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How to prepare for your DOT physical.


Frequently Asked Questions

We hope this helps your search to understand what is required to meet FMCSA & DOT physical regulations and get your DOT Medical Card with as little hassle as possible.


What are the DOT physical requirements?


Does a DOT physical include a drug test?

  • Drug testing is not part of a DOT Physical exam but your company may request to have drug-alcohol testing done at the same time. DOT drug testing and breath alcohol testing are additional charges.


What drugs are tested for, if a DOT drug test is requested?

  • The 5 Panel drug test analyzes urine for the following drugs.

    • Marijuana (THC metabolite)

    • Cocaine

    • Amphetamines

    • Opiates (including heroin)

    • Phencyclidine (PCP)


How to prepare for your DOT Physical?


Why must I be required to have a urine test?

  • The urine test is a kidney screen to test for pH, Specific Gravity, sugar/Glucose, Protein, and Blood (upon request). It is done to determine that there is no early onset of conditions like High Blood Pressure, Kidney Dysfunction/Infection, or Diabetes.


Can I obtain a copy of my DOT physical form?

  • Yes. Dr. Caminez gives the driver 1 copy of the long-form and 1 wallet-form. We also create an online account so employers can view their employees medical cards at any time.


How long is a DOT medical card good for?

  • A DOT medical card is good for up to 2 years, if you have no restrictions. Any long term prescription medication, such as high blood pressure medication, and/or taking oral medication for diabetes will restrict the medical card to 1 year.


How many 3-month DOT medical cards can a driver have?

  • Only 1. A driver should have the condition, which caused the restriction, under control by the end of the 3-month window.

If I don’t have medical insurance can I still get a DOT physical?

  • Yes. You do not need medical insurance to get a DOT Physical. Insurance is not a part of our DOT Physical exam service. Payment for the exam is you or your employers responsibility at time of service.


How much does a DOT Physical cost?  $85

  •  Payment options are cash, credit card, check, or pre-authorized company account.


How do overweight truck drivers pass the DOT physical?

  • Being overweight is not a restriction to