DOT Physicals

Here to Help You Stay on the Road

A red semi truck hauling a trailer drives down the road in the sunshine

If you're one of the many Americans who earns their living on the road, you know the importance of getting a regular Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination.

Valid for up to two years, DOT physicals help ensure that you're healthy enough to safely operate a truck, bus, or any other commercial motor vehicle.

In order to make the most of your time when you come for your DOT exam, please take a moment to review the information below.

Frequently Asked Questions about DOT Physicals

Bring a list of your doctors (including addresses and phone numbers), as well as a complete list of all of your medications. Please ensure that the list shows the doses, frequency, prescribing doctor, and doctor's address.

As part of the DOT physical, you will need to pass a vision and hearing test. Please bring your glasses, contact lenses, or hearing aids.

There will be a urine test, so please make sure that you'll be able to produce enough urine for a satisfactory sample. Additionally, as you will be asked to undress into an examination gown, you may wish to shower or bathe in advance.

Do not drink any caffeinated beverages prior to your exam, as doing so can elevate your blood pressure. If you take medication, ensure that you have taken your regular daily dose prior to your exam.

To save time, you may want to complete the driver section of the exam form prior to arrival.

The fee you are paying is for the physical exam. If you are deemed fit for duty by medical evaluation and by standards and guidelines published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for medical examiners, then you are issued a medical card.

If one does not receive a certificate due to medical reasons, there is no refund of the exam fee.

Common Conditions May Require Additional Paperwork

Some health conditions require additional paperwork or preparation in order to complete your DOT physical. To learn more about what may be required, please click the conditions below.

If you have any concerns about how your medical history can affect your test today, you are encouraged to please call and ask in advance of your arrival.

Your blood pressure must be below 140/90 on the day of your exam or you may not qualify for a DOT card.

Your blood sugar must be controlled on the day of your exam. On the day of your DOT physical, please bring the most recent results of a blood test called Hemoglobin A1C (HgAIC) and your blood sugar logs or other records related to your diabetes.

Insulin-dependent diabetes requires a special waiver from the government. We can still perform the exam, but your card will be marked as only valid with the waiver. Further information and waiver forms are available on the FMCSA website.

If you have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine at night, please bring a reading from your machine documenting your proper use of the machine for the past 90 days. Untreated sleep apnea is disqualifying.

Obesity is a major risk factor for sleep apnea. Obesity is measured by body mass index (BMI). Your BMI will be measured during the exam.

If your BMI is 35 or greater and you have other medical problems as well, you will need to bring results of a sleep study, which screens for sleep apnea. If your BMI is 40 or greater, you will need to have a sleep study report that determines whether or not you have any other medical problems.

If you don't know your BMI, you can use an online BMI calculator to determine your number.

Conditions such as stents, valve replacement, pacemaker, open-heart surgery, cardiac bypass surgery, heart attack, or abnormal rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation, require a clearance letter from your cardiologist.

This letter must state your cardiac condition and confirm that the current management of the condition makes you safe for DOT driving.

You must bring a stress test and echocardiogram completed within the past two years if you have had a heart attack, history of heart failure, coronary artery disease with any stenting or bypass, valve replacement, or valve disease.

Conditions like stroke, brain bleeding, brain mass, brain tumors or lesions, seizure history, or progressive conditions like multiple sclerosis require a letter from your neurologist.

This letter should outline your medical history, current medications, current neurologic state, and whether or not you are deemed safe for DOT driving.

Conditions like a chronic limp, loss of a limb, or limited use of an arm or a leg require a letter from your physician stating the injury/condition and confirming that the current management of the condition does not cause work restrictions.

Additionally, you may need a Skilled Performance Examination in order to qualify for your DOT card.

Bring a lab report of INR blood test from within the past month.

Some conditions, including psychiatric and substance use, are disqualifying.

Additional information is also available at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.