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Disqualifying Conditions

The original Medical Examiner’s Handbook – published prior to 2015 – listed many conditions as disqualifying. Examples include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, peripheral neuropathy, use of methadone, and many others. Since then, the FMCSA has clarified that there are only 2 conditions that are disqualifying by regulation – hearing loss and seizures/epilepsy – and also clarified that all other conditions must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Despite this updated guidance, the FMCSA does still indicate that drivers with a current diagnosis of alcoholism should be disqualified, as should drivers who use a Schedule I substance, although the FMCSA never states that these are disqualifying “by regulation”.

The direction the FMCSA is taking is clear: the FMCSA is tasking Medical Examiners to make individualized assessments of drivers’ medical conditions and not to rely on a cookbook approach. This trend is also reflected in the elimination of the vision and diabetes regulations, which previously required the FMCSA to make driver certification assessments for exemptions/waivers, but now require the use of the alternative qualification process for drivers with monocular vision and insulin-treated diabetes mellitus.

For more information regarding regulations and guidance, please contact FMCSA Medical directly at or by telephone at (202) 366-4001.

Enroll in the NRCME Training Institute today or purchase our $99 NRCME Exam Reference Materials. Call us at (941) 600-8411 for more program information and for any current single provider enrollment discounts.

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10-Year Recertification Notice

Certified Medical Examiners on the National Registry are required to be recertified no sooner than 9 years and no later than 10 years from the date of issuance of their medical examiner certification credential. Recertification requires that providers complete an accredited training program such as ours and pass the in-person national NRCME certification examination.

Call (941) 600-8411 for a single-provider discount.