DOT MEDICAL EXAMS
A DOT physical is a health examination mandated by the FMCSA for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. A DOT physical helps determine if a driver is physically, mentally, and emotionally fit to operate a CMV.
If you are a commercial driver, you are a “safety-sensitive” employee. And for your safety and the public’s safety, FMCSA requires you to complete and pass a DOT physical to maintain a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL).
You are required to complete and pass a DOT physical if you:
- Operate a motor vehicle for interstate commerce with a gross combination weight rating, gross vehicle weight rating, or gross combination weight of over 10,000 pounds
- Operate a motor vehicle designed to carry more than 15 people
- Are paid to operate a motor vehicle designed to carry more than eight people
- Transport hazardous materials that required your vehicle to be placarded
The Department of Transportation sets the DOT physical requirements that a CMV driver must meet to pass their DOT exam – we are legally required to follow these criteria when performing the physical.
The FMCSA only allows certified medical examiners to perform DOT physicals. We undergo extensive training and are certified by the FMCSA to perform DOT physicals.
During a DOT physical, we will check your vital signs, review your medical history, and perform a required hands-on physical examination that includes (but is not limited to):
- General appearance
- Mouth and throat
- Lungs and chest
- Nervous system
- Back and spine
We will issue you a medical examiner’s certificate (MEC) – also called a DOT medical card – when you meet the DOT physical requirements. Without a valid DOT medical card, you can lose your CDL.
As of 2023, CMV drivers with insulin treated diabetes mellitus (type 1 or type 2) and/or monocular vision must meet updated standards to be certified. Forms for these exemptions must be completed at least 45 days before the DOT exam is performed.
Yes. Make sure to bring:
- A valid form of ID so that we can verify your identity
- A complete list of all of your medications, including doses and your doctors' names and addresses if you are not an existing patient.
- You should also complete page one of the exam (driver's portion)
If you have any specific medical conditions, refer to the following list;
Drivers who require eyeglasses, contact lenses, or hearing aids:
- Bring your glasses, contacts, or hearing aids
- You will be required to pass a vision and hearing test
Drivers who have diabetes
- Your blood sugar should be controlled
- Bring the most recent results of a lab test called a Hemoglobin A1C (HgAIC) and your blood sugar logs or other records related to your diabetes
Drivers who have nighttime sleep disturbance (sleep apnea) and use a CPAP machine:
- Bring a reading from your machine documenting your proper use of the machine; a letter from your sleep specialist may also be required
- Bring at least 90 days of data, but data from the past year is best Drivers who have heart-related issues, (including the use of stent, valve replacement, pacemaker, open-heart surgery, cardiac bypass surgery, or heart attack)
- At minimum, bring a letter from your cardiologist (heart specialist) that outlines your medical history and current medications and indicates you are safe to drive a DOT vehicle
- You may also need to bring the results of a recent stress test, ECHO cardiogram, or other testing completed within the past 1-2 years
Drivers who have suffered a stroke, a brain tumor, seizure disorder, or bleeding in the brain:
- Bring a letter from your neurologist (brain and nerve specialist) that outlines your medical history, current medications, and current neurologic and psychiatric state
Drivers who have experienced the permanent loss of use in an arm or a leg:
- Bring an overview from your physician of the injury and if you have any work restrictions due to the injury
- You may need a Skilled Performance Examination in order to qualify for your DOT card
Drivers who are taking any medications that may cause sedation or sleepiness or controlled substances (includes narcotics, sleeping pills, anxiety medication, ADHD medication):
- You will most likely need a note and medical records from your treating physician (if it is not us) regarding the safety of driving a DOT vehicle while using these medications
Drivers who are taking the blood thinner Coumadin (Warfarin):
- Bring a recent INR (blood level and clearance) letter from your doctor if you are not an existing patient of ours