DOT Physicals

We do not do Drug Screening at our facility | Cost: $250

What is a DOT Physical?

A Department of Transportation (DOT) physical is a health examination mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCA) for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. A DOT physical helps determine if a driver is physically, mentally, and emotionally fit to operate a commercial vehicle. Commercial drivers are safety-sensitive employees; they perform a job that can impact their own safety and public safety. Employers of commercial drivers must comply with federal regulations for DOT physicals.

What happens during a DOT Physical?

The DOT physical will include a healthy history review of the driver by a certified medical examiner (CME). The CME will also check the driver's vital signs and perform a thorough examination, evaluating a number of health-related categories, such as:

  • General appearance

  • Extremities

  • Lungs and chest

  • Heart

  • Eyes and ears

  • Mouth and throat

  • Nervous System

  • Back and Spine

Upon exam completion, the CME will report the results to the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME). Certified drivers will receive a copy of the medical examiner's certificate (MEC), or DOT medical card.

What Employers should know:

  • Only a CME can administer a DOT physical.

  • A DOT physical is required when a driver operates a CMV across state lines (i.e., interstate driving).

  • Employers of intrastate drivers (i.e., drivers who stay within one state) are subject to the physical qualification regulations of that specific state.

  • Dr. Turk is certified to give DOT physicals at her practice.

What to Bring to a DOT Physical

Commercial drivers need to bring a complete list of their medications, including the dosage regimen, dosages, and their doctors' names and addresses. To save time, it's also recommended that drivers fill out the health history questionnaire before coming to the clinic. To make sure the exam runs as smoothly as possible, drivers with certain medical issues need to bring the appropriate documents or items. For example.

  • Drivers with vision or hearing problems must bring their eyeglasses, contacts, or hearing aids.

  • Drivers with diabetes must bring the most recent lab results from Hemoglobin A1C (HgAIC) and their blood sugar logs.

  • Drivers with heart-related issues must, at minimum, bring a letter from their cardiologist that outlines their medical history and current medications, and indicates that they are safe to work.

What the DOT Physical Covers:

Vision - Drivers are required to have at least 20/40 acuity in each eye with or without correction. They are also required to have at least 70" peripheral in the horizontal meridian, measured in each eye.

Hearing - Drivers must be able to perceive what is known as "forced whisper" at a distance of 5ft or less, with or without a hearing aid. This standard equates to an average hearing loss in the better ear or less than 40 dB.

Blood Pressure/Pulse Rate - The medical examiner will check the driver's blood pressure and pulse to look for high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats.

Urinalysis - A urinalysis is required. The test looks for indications of underlying medical conditions such as diabetes.

Physical Examination - The physical exam will cover a dozen different categories:

  • General appearance

  • Eyes (cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc.)

  • Ears (scarring of tympanic membrane, perforated ear drums, etc.)

  • Mouth and throat (to look for problems breathing or swallowing)

  • Heart (murmurs, extra sounds, pacemaker, etc.)

  • Lungs and chest, not including breast examination (abnormal breathing, impaired respiratory functions, cyanosis, etc.)

  • Abdomen and Viscera (enlarged liver, viscera, muscle weakness)

  • Vascular (abnormal pulse, carotid, varicose veins)

  • Genito-urinary (hernias)

  • Extremities (limb impaired)

  • Spine, other musculoskeletal (previous surgery, limitation of motion, tenderness, etc.)

  • Neurological (impaired equilibrium, coordination or speech pattern, ataxia, asymmetric deep tendon reflexes)

DOT Physical Forms:

This form is an example of what patients can expect. The MER will be completed online at the center and does not need to be printed and completed beforehand.

This form is an example of what certified drivers can expect. Certified drivers will receive their MEC after the exam is completed.

Commercial drivers with insulin-treated diabetes need to have this form completed by their treating clinician no more than 45 days prior to examination by a certified medical examiner (CME). This form is required before a Medical Examiner's Certificate Form MCSA-5876 can be issued to a certified driver.