Yes, lying on your DOT physical could actually lead to you ending up in jail. So, don’t do it.
When you fill out your medical examination form MCSA-5875 the questions ask you “Do you have or have you ever had?” certain medical problems or conditions. It may seem like a harmless omission to leave off certain medications or ignore certain conditions you may have been diagnosed with in the past. But…If you are caught, the CME will likely disqualify you medically. If it is egregious enough, the CME may contact FMCSA. Along with disqualifying you medically, you may be fined and even barred from driving a CMV. This is something the FMCSA take very seriously.
The FMCSA clearly states:
“The FMCSA medical certification process is designed to ensure drivers are physically qualified to operate commercial vehicles safely. Each driver is required to complete the Health History section on the first page of the examination report and certify that the responses are complete and true. The driver must also certify that he/she understands that inaccurate, false or misleading information may invalidate the examination and medical examiner’s certificate.
FMCSA relies on the medical examiner’s clinical judgment to decide whether additional information should be obtained from the driver’s treating physician. Deliberate omission or falsification of information may invalidate the examination and any certificate issued based on it. A civil penalty may also be levied against the driver under 49 U.S.C. 521(b)(2)(b), either for making a false statement of for concealing a disqualifying condition.”
In addition to what is clearly stated by the federal government, general legal principles apply. As a truck driver, you owe it to the public to refrain from driving if you cannot do so safely. As soon as an accident occurs, lawyers will be combing through your medical records. In 2015, a driver was involved in a fatal crash in Minnesota. He had denied his diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea to his medical examiner on multiple occasions. His lying to medical examiners contributed heavily to his ultimate sentence of 3 years in prison. Courts have ruled that If they can prove that you had a medical condition contributing to an accident that was not documented in your DOT physical you will be held criminally responsible. It is not worth it to lie or omit facts on your DOT physical. Just don’t do it!