Staying Safe on the Road – The DOT Medical Exam

Because some jobs put workers in close proximity with the general public, there are rules and regulations for the health and safety of both the employee and surrounding population. Notably, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires commercial drivers to undergo regular physicals to evaluate whether or not they’re healthy enough to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The function of a DOT physical is to make the highways and byways safer for all travelers. 

Most CMV drivers are required to take a DOT physical exam every two years to maintain their DOT medical certificate and commercial driver’s license (CDL). You are required to take a DOT exam if your job meets certain guidelines, including: operating a motor vehicle that holds between nine to 15 passengers; driving the vehicle more than 75 miles in the course of a work day; operating the vehicle for interstate commerce purposes; or transporting hazardous materials. 

A driver with certain health issues – which can include vision problems, diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea – could pose a danger to themselves or others on the road. Applicants must have at least 20/40 correctable vision in both eyes although corrective lenses are acceptable. You cannot use narcotics, amphetamines, or other habit-forming drugs if you want to obtain or renew your CDL.

By federal law, a qualified examiner (doctor, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner) must complete your DOT physical form. The examiner will assess your medical history and you’ll be required to list any medications you take on a regular basis. During your physical exam at one of Urgent Team’s Family of Urgent Care & Walk-in Centers, you can expect the following:

  • Pulse and blood pressure tests
  • Vision test
  • Heart and lung assessment
  • Spine deformity check
  • Neurological exam
  • Hernia and abdomen checks
  • Observation of general appearance
  • Eye, ear and throat check

The medical professional will complete all DOT physical requirements, discuss any possible concerns, and document any potential hazards created by your health history or current medical condition. If you meet the standards and do not require periodic medical monitoring, your certificate will be valid for two years. In some cases, the medical examiner will issue a certificate that lasts only three months, six months, or one year.  If you fail to meet the standards, the examiner is not able to issue a valid medical certificate.

The physicians and medical professionals at Urgent Team’s Family of Urgent Care & Walk-in Centers are able to perform a DOT exam so you can get hired in that new job, or keep in compliance. We are an affordable and easy way to help you get checked out and get back on the road.