Laws Regarding Physical Exams for Commercial Drivers

Federal law now dictates that drivers of commercial vehicles must have a DOT physical performed by a certified medical examiner. The Department of Transportation Physicals are specifically designed for commercial drivers, and are different from a normal physical examine you receive at your doctor’s office.

All doctors who can legally perform this DOT exam are listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, and you must ensure that the doctor of your choice is registered or your physical will not be considered valid, which can affect the validity of your commercial driver’s license.

Doctors are not, however, the only ones who can legally perform the exam. As long as the individual is certified for the exam, it can be performed by a physician, a physician’s assistant, chiropractors, and some nurses.

The reason that this exam is so rigidly regulated is because not all medical examiners are qualified to make the kinds of judgments involved. You will have your physical, mental, and emotional health reviewed, and while some physicians and nurses may be able to evaluate one or two of those areas, not all are capable of assessing you properly in all three.
When you go to your doctor for your Department of Transportation Physical, here’s what you can expect:

1. The examiner will do a detailed review of your medical history.

This will include some questions about your family medical history, as well as details about an injury, diseases, and other health conditions. Expect to be asked about everything from your eyesight and hearing to the condition of your kidneys and heart.

2. You will receive a full physical exam.

This will include standard vision and hearing tests, a blood pressure check, blood sugar and other blood tests, examination of bones, muscles, and organs, and neurological tests such as reflexes and coordination. At the time of your eye exam your vision must have at least 20/40 acuity in each eye. Any hearing loss can not exceed 40 decibels, which means that you can hear the whisper voice of a person about five feet (1.52 m) away without hearing aid.

The DOT will review your medical records to see if there are reports of problems with alcohol or drugs. Also check your driving record to see if you have violations for driving while intoxicated. In addition, the DOT will conduct a DOT drug test that includes blood and urine and that you approve.

You should wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes to your DOT exam, as you would for any Physical Exam Inc.

Provided that you are given a clean bill of health, you will be given the paperwork to prove you have passed, and this department of transportation physical exam is good for two years. After 24 months, you will be required to have another exam done.

Whether you have been a commercial driver for years or you are just starting your first job, if you are ready to schedule your DOT physical, get in touch today to make an appointment so that you can be seen by a certified medical examiner as soon as possible.

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