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The DOT physical exam is a necessary test for any individual hoping to get behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). This examination makes sure that all commercial drivers are up to par in their daily health examinations and are at peak performance.

What Happens in a DOT Physical?

A DOT Physical is very similar to any other checkup with a few added steps. The doctor will take your vitals, go over your medical history and check your eyes, ears and lungs. The eye test will be used to make sure you have at least 20/40 vision in both eyes. If you wear them, be sure to bring your glasses or contacts for this portion of the physical.

Another portion of the test includes a hearing test. With or without hearing aids, a driver must be able to hear a forced whisper” from less than five feet away. They’ll also do a urinalysis to check for kidney disease, diabetes, and urinary tract infections.

Who performs a DOT Physical?

A DOT Physical can be done by any registered medical examiner and is required every 24 months. If a driver has a condition that the medical examiner feels needs to be monitored, they could require the driver to get a physical every 12 months or whatever timeframe they feel necessary.

What Happens if I Don’t Pass?

If you fail your first physical, drivers always have the option of going to a second examiner. Remember, all medical examiners follow the same federally mandated guidelines, so it’s unlikely that the outcome of the physical will change with a different doctor.

How Do I Schedule One?

If you’re a company driver, your carrier will most likely have this information. You can always look into it yourself by searching for medical examiners registered with the FMCSA.

Does it Cost?

DOT Physicals do cost money. The cost can be anywhere between $50-300, depending on where you go. The good news is that most employers will pay the cost for their drivers.

Do I Need to Bring Anything?

Your doctor will most likely have access to all your medical records electronically, but if not, you’ll need to bring the records. If you are not sure of what you will need to bring, give the clinic or office where you’ll be receiving the exam a call just to make sure. If you wear contacts, glasses, or use a hearing aid when driving, you’ll need to bring those as well.


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