What To Expect In A DOT Physical

DOT Physical

Who must have a DOT Physical?

A person who is regulated by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), and who hold a "Safety Sensitive" position of employment, is often mandated to take a DOT Physical.

FMCSA Physical

  • A Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination must be conducted by a licensed "medical examiner" listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) National Registry. The DOT physical is required to help ensure that a person is medically qualified to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In the interest of public safety, CMV drivers are held to higher physical, mental and emotional standards than passenger car drivers.
    From the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):
    Medical certification in accordance with FMCSA physical qualification standards is required when the driver is operating a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce that:
  • Has a combined gross vehicle weight or weight rating of 10,0001 lbs. or more.
  • Is designed or used to transport 9-15 passengers (including the driver) for compensation.
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) whether for compensation or not.
  • Transports hazardous materials in quantities that require placarding under the hazardous materials regulations.
  • When a driver returns from an illness or injury that interferes with driving ability, the driver must undergo a medical examination even if the medical examiner's certificate has not expired.

USCG 719K/E Physical

The USCG-719 K/E should be used only by mariners seeking an entry-level credential. This physical examination is required to ensure that all holders of licenses and Merchant Mariner documents are physically fit and free of debilitating illness or injury.

What's The Difference Between USCG 719K/E and a 719K?

The key factor to remember the difference between a USCG 719K and a 719K/E-entry level physical examination is that anyone who can affect the change in direction of a ship is required to undergo the USCG-719K - rated physical.

Other Department of Transportation (DOT)) Modes that may require a DOT Physical are the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Transit Authority (FTA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administation (PHMSA).

What To Expect At Your DOT Physical

Before the appointment, you’ll fill out the previously mentioned Medical Examination Report form. Use the form to indicate any prior or current health conditions. These may include:

  •      Brain injuries or neurological disorders
  •      Epilepsy or seizures
  •      Loss of hearing
  •      Heart attack or heart disease
  •      Impaired vision
  •      Kidney disease
  •      Digestive problems
  •      Depression and anxiety disorders
  •      Dizziness or fainting
  •      Paralysis
  •      Stroke
  •      Missing limbs
  •      Spinal cord injuries
  •      Chronic pain

Be honest in this form. If you’re not, you could have your certificate revoked.

Your doctor will review this form and ask additional questions. He or she will check your lung function, heart, digestive tract, and coordination. You’ll also take some basic tests.

What Does A DOT Physical Test For?

A urine sample is taken: checking for protein, blood, and sugar.

Height and Weight
Measure height and weight.

Vision Test
You must have a distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 with or without corrective lenses:

  1. see at least 20/40 with both eyes together
  2. see at least 20/40 with the right eye
  3. see at least 20/40 with the left eye.

Hearing Test

The driver must be able to perceive a forced whisper voice in one ear, at no less than five feet with or without the use of a hearing aid.

If the driver fails the whisper test, the medical examiner will refer the driver to have an audiometry test.

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure needs to be under 140/90.
The visit takes about 45 minutes.

How Often Do I Need A DOT Physical?

Most medical certificates are good for two years. However, if you have low blood pressure or high blood pressure, or any other condition that may inhibit your ability to drive, you may receive a 1-year certificate. And if you have very high blood pressure or other treatable conditions, you may receive a 3-month certificate. After 3 months, if you show improvement in that condition, you’ll be eligible to get a 1 or 2-year certificate.

After A Completed DOT Physical

The DOT physical is a highly regulated process established to ensure the safety of our nation’s highways and failing to hold a valid DOT medical certificate can result in significant fines and penalties.

Upon completion of the DOT physical examination, the qualified medical examiner will complete your DOT physical form and note any issues requiring monitoring or any health concerns which may adversely affect your ability to receive or renew your DOT medical certificate.

Need to schedule a DOT Physical? Call DOT Consortium at 800-221-4291

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *