DOT/CDL Physical FAQ
Who needs a DOT physical?
A DOT physical is required when a driver is operating a commercial vehicle across state lines which:
- Has a combined gross vehicle weight or weight rating of 10,001 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) regardless if for compensation
- Is transporting hazardous materials in large quantities.
When does a DOT physical need to be renewed?
Certification can be valid for up to 24 months. If the medical provider determines that the driver has existing conditions that need to be monitored, they can certify them for less than 24 months.
What happens during a DOT physical examination?
Your Lee Health provider will go through each of these steps with you to determine your capability to safely operate commercial vehicles.
- Medical History: The driver will need to provide extensive background on their medical history, including past surgeries, medications taken, and history of health conditions.
- Vitals Testing and Physical Examination: Testing includes pulse, height, weight, and blood pressure. The FMCSA also requires urinalysis. These test helps determine underlying medical conditions and treatment options.
- Hearing and Vision Testing: The FMSCA requires vision testing to ensure drivers are meeting the standard of at least 20/40 vision acuity in each eye with or without correction (glasses or contacts). An audiometry test is a way to measure the ability to hear sounds at different frequencies to determine if the driver has experienced hearing loss. Both are a necessity for passing the DOT physical examination.
- Physical Examination: The provider will first evaluate general physical appearance for things such as obesity and other medical conditions. The exam will evaluate the various body systems.
- Drug Screening: Although it is not part of the DOT physical exam, the DOT also requires a drug screen which can usually be completed at the same time as the physical examination.