All you to need to know about DOT CDL Physicals

A Department of Transportation physical examination or a DOT CDL physical must be conducted by a licensed “medical examiner” listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) National Registry. The department requires drivers to get regular physicals to make sure they can drive safely when transporting goods. As a driver you are required to get a DOT physical and carry a DOT medical certificate when driving a commercial vehicle. The physical is a requirement based off the stress and  focus needed to be able to drive such long and late hours while completing a job. Cases that require a DOT physical can apply if you are paid to operate a motor vehicle that holds nine to fifteen passengers, you drive the vehicle more than 75 miles from where you report to work, or you operate the vehicle for interstate commerce purposes. Another case that would be a requirement for a DOT physical  would be an instance if the driver operates a motor vehicle with a gross combination weight rating, gross vehicle weight rating, or gross combination weight of at least 10,001 pounds. A final requirement that would apply for a DOT physical would be if the driver transports hazardous materials in certain quantities.


The actual DOT physical procedure as stated before must be completed by a qualified medical examiner which could be a doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner. The examiner will first start the examination by reviewing the health history of the patient and require all medications to be documented that are taken on a regular basis, which must be complied with in order for a full evaluation before the procedure. During the DOT physical the examiner will perform various tests to provide a full report on the overall physical attributes of the patient. Some tests involve the doctor checking pulse and blood pressure rates, performing a basic vision test, observing the general appearance and examining eyes, throat, mouth, and ears. These tests can all be filed under basic testing for the initial evaluation of the patient. Some more complex testing involved with the DOT physical are listening to the heart and lungs for any complications, checking for spine deformities, performing a neurological exam, pressing on the abdomen area for any potential abnormalities, and conducting a hernia check.



General information regarding a DOT physical is that a DOT physical exam is only valid for up to 24 months, but can also be less than 24 months in some cases due to a medical condition such as high blood pressure that  will be determined by the medical examiner. In the case that a medical examiner finds the person being examined as physically qualified to drive a commercial motor physical, the medical examiner will furnish one copy of the results to the person who was examined and complete a Medical Examiner’s Certificate. It is not a requirement to have medical insurance for a DOT physical, however you are responsible for the payment of the exam at the time of service. Some insurance companies treat this exam as preventive health care and will not reimburse for it.


If you need a Dot Physical today, call ER ExpressCare to schedule your DOT examination. We accept all major insurances. Call us at: (201) 477-5664


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