DOT Physicals

Driving a commercial vehicle that is carrying hazardous materials, a heavy load or many passengers can be a physically and emotionally challenging job. That’s why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires a specific type of physical examination. The Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam is a wellness check to ensure you can perform the duties of your job.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) wants to make sure that you are in top shape to operate a commercial vehicle. After all, it’s not just your safety that’s at stake, but the safety of other drivers on the road as well.

In this blog, we walk through what a Department of Transportation exam includes, who conducts the DOT medical exam, what conditions may require additional exams, like high blood pressure, and what happens if you fail your DOT physical.

What is the DOT physical exam?

The DOT physical includes several different components. A provider with a medical examiner’s certificate will ask detailed questions about your personal and family medical history. Typically, this information is gathered with a detailed questionnaire, which you may be able to complete prior to your appointment.

During your DOT physical, your medical examiner will check your:
· Hearing
· Vision
· Blood pressure
· Lungs
· Heart
· Reflexes
· Mental health

You will also be required to provide a urine sample. This measures your blood sugar level. (Higher blood sugar levels may indicate you have diabetes or are at-risk of developing diabetes.) DOT drug testing will also be done during your physical.

Sometimes, you may also need to have blood drawn or complete an electrocardiogram to check heart function.

Typically, you only need a DOT physical every two years.

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Who Does DOT Physicals?

Certified medical examiners are the only health care professionals who are able to perform DOT physical exams. They must pass a test in order to receive a medical examiner’s certificate from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Commercial drivers can check the national registry to ensure their provider is certified.

What Can Cause You to Fail a DOT Physical?

If you have a chronic health condition, like high blood pressure or diabetes, you may need regular exams. Your DOT medical examiner will discuss what your treatment plan should include.

You may fail based on your DOT drug testing results. If you fail your DOT physical exam, talk to your provider about why you failed. It may have been an error in drug testing, or a condition that requires additional follow up care. 

Local DOT Physicals

Perfect Health offers DOT physical exams at each of our locations. See a medical examiner who has the experience, understanding and certifications to conduct your DOT exam. Find the one nearest you.
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