DOT Physical Overview
Generally, there are three types of drivers who need a Department of Transportation (DOT) Physical:
There are some nuances, however, based on vehicle weight or number of passengers1
What to Expect During a DOT Physical?
A DOT Physical consists of 7 sections:
Is a Drug Test Part of a DOT Physical?
Drug tests are not included in the DOT Physical. However, a drug test is often performed at the same time in the case of a pre-employment or return-to-work physical.
How Long are DOT Physicals Good For?
If a driver is in good health, the DOT Medical Card, also known as a medical examiner’s certificate, is valid for 24 months. However, a medical examiner may issue a DOT Medical Card for less than 24 months if the driver has a medical condition that necessitates more frequent monitoring. The most common conditions that result in a decreased length of certification are:
- Drivers with a history of cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure2, Heart Attack, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Irregular Heart Beat, etc.3
- Drivers with Sleep Apnea requiring the use of a sleep assistive device such as a CPAP or custom dental device
- Drivers who suffer from mental health disorders including, but not limited to depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder4
According to the FMCSA, nearly 50% of drivers must have a physical more frequently than every 24 months.
Who Can Perform a DOT Physical?
The Medical Provider Must Be:
A licensed doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or chiropractor AND
A member of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiner (NRCME). Medical professionals receive special training and must pass a test to be included in the national registry.
Only about 5% of medical professionals have the Certified Medical Examiner (CME) designation.
Where Can I Get a DOT Physical?
With over 1000 locations across the United States, we have a local clinic near you.
- Federal Register, Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 391.45
- Federal Register, Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 391.41(b)(6) Appendix A: Part 391- Medical Advisory Criteria
- Federal Register, Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 391.41(b)
- Federal Register, Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 391.41(b)(9)