Mental Health Disqualifiers

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August D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello. I've been doing research regarding employment in the trucking industry under a tag of having been declared mentally ill. Although I was once a CDL holder and driver for a short time, I still have a question. I'm aware of the DOT Physical standards regarding any medication for mental illness; however, if

I was committed to a hospital would that now disqualify me? I would imagine the company I drove for performed a background check. Therefore, have any laws changed since 2013? I have found information but it's conflicting/contradictory. I haven't found anything on a federal note, although states may have statutes. The point is, I was released years ago and don't require meds.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

While FMCSA regs do not prohibit someone who has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution from obtaining a CDL , or diving a CMV - you will NEVER GET A HAZMAT ENDORSEMENT. That is a disqualification for hazmat.

It may still become an issue - which could vary from company to company. An evaluation from the treating PSYCHIATRIST can go a long way towards bettering your odds. Being off meds too, also helps (so you wouldn't have to worry about possibly switching to a less-effective med that is not acceptable to a particular company (and this varies from company to company).

Are you still being treated (albeit, without meds)? Can you contact the doc who was previously treating and released you from treatment to write an evaluation and recommendation?

Is there any CRIMINAL HISTORY - ESPECIALLY associated with whatever got you committed? Was it a short-term (Baker Act here in FL) - where you get a 72 hour hold, if you are deemed a threat to yourself or others (which can happen WITHOUT COURT ORDER in many jurisdictions). Or long term (which typically must be ordered by the court)?

Having not been behind the wheel for so long - you are going to have to be RE-TRAINED. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND AGAINST going to a private school - as you may be "spinning your wheels" (sorry), by getting a CDL and not being able to find a hire.

The BEST BET IS TO APPLY EVERYWHERE that does training in-house - that way, if you make it past Orientation and the Medical Examiner, you are pretty much assured of a hire (assuming you get through training and pass your CDL tests).

You are going to have to answer YES to questions 14 & 27 on the FMCSA DOT MEDICAL FORM, and they REQUIRE AN EXPLANATION. This is where past and present documentation from a PSYCHIATRIST comes in handy (or actually is going to be required). GO WITH THIS IN HAND - so you don't get SENT HOME TO GET IT (forewarned is FOREARMED).

It is at the DISCRETION OF WHATEVER MEDICAL EXAMINER YOU SEE - whether or not they issue a medical card. Having psych evals IN HAND will resolve any questions ON THE SPOT (pretty much).

ADA regs, when it comes to employment, leave employers open to being sued for discrimination - which is why, outside of "prohibited meds" on FMCSA regs, they WILL NOT TELL YOU AHEAD OF TIME, which meds they don't allow. Good thing you aren't on any meds - this is a plus on your side. Likewise, a clean bill of mental health from a psychIATRIST (not psychologist), should (SHOULD) preclude being turned down - BUT - (big BUT), it might happen ANYWAYS (and they will give you a reason OTHER THAN your history to preclude being sued).

All things being equal - if your criminal & driving records are clear, your diagnosis was for something that isn't (typically ) recurring, and you didn't go on a killing spree and use mental incapacity as a defense (criminal records) - you have a decent shot at a hire.

1 - DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT 2 - You're going to have to come in as a newbie and be trained. 3 - Don't go to a private CDL Mill - go COMPANY so you have a hire and don't blow $$ on a useless piece of plastic.

Please LET US KNOW HOW YOU DO - WHERE YOU END UP GETTING HIRED. This will help us assist other members when the question comes up in the future. This forum is a VAST REPOSITORY of user contributed information, that we use to help and advise others. Getting advice and NOT SHARING THE RESULTS DOES NOT HELP OTHERS...

Rick

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Don's Comment
member avatar

NOW THIS type of response is why prospective (and experienced) come to this website. Excellent!

While FMCSA regs do not prohibit someone who has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution from obtaining a CDL , or diving a CMV - you will NEVER GET A HAZMAT ENDORSEMENT. That is a disqualification for hazmat.

It may still become an issue - which could vary from company to company. An evaluation from the treating PSYCHIATRIST can go a long way towards bettering your odds. Being off meds too, also helps (so you wouldn't have to worry about possibly switching to a less-effective med that is not acceptable to a particular company (and this varies from company to company).

Are you still being treated (albeit, without meds)? Can you contact the doc who was previously treating and released you from treatment to write an evaluation and recommendation?

Is there any CRIMINAL HISTORY - ESPECIALLY associated with whatever got you committed? Was it a short-term (Baker Act here in FL) - where you get a 72 hour hold, if you are deemed a threat to yourself or others (which can happen WITHOUT COURT ORDER in many jurisdictions). Or long term (which typically must be ordered by the court)?

