DOT Physical

If you’re a bus or truck driver, you’ve most likely heard of the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical. Required to ensure the public’s safety and your safety, this check-up verifies employees are in the best of health to work safely. Here’s everything you need to know about the DOT physical. 


Who Needs a DOT Physical? 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates a DOT physical for everyone applying for a commercial vehicle driver’s license. This includes people who operate:

  • Vehicles that carry more than 15 people or more than eight people if the driver is paid
  • Vehicles that transport hazardous material and have a placard
  • Vehicles that have a gross combination weight of 10,001 pounds or more


What Does a DOT Physical Consist Of?

All DOT physicals must be completed by a medical examiner licensed by the FMCSA. In the first part of the physical, you will need to fill out a medical examination form with your detailed medical history. This form can also be filled before the appointment to save time. 

For the medical checkup, your doctor will test:

  • Hearing
  • Vision
  • Blood pressure
  • Urinalysis (drug testing)
  • External and internal health including, but not limited to: motor skills, lungs, neurological reflexes, heart conditions, sleep apnea, and limb impairments. 


What to Bring to a DOT Physical

Before you come to your physical, bring a complete list of all medications with dosage amounts and the prescribing doctors’ names and addresses. If you’re a driver with medical issues, you’ll have to bring documentation from your physician. Below are a few examples:

Drivers With Vision or Hearing Problems:

  • Bring contact lenses, glasses, or any device you normally use to see
  • Hearing aids

 Drivers With Heart Issues, Brain Tumors, or Previous History of Strokes:

  • A detailed history of your health and a letter that designates you as safe to work from your cardiologist or neurologist.
  • For heart issues, results from a recent stress test or cardiogram test

Drivers With Permanent Limb Loss:

  • A Skilled Performance Examination (SPE) 
  • An overview from your doctor about any work restrictions of the injury
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