Are you a commercial driver? If yes, you would understand how rigorous the demands of your job can be. You’ll require a DOT (Department of Transportation) physical checkup to ensure you’re as well as public safety. A DOT physical checkup is mandatory for commercial vehicle drivers under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

This exam helps in making sure you’re able to meet the physical requirements of your job. This test helps to determine if a driver is physically, mentally, and emotionally fit to operate a commercial vehicle. The checkup will include being able to tolerate the health risks posed by sitting for long periods.


Why do you require DOT Physicals?


Commercial drivers are as sensitive about safety as they perform a job that can impact their safety and the public’s safety. If you employee commercial drivers you must comply with federal regulations for DOT physicals.



DOT physical checkup is required to obtain a commercial driver’s license as per Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA).

This checkup is used to determine your overall physical health and ability to safely operate a commercial vehicle. The findings from this checkup ensure that you’re medically qualified to handle the physical demands, emotional stress, and intense schedule of operating commercial vehicles, under all types of conditions.

DOT physicals are essential for drivers who:

  • Transport hazardous materials that require the vehicles to display a hazmat placard
  • You are a pain to operate motor vehicles that carry more than eight people.
  • You operate motor vehicles that carry more than 15 people.
  • You operate motor vehicles that have a gross combination weight rating of over 10,000 pounds.

After passing a DOT physical, you’ll receive a medical certificate. This would allow you to drive a commercial vehicle for 2 years, provided you have no underlying physical or mental condition that requires testing more often.

You have to take DOT physical annually if you have certain medical conditions, such as:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • High blood pressure or hypertension
  • Heart disease

If you have certain medical condition like very high blood pressure, you may be required to take DOT physicals every 3 months along with medical treatment to correct or manage the issue.


DOT Physical Requirements



The health-care provider performing a DOT physical will have you fill out a detailed medical health history.

The detailed health history form requires you to provide information about your health, including:

  • Medications you take regularly.
  • Any surgeries if you’ve had.
  • If you consume alcohol, tobacco, and other substances.
  • Health symptoms or medical conditions.


How to Get a DOT Physical?



At the DOT physical center the health-care provider will perform a complete physical examination tests that include:



A urinalysis provides information about blood sugar level and other health indicators. This test is also helpful in determining the intake of drug. The physical examination involves drawing your blood drawn and undergo other in-office tests, such as an electrocardiogram. The urinalysis test check for protein, blood, sugar, and specific gravity along with other medical problems.

The DOT physical checkup will determine if you’re healthy enough to drive a commercial vehicle safely. The DOT physicals will determine other details such as:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Skin
  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Mouth and throat
  • Heart
  • Lungs and chest
  • Abdomen
  • Back and spine
  • Genital and urinary system, including hernias
  • Extremities and joints
  • Nervous system, including your reflexes
  • Gait or poor posture
  • Circulatory system, which is your arteries, veins, and lymphatic system

The examiner would also require details about your vaccinations at your exam. These can include:

  • Hepatitis A (Hep A)
  • Hepatitis B (Hep B)
  • Polio/ Tetanus/ Typhoid
  • Influenza (Flu)


Physical Examination under Doctors


Along with DOT Physical test you are also required to get assessed for sleep apnea, if you have symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder where you periodically stop breathing while sleeping with symptoms such as:

  • Heavy snoring
  • Gasping for breath during sleep
  • Dry mouth or sore throat in the morning
  • Morning headaches
  • Daytime sleepiness

Once you pass the DOT physical you get the certification to be behind the wheel of the commercial vehicle. This certification lasts between 3 months to 2 years depending upon the health of the driver. This will also certify the possibility of not passing DOT Physical due to the health conditions holding back the drivers from being at peak performance.



As per the guidelines from the U.S. Department of transportation DOT Physicals can only be performed by health care professionals who are certified by the FMCSA. The licensed medical examiners may be:

  • Medical doctor (MD)
  • Osteopathic doctor (DO)
  • Chiropractor (DC)
  • Physician assistant (PA)
  • Advanced practice registered nurse (APRN)


You can use the National registry search tool provided by FMCSA as not all licensed medical professionals are certified to give DOT exams.



Initially, you are required to fill out a medical examination report form either during or before your physical. Along with the form other health-related documents you need to bring to a DOT physical include:

  • Your medical records, if your regular doctor or specialist is not the one giving you the exam.
  • Your medical records from any specialists you see, mainly if you’re being treated for a condition such as obstructive sleep apnea.
  • You’re most recent laboratory results report for conditions like diabetes mellitus.
  • Any auditory or visual aids like prescription glasses, hearing aids that you need while driving.
  • A list of all the prescription medications you take, including dosage and timing.
    Some conditions might disqualify, but they can be managed if you’re under a medical professional’s close care along with a certificate from them.

Certain medical conditions may disqualify you completely, such as:

  • Poor vision that is not correctable
  • Deafness
  • Narcolepsy
  • Poorly managed diabetes mellitus
  • Epilepsy
  • Poorly managed heart or lung disease


What are required for DOT Physical?



You are required to take DOT physical checkup if you are or wish to be a commercial vehicle driver. DOT physical exam is carried out by a certified medical examiner, who would determine you’re healthy enough to drive a commercial vehicle.

You are required to take DOT physicals every 2 years (for most drivers).But, if you have a health condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, you may be required to take a DOT physical annually instead of every 2 years.


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If you or anyone you know who require DOT physical, our expert providers at Zenith Injury Relief & Wellness Clinic will take care of your health and help you recover.

Call us on 972-210-0033 to book an appointment with our specialists, and begin living your life pain-free.



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