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DOT Physical Exam

What is a DOT Physical Exam?

If you’re a skilled bus or truck driver, you understand how demanding your work may be. You will undoubtedly be required to get a DOT or Department of Transportation physical test to safeguard your and the public’s safety.

The FMCSA requires commercial vehicle drivers to have a DOT physical test. This exam ensures that you can satisfy the physical demands of your employment. This includes the ability to withstand the health hazards associated with prolonged sitting.

You need to know if you’ve been advised you need a DOT physical.

Who Needs a DOT Physical?

A DOT physical is required if you:

  • Drive a vehicle that can transport more than 15 passengers.
  • Are compensated for driving a vehicle that can transport more than eight persons.
  • Carry hazardous items in your vehicle that necessitates the use of a placard.
  • Over 10,000 lbs gross combination weight rating, more than 10,000 lbs gross vehicle weight rating, over 10,000 lbs gross combination weight.

What Does a DOT Physical Consist of?

Your DOT physical will be performed by a healthcare physician who will ask you extensive questions about your medical history, including:

  • If you’ve ever undergone surgery
  • Any drugs you are taking, including prescription and over-the-counter
  • If you’ve ever experienced any health issues
  • If you use cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, or illegal substances
  • If you’ve previously failed a drug test
  • If you’ve ever been addicted to an intoxicating substances
  • Any current symptoms you’re experiencing.


You will have tests checking your:

  • Vision Test.
  • Hearing Test.
  • Blood Pressure.
  • Pulse Rate Check
  • Urinalysis and Drug Test. To check for protein, sugar, specific gravity, and blood.
  • Physical Examination
    • Height
    • Skin
    • Back and spine
    • General appearance
    • The nervous system, including your reflexes
    • Ears
    • Lungs and chest
    • Abdomen
    • Weight
    • Mouth and throat
    • Extremities and joints
    • Gait. How you walk.
    • Genital and urinary system (hernias)
    • Blood pressure
    • Circulatory system. Your arteries, veins, and lymphatic system.


If you have obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder where you stop breathing periodically during sleep, you may need a sleep apnea test. There are several symptoms associated with sleep apnea, including:

  • Snoring excessively
  • During sleep, you’re gasping for air.
  • Morning dry mouth or aching throat
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Sleepiness during the day


In addition, your doctor may ask you if you need vaccinations. These can include:

  • Influenza
  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Polio
  • Typhoid


What are the DOT Physical Exam Requirements?

All drivers and candidates should consider the following before taking the Department of Transportation physical examination:

  • The drivers must see clearly or have a vision of 20/40, using corrective vision aids if necessary.
  • In both eyes, the drivers should have a vision of 70 degrees or more.
  • Drivers need to be able to hear a forced whisper within 5 feet, but they should not be wearing any hearing aids.
  • Drivers are required to pass an audiometer assessment.
  • The drivers ought not to have a history of hypertension or hypotension. Blood pressure should be between 140 and 90.


Those who complete the prerequisites and pass the exam are issued a 24-month DOT certificate. If you must take this test, keep the following in mind:

  • To save time, fill out the Medical Examination Report before your appointment.
  • Make a detailed note of all the drugs you are taking.
  • Insurance does not cover this Medical Exam.


DOT Physical Exam Forms

DOT physicals are available in a variety of formats. These forms are accessible online for drivers and employers to review before a visit. They are as follows:

  • Medical Examination Report (MER) Form, MCSA-5875
  • Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC), Form MCSA-5876
  • Insulin-treated Diabetes Mellitus Assessment, MCSA-5870


How Can You Prepare for a DOT Physical?

  • Ensure your meds are up to date and that you take them regularly as directed.
  • Have your eyes tested and your prescription adjusted if you wear contact lenses or glasses.
  • Avoid binge drinking.
  • Do not abuse drugs.
  • Avoid salty snacks and other meals that raise blood pressure.
  • Sugary sweets and other items that raise blood glucose levels should be avoided.
  • If you smoke or use vape, you should think about quitting.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Exercise more frequently and eat a nutritious diet.


What Do You Need to Bring to DOP Physicals?

You need to bring the following:

  • Provide your most recent test results if you have diabetes or a related disease.
  • Your prescription glasses, contact lenses, or hearing assistive devices.
  • A list of any prescription medications you are taking, including the dose
  • A list containing the names and addresses of all of your physicians
  • If you have diabetes, keep a written record of your blood sugar tests and your most current Hgb A1C.
  • If you suffer from sleep apnea, a CPAP machine record demonstrating correct use for at least 90 days is required.
  • If you have heart problems, you will need a letter from your cardiologist certifying that you are safe to drive and a DOT physical.
  • If you’ve recently undergone cardiac testing, please provide the findings.
  • If you’ve experienced a stroke, a brain tumor, a seizure problem, or a brain hemorrhage, you’ll need a letter from your neurologist.
  • A letter and medical documents from your doctor if you take any sleep-inducing medications or restricted drugs.
  • If you’ve suffered from the permanent use of an arm or leg, a note from your doctor detailing any job limitations is required.
  • If you’re using the blood thinner Coumadin, you’ll need a letter from your doctor and a current blood level and clearance test.


