Our Most Frequently Asked Questions
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What’s Involved in a DOT Physical?
The DOT physical exam is considered a “Fitness for Duty” exam for the demands of the job required of any commercial driver, not just the driver’s current job duties. The examiner’s role is to determine if a CMV driver’s health meets FMCSA standards.
The examining doctor has these two questions foremost in mind when conducting the physical exam:
- Can the driver safely meet the physical and mental demands of the job today and for the period for which the health card will be issued?
- Does the driver have any past or current health conditions which may impact the ability to meet the demands of the job now or in the future?
The DOT physical is an extensive health examination to determine if you are qualified to safely operate a commercial vehicle. The best way to understand the DOT Physical Examination is to relate the medical requirements to the demands of your job as a commercial driver.
What would cause me to fail a DOT physical?
Any condition that would cause a loss of ability to control, operate, or drive a commercial vehicle safely – loss or impairment of limbs, poor visual or auditory acuity, uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, respiratory dysfunction, epilepsy, mental disorder, use of certain drugs, alcoholism.
Can I get a copy of my DOT physical form?
Yes. As well as receiving your health certificate, you should also get a copy of the long form (Medical Examination Long Form). The Physician is required to keep a copy of these documents for three years. If you need a copy, you should contact the medical examiner. Contact information is on your health card.
How long is the DOT medical card good for?
A DOT health card is valid for two years if you have no restrictions. A history of high blood pressure, taking high blood pressure medications, a sleep disorder, and taking oral medications for diabetes can restrict the medical card to one year or less, depending on how frequently the condition needs monitoring, as well as other health conditions.
How do overweight truck drivers pass the DOT physical?
Being overweight is not a restriction to passing the DOT physical exam. It is the medical conditions that being overweight can eventually lead to, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney disease, that may affect your ability to safely drive a commercial vehicle. That is what the DOT Physical exam will determine – whether you have any of these restrictive medical conditions. Getting healthy and staying healthy is your best guarantee for your life and your livelihood.