unless it was conducted before you applied for the job (Labor Code § 231).


Q.  I have passed the Commercial Medical Examination. What do I do next?

A.  Commercial drivers who successfully pass a Commercial Medical Examination on or after April 20, 2016 must submit to the DMV: 1) a valid (original or copy) Medical Examination Report (MER) Form, MCSA-5875 and 2) a valid (original or copy) Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC) Form, MCSA-5876, when applying for a commercial driver’s license or updating an existing medical expiration date.


Q.  How many pages of the MER Form do I need to submit?

A.  You are required to only submit pages 1-4.


Q.  When should I submit the MER and MEC Forms?

A.  You should submit the forms at least 4 weeks prior to the expiration of your previous medical or your privilege to drive commercial motor vehicles could become invalid.


Q.  Where do I submit the MER and MEC forms?

A.  You can mail the completed MER and MEC forms to the following address:

P.O. BOX 944278
SACRAMENTO, CA 94244-2780


Q.  Should I keep copies of the MER and MEC forms?

A.  Yes.  You should always keep a copy of the forms for your records.  You should also keep a copy of the MEC in your wallet at all times.  You can be given a citation for driving out of class if you drive a CMV after your MEC expires.


Q.  What if I did not pass the medical examination?

A.  A commercial driver who does not pass the medical examination may qualify for a California intrastate restricted medical certificate (known as a DL 51 B).  These drivers must submit a MER to the DMV showing they did not pass the medical examination in order to be considered for an intrastate restricted medical certificate.


Q. I have a commercial driver’s license from another state that is not California; are there different requirements?

A.  Although the FMCSA is a federal program, different states may require you to submit additional documents beyond Forms 7865 and 7876.  Please check with the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state your commercial driver’s license was issued for more information.


Q.  I drive a school bus; do I still need a medical examination?

A.  Drivers applying for, or who hold, a certificate to drive a school bus, school pupil activity bus, youth bus, general public paratransit vehicle, or farm labor vehicle must also have a medical examination performed by a Certified Medical Examiner.  The MER and MEC forms must be signed by the medical examiner that performed the examination.

School bus drivers 65 years of age or older must submit a new medical report to the DMV every year.