What Is A DOT Phyical?

What is a DOT Physical you ask? You’re in the right place if you want to know exactly what a DOT Physical is. A DOT Physical is used to determine who is fit to drive on the highways and biways.

What Is A DOT Physical?

A DOT physical, also known as a Department of Transportation physical, is a medical examination that is required by law for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who operate vehicles that transport passengers or hazardous materials across state lines. The purpose of the DOT physical is to ensure that CMV drivers are physically and mentally fit to operate their vehicles safely.

Who Can Perform A DOT Physical?

Only  Providers for the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admin), can perform a DOT Physical, so before you begin your journey make sure the provider you choose is a Certified Medical Examiner.

You can find a list of providers across the United States by clicking on this link https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/search-medical-examiners


What Is The Primary Job Of The Examiner?

You can think of us as “Screeners”.  Just like the Free Blood Pressure monitors at Walmart, they are designed as screening tools to make sure your blood pressure is okay.

Well, we are also a Screening Tool that screens your entire health, to determine if you are safe to drive per FMCSA Guidelines.

Here’s What We Check:

  • We will check your height and weight.
  • We will do a urinalysis (not a drug test), this is looking for Glucose and blood in your urine.
  • Your vision. Must be 20/40 in each eye to pass.
  • Do a color blind test.
  • Your hearing with a Forced Whisper.
  • Your skin, eyes, and ears.
  • Listen to your lungs.
  • Palpate your stomach.
  • Examine your spine.
  • Your extremities, shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles.
  • Your reflexes.
  • Your Gait.
  • Your heart.
We Review Your Medication

We will ask you what diseases you have and when you were diagnosed. (examples: hypertension, diabetes, depression, bipolar, cancer etc)…and determine if any of these will affect your driving.

Review any medication that could make you sleepy.

Review any medication that is a narcotic.

We will make sure you are taking your medication as prescribed.

If an issue is found, it doesn’t mean you Fail, generally you will be given an opportunity to get the issue resolved, so you can continue driving as soon as possible.

What Can Cause Me To Fail?
  • Stage III Hypertension (blood pressure that is greater than 180/110
  • Symptomatic Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
  • Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD)
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • Restrictive Cardiomyopathy
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Seizures
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Narcolepsy
  • Dementia
  • Use of Kratom
  • Use of Methadone
  • CBD Oil Use
  • Medical Marijuana

These are examples, but not an exhaustive list. 

What About Sleep Apnea?

Typically a BMI over 40 with known sleep issues, is grounds for a sleep apnea test.

Each case is assessed individually and based upon your BMI and any Sleep issues you may have.

If you are concerned about Sleep Apnea click here for a deeper discussion on the subject.

How Long Will I Be Certified For?

So, once the provider has finished the exam and reviewed your health with you, here is what to expect.

If you are healthy, with no issues, you will be given a 2 Year Maximum Certification!

All others, are determined on a case by case analysis…(you might get a 3, 6, or 12 month certification).