What to Expect During Your DOT Physical
The Department of Transportation requires some drivers to get regular physicals to make sure they can drive safely. If any of the following apply to you, you must get a DOT physical and carry a DOT medical certificate when you drive a commercial vehicle:
- You are paid to operate a motor vehicle that holds nine to 15 passengers; you drive the vehicle more than 75 miles from where you report to work; you operate this vehicle for interstate commerce purposes
- You operate a motor vehicle with a gross combination weight rating, gross vehicle weight, gross vehicle weight rating, or gross combination weight of at least 10,001 pounds; you operate this vehicle for interstate commerce purposes
- You transport hazardous materials in certain quantities
There are some restrictions for commercial drivers who have certain health problems. If you take injectable insulin for Diabetes, for example, you cannot get a commercial driver’s license. You must have at least 20/40 correctable vision in both eyes. The DOT does allow you to wear contact lenses or glasses to improve your vision. You cannot use narcotics, amphetamines, or other habit-forming drugs if you want to obtain or renew your commercial driver’s license.
Driver Health History
Before meeting with the examiner, you must fill out the DOT physical form. The first section has room for your name, Social Security number, birthdate, driver’s license number, address, and telephone number. The second section asks about your medical history. You must indicate whether you have had any of the following:
- Brain injuries or neurological disorders
- Epilepsy or seizures
- Loss of hearing
- Impaired vision
- Kidney disease
- Digestive problems
- Psychiatric disorders
- Dizziness or fainting
- Missing limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Chronic pain
You should answer each question truthfully, or you could face serious legal consequences in the future.
DOT Physical Exam Procedure
If you want to comply with federal law, a qualified medical examiner must complete your DOT physical form. A qualified examiner may be a doctor, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner or Chiropractor who has been federally certified by the FMSCA. The examiner will review your health history and ask you to list the medications you take on a regular basis. During your DOT physical, the examiner will also do the following:
- Check your pulse and blood pressure
- Perform a vision test
- Observe your general appearance
- Examine eyes ears throat
- Listen to your heart and lungs
- Check for spine deformities
- Perform a neurological exam
- Press on your abdomen to check for abnormalities
- Perform a hernia check
DOT Physical Forms
Once the medical examiner completes all the DOT physical requirements, you will discuss any hazards created by your health history or current medical condition. The examiner must document these hazards on your DOT physical form and determine whether you meet the standards for receiving a medical certificate.
If you meet the standards and do not require periodic medical monitoring, your certificate will be valid for two years. In some cases, the medical examiner will issue a certificate that lasts for only three months, six months, or one year. The examiner will also note whether you must wear a hearing aid or corrective lenses. If you do not meet the standards, the examiner will not be able to issue a valid medical certificate.
DOT Physicals at Your Convenience
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Pass Your DOT Medical Exam! Dr. Tigges knows how important it is that you continue your livelihood as a commercial driver. With his extensive knowledge of the DOT Physical Exam medical guidelines, Dr. Tigges will steer you through the DOT Physical Exam requirements so you can Keep on Truckin’. Having affordable and fast testing is crucial to keep drivers on the road and that’s what we strive to provide our clients.