What is the DOT Physical?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets regulations for the safe operation of commercial vehicles. There are specific regulations and assessments regarding drivers’ general health, as well as their mental and emotional fitness for the demands of commercial driving.
What is covered in a DOT Physical Exam?
If you’re a commercial driver, you will need to have a Department of Transportation physical. The physical is mandated by federal law and clears you to drive commercial vehicles. The physical also ensures that you can endure the long hours, exhausting schedules, and stress of operating commercial vehicles.
Do I need a DOT Physical?
Yes, if you:
- Plan to drive a vehicle that can carry more than fifteen people
- Will be paid to drive a vehicle that can carry more than eight people
- Plan to drive a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight or weight rating (or gross combination weight or weight rating) of over 10,000 pounds
- Plan to drive hazardous materials in a vehicle that is required to be placarded
What happens in the exam?
Before the appointment, you will be required to complete a Medical Examination Report Form. The form notifies examiners of any prior or current health conditions. These conditions may include numerous diseases, disorders, or afflictions. Be honest when completing this form. Otherwise, you could have your certificate revoked.
Your physician will review this form and ask you some additional questions. The doctor will also check your lungs, heart, digestive tract, and coordination skills. Some basic tests include blood pressure, vision, hearing, and urinalysis (for glucose levels and drug screen).
How long is the exam?
The examination lasts about 45 minutes.
How often do I need an exam?
Medical certificates are usually valid for two years. However, if you have blood pressure issues or certain other conditions that may inhibit your ability to drive, you may only receive a one year certificate or even shorter, depending on the level of severity.
Unfortunately, you must stop driving if you begin suffering from any condition that makes it unsafe for you to be on the road. If this happens, you must have your condition treated, and then retake your DOT physical.
What happens if I fail the exam?
If you fail the examination, talk with your physician about your disqualifying condition. If treatment is possible, discuss with your physician when you would be able to retake the exam.
What Should I Expect After My DOT Physical Exam?
Upon passing your DOT Medical Examination, you’ll receive a certificate of good health, which the FMCSA requires to be carried by all commercial drivers.
Only medical professionals on the FMCSA National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners list can issue a certificate. Listed examiners on the registry have had proper training in FMCSA regulations. They will determine if you’re healthy enough to drive commercial vehicles safely.
For all questions and concerns regarding your DOT CDL Physical Examination, please contact Charschan Chiropractic and Sports Injury Consultants.
Please contact us at either of our two locations, North Brunswick or Scotch Plains
Chiropractic Office in North Brunswick
490 Georges Rd.
North Brunswick, NJ 08902
Chiropractic Office in Scotch Plains
1281 Raritan Rd.
Scotch Plains, NJ 07076