Having not been behind the wheel for so long - you are going to have to be RE-TRAINED. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND AGAINST going to a private school - as you may be "spinning your wheels" (sorry), by getting a CDL and not being able to find a hire.

The BEST BET IS TO APPLY EVERYWHERE that does training in-house - that way, if you make it past Orientation and the Medical Examiner, you are pretty much assured of a hire (assuming you get through training and pass your CDL tests).

You are going to have to answer YES to questions 14 & 27 on the FMCSA DOT MEDICAL FORM, and they REQUIRE AN EXPLANATION. This is where past and present documentation from a PSYCHIATRIST comes in handy (or actually is going to be required). GO WITH THIS IN HAND - so you don't get SENT HOME TO GET IT (forewarned is FOREARMED).

It is at the DISCRETION OF WHATEVER MEDICAL EXAMINER YOU SEE - whether or not they issue a medical card. Having psych evals IN HAND will resolve any questions ON THE SPOT (pretty much).

ADA regs, when it comes to employment, leave employers open to being sued for discrimination - which is why, outside of "prohibited meds" on FMCSA regs, they WILL NOT TELL YOU AHEAD OF TIME, which meds they don't allow. Good thing you aren't on any meds - this is a plus on your side. Likewise, a clean bill of mental health from a psychIATRIST (not psychologist), should (SHOULD) preclude being turned down - BUT - (big BUT), it might happen ANYWAYS (and they will give you a reason OTHER THAN your history to preclude being sued).

All things being equal - if your criminal & driving records are clear, your diagnosis was for something that isn't (typically ) recurring, and you didn't go on a killing spree and use mental incapacity as a defense (criminal records) - you have a decent shot at a hire.

1 - DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT 2 - You're going to have to come in as a newbie and be trained. 3 - Don't go to a private CDL Mill - go COMPANY so you have a hire and don't blow $$ on a useless piece of plastic.

Please LET US KNOW HOW YOU DO - WHERE YOU END UP GETTING HIRED. This will help us assist other members when the question comes up in the future. This forum is a VAST REPOSITORY of user contributed information, that we use to help and advise others. Getting advice and NOT SHARING THE RESULTS DOES NOT HELP OTHERS...

Rick

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar
NOW THIS type of response is why prospective (and experienced) come to this website. Excellent!

Thanks Don - Rickipedia at your service...

Rick

August D.'s Comment
member avatar

Wow, thanks Rick for the in-depth response. I was Baker-Acted bit not committed, only observed for just over 48 hours. The commitment in question was a result which was associated with a Federal Criminal Charge. However, I didn't use any a diagnosis as a defense. The case didn't reach that point of decision. One felony is almost 8 years past indictment date. I did receive a DOT Physical card. I get what you say about private school but being a Veteran, there's an education grant which only covers the Self-pace school. According to DMV , your right about receiving a CDL with a commitment but it would be difficult if the commitment was within 2yrs as that's the way the question is posed at DMV. Mine is over 11 yrs about. I really appreciate your information, I assume the company I worked for before didn't mind the issues. Maybe that will still be the case.

Hello. I've been doing research regarding employment in the trucking industry under a tag of having been declared mentally ill. Although I was once a CDL holder and driver for a short time, I still have a question. I'm aware of the DOT Physical standards regarding any medication for mental illness; however, if

I was committed to a hospital would that now disqualify me? I would imagine the company I drove for performed a background check. Therefore, have any laws changed since 2013? I have found information but it's conflicting/contradictory. I haven't found anything on a federal note, although states may have statutes. The point is, I was released years ago and don't require meds.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar
Wow, thanks Rick for the in-depth response. I was Baker-Acted bit not committed, only observed for just over 48 hours. The commitment in question was a result which was associated with a Federal Criminal Charge. However, I didn't use any a diagnosis as a defense. The case didn't reach that point of decision. One felony is almost 8 years past indictment date. I did receive a DOT Physical card. I get what you say about private school but being a Veteran, there's an education grant which only covers the Self-pace school. According to DMV , your right about receiving a CDL with a commitment but it would be difficult if the commitment was within 2yrs as that's the way the question is posed at DMV. Mine is over 11 yrs about. I really appreciate your information, I assume the company I worked for before didn't mind the issues. Maybe that will still be the case.

So I assume they nolle prosequi (declined to prosecute), or was there a deal and a nolo contendere (no contest) plea and probation? Typically, federal prosecutions come with a conviction, even if you make a deal (unless you go cooperating witness - and even then, I have friends who testified and still did some time and got a conviction on their records - phone room scam stuff).

Yeah - I work both sides of the street - work for lawyers, and have friends that get caught doing shady stuff. I'm an "objective observer", so I watch, take all of it in - and learn.