How to Pass a DOT Physical?

Here are some suggestions for passing your physical:

  • Eat and drink as healthily as possible one week before your exam. Caffeine, salt, sugar, and junk food are reduced or eliminated. It will bring your blood pressure back into equilibrium.
  • Take all your pills on time since errors in utilizing prescribed drugs may result in false results during the exam.
  • If you wear corrective lenses or glasses to enhance your vision, ensure your medication is up to date and bring your corrective lenses to your physical exam.


What Causes Drivers to Fail Your DOT Physical?

Some factors disqualify drivers and prevent them from taking the DOT physical exam:

  • The driver has a history of alcohol and sedative drug abuse.
  • The driver goes through a therapy regimen that includes prescription medications.
  • The driver has seizures.
  • The driver has physical limitations.


What Happens If You Fail DOT Physical?

If you fail the exam, you are not immediately barred from becoming a driver. Discuss your disqualifying condition with your doctor. If therapy improves it, make a strategy to address it and try again.

Driver exemption programs are available through the FMCSA for those with diabetes, impaired eyesight or hearing, or other impairments. Your doctor or physician can advise you on whether you are eligible for these programs.


What Happens After the DOT Physical?

Assume the medical examiner verifies that the driver is qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In that instance, they must submit a copy of the results and the Medical Examiner’s Certificate. The ME will also electronically transmit their medical report to the DOT, which will be included in the CDLIS.

Imagine a driver whose medical certification is about to expire, but they do not have time to update it with SDLA. As a result, CDLIS will notify them that their CMV driving certification has lapsed, and their licenses will be downgraded to “non-CDL.” A DOT medical card verifies that they passed the DOT physical test.

If a motor vehicle driver cannot fulfill the standards for the DOT physical’s Vision, Diabetes, or Physical Impairment section, they might be qualified for a driver exemption.


What is a DOT card?

If you pass this test and complete all the conditions, trained medical examiners will award you a DOT medical card valid for a set length of time. You will lose your CDL if you do not have this card.


What Conditions Disqualify You From Getting a DOT Card?

Conditions that impede your ability to drive properly may preclude you from passing a DOT physical. For example, something that impairs your hearing or eyesight might lead to an accident. You may also be unsafe to drive if you suffer from a condition that causes you to faint or be dizzy. Among these conditions are the following:

  • Heart problems that are uncontrolled or unstable
  • Seizure disorders or epilepsy
  • Meniere’s illness is a dizziness-causing inner ear ailment.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Uncorrectable vision impairment
  • Irreversible hearing loss
  • Marijuana use, even if prescribed.
  • Illegal drug use
  • Utilization of oxygen treatment
  • Some respiratory ailments
  • Protein in urine that may suggest kidney damage


Some of these disorders will be decided by the medical examiner. For specific instances, the FMCSA may grant you an exemption or waiver. If you have a medical condition that is not controlled, you may be disqualified. You may reapply for certification if you can resolve a disqualifying condition.


How Often Should You Do a DOT Exam?

The majority of medical certifications are valid for two years. If you have low or high blood pressure or any other problem that may impair your driving ability, you may be granted a 1-year certificate. In addition, if you have extremely high blood pressure or other curable diseases, you may be eligible for a 3-month certificate. If you progress in that condition after 3 months, you will qualify for a 1- or 2-year certificate.

Unfortunately, some drivers develop a condition (after earning their certificate) that renders it risky to perform their work duties. If this is the case, you must cease driving, address the issue, and then retake your DOT physical to safeguard your and other drivers’ safety.


DOT Physical Exam Drug Test

The DOT examination does not include a drug test. Instead, the urine sample you provide as part of your DOT exam is used to determine your blood sugar levels. Some companies may need a urine sample for a DOT drug test, but the DOT exam will not search for legal or illegal drugs.


How Much Does the DOT Physical Exam Cost?

The DOT Physical exam cost varies based on where you receive it, whether you pay for it yourself, or whether your employer covers part or all of the price. In general, the physical costs are between $85 and $150.


Can You Get a Free DOT Physical?

Many companies pay for their drivers’ DOT Physicals, so if you’re about to move to a new company, ask them if they will cover the costs of your medical exam.


Can You Pass a DOT Exam with High Blood Pressure?

Yes, although you may be granted a 3-month license. Then, of course, if you recover, you will be able to obtain a one-year or two-year certificate.


DOT Physical Exam Near Me in Las Vegas

If you are or wish to be a commercial vehicle driver, you must have a physical DOT (Department of Transportation). A certified medical examiner does this physical exam. It ensures you’re healthy enough to drive a commercial vehicle.

DOT physicals are required every 2 years for most drivers. ProAm is proud to announce that it has started conducting DOT physical exams in Las Vegas. As a result, companies can evaluate their drivers efficiently and professionally at our highly equipped facility to improve their productivity. Please contact us at 800-674-9515 with any questions or to schedule an appointment. You can also make an online appointment.