What are the hearing requirements for a DOT physical?
The driver must be able to perceive a forced whispered voice in one ear, the better ear, at not less than five feet with or without the use of a hearing aid. If the driver fails the whisper test, the medical examiner will refer the driver to have an audiometry test. The driver must pass an audiometer test before the medical certificate can be considered.
I’m a CDL driver and my concern is I’m getting hard of hearing as I get older. If I’m unable to hear a whisper at 5 feet, will I be unable to drive a commercial vehicle? Is there a waiver I need to get? What do I need to do that will allow me to continue driving?
All you will need to do is get hearing aids and the examiner will indicate you need to wear your hearing aids to pass the DOT examination. This does not place a time restriction or limitation on your DOT certificate and you won’t need an exemption.
Can I get a DOT medical card if I use a hearing aid?
Yes, as long as you can perceive a forced whispered voice in one ear, the better ear, at not less than five feet with or without the use of a hearing aid. If you use a hearing aid for the DOT physical, then you must wear that hearing aid and have it in operation at all times while driving. Also, you must be in possession of a spare power source for the hearing aid while driving.