Some of how companies may look at you - depends on the severity of charge (especially a the federal level) and whether or not you got a conviction out of it.

The commitment, if it was not court ordered, usually won't come up on a BG check - but you also have to be careful about lying on federal forms (like the DOT Med Form), because just when you think you're off their radar - knock knock knock.

Any company you go to - is going to do their own DOT Physical - so you are going to have to go through that again.

Out of curiosity - did you document your hospital stay for the Doc that did your physical? Or did he just say "OK" and move past that? Company ME's are likely to be a little more inquisitive, so do back yourself up with documentation.

As far as schools go - I get it - but keep in mind - going to a private school DOES NOT GUARANTEE YOU A JOB. Their job is TO GET YOU A CDL - NOT GET YOU A JOB (regardless of how well they sell you on their "placement record") - which is why we typically (ALWAYS) recommend doing COMPANY BASED TRAINING. If you get past orientation (and your medical exam), and complete training - YOU ARE ALREADY HIRED. In fact - you are hired the moment you get in the truck with your CDL Permit. So getting past the BG check, medical exam and CDL testing - means YOU'RE IN. Versus going to a private school, getting the shiny new piece of plastic - and then NOT being able to get a hire (for whatever reason).

Even with a new CDL - you STILL have to get additional training (as a "recent grad") and you pretty much have to get a HIRE somewhere. Most companies want to see "recent grads", within 30-60 days of graduation. So if you go the CDL School route - start APPLYING EVERYWHERE.

Company training is FREE - in that, you make a commitment (not that kind of commitment - sorry, couldn't help myself) to work for a period of time (usually a year, or some period of miles) to "work off" the expense of your training. Most (if not ALL) companies can also leverage veterans benefits to offset the cost of training also, so you might want to look into that also.

Again - the only thing you get from a PRIVATE CDL SCHOOL - IS A CDL. We've heard of many people that GOT their CDL's that way - and couldn't get a hire (for whatever reason). Not saying that would happen in your case - but with the "weirdness of your past" thrown in...

And - before I forget - THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE.

Rick

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
August D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Rick.

Thanks for your input but your two little digs at me are uncalled for in totality. Your assistance could be considered useful if it weren't for the snide comments. I hope you consider seeking professional help regarding kindness. Surely though, remarks like you make must give you a sense a superiority, so, good for maintaining your level of pride necessary to survive, unless of course you can justify your remarks any other way?

Don's Comment
member avatar

"Snide comments"? What on Earth are you referring to?!! Rick goes out of his way to provide you with EXCELLENT advise and you throw shade at him for a perceived slight? Unfreakin'believable!

Hello Rick.

Thanks for your input but your two little digs at me are uncalled for in totality. Your assistance could be considered useful if it weren't for the snide comments. I hope you consider seeking professional help regarding kindness. Surely though, remarks like you make must give you a sense a superiority, so, good for maintaining your level of pride necessary to survive, unless of course you can justify your remarks any other way?

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I'm in agreement with Don. I read Rick's response twice. Maybe there is something I don't understand about mental illness, but I couldn't find any way that he had tried to stick it to you with any kind of snide remarks. I approved your comment hoping Rick would respond, and I am sure he will eventually. He's got plenty to do beside checking in on us as he can. He's one of our well respected members, and has been for a decade or more. You won't find many trucking forums that can provide you with the kind of advice he gives freely.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

I'm thinking it was the ambiguity of ONE word. How many times do we see THAT in trucking ?!?!? Doesn't need repeating.

Here's an example: "I DELIVERED MY LOAD TO A GUY AT SAPA WEARING A PINK SHIRT" (Sorry, O/S ...) who had the pink shirt on?!? Ambiguity. The GUY had the pink shirt on..the receiver. How would one know? I mean, crap . . . even LOAD has many meanings, tbh!

August D., I have a nephew Dx'd with a serious mental illness. You aren't him, nowhere close. He tried to get his CDL , but I knew before hand, there was no way. YOU HAD A ONE TIME EVENT way in the past! Heck, in the 80's I might have been Baked Acted when my mom died; I don't recall. It's SOOOO far behind you.. .and it's a NON worry, if you'll carry on, IMHO.

Rick HELPED you in so many ways, and by following his advice, you seem to be good to carry on with your future. An attorney would charge $150/minimum for some of Rick's POSTS on here, jsyk.

Yes, he can be MY nemesis at times. Truth is; he's right.. I wasn't.

I seriously hope you succeed; and I wish you well. Contacts in my bio, btw.

Don't become the evanescence of a thread you've begun, that will help MANY MANY MANY people looking into this profession, in the future.

~ Anne ~

good-luck.gif confused.gif good-luck.gif

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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