DMV Medical Certification

The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his [or her] patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease. – Thomas Edison

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A medical professional completes the Medical Examination Report – DL 51 (PDF) to certify that a person meets the medical standards to operate a commercial motor vehicle. A medical professional is a U. S. licensed doctor of medicine (M.D.), doctor of osteopathy (D.O.), licensed physician assistant (P.A.), advanced practice nurse, or doctor of chiropractic who is clinically competent to perform the medical examination.

The Medical Examination Report – DL 51 (PDF) must be submitted to DMV with an original application for a commercial driver license or instruction permit. The form must be dated within the last two years, and submitted to DMV.

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 have their examination performed by a Physician Assistant, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Doctor of Medicine, (MD), or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) or a Chiropractor who is listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. The Medical Examination Report and Medical Certificate must be signed by the medical examiner who performed the examination. School bus drivers 65 years of age and older must submit a new medical report to DMV every year. (VC 12517.2(a)(b)

DMV will only accept a Medical Examination Report – DL 51 (PDF) with a revision date of 1/2012 or later for medical examinations completed prior to December 31, 2013. Medical examinations completed after December 31, 2013, must be on a DL 51, revision 1/2014.

Medical Examination Report – DL 51 (PDF) – To obtain this form by mail, call DMV’s automated phone service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-777-0133.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (383.71) requires commercial drivers to disclose the type of commercial operation they are engaged in:

Non-Excepted Interstate: Operates or expects to operate a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce and is subject to and meets the qualification requirements under 49 CFR part 391. The license does not restrict the transport, origination, or destination of the load to be transported.
Non-Excepted Intrastate: Operates in California only. You may only transport cargo that originates in and the final destination is in California. While driving commercially you may not cross state of international borders.
Excepted Interstate: California does not issue a commercial driver license that is excepted from driver qualification requirements.
Excepted Intrastate: California does not issue a commercial driver license that is excepted from driver qualification requirements.
Drivers renewing their medical certificate may mail their Medical Examination Report – DL 51 (PDF) to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
CDL Unit, G204
P.O. Box 944278
Sacramento, CA 94244-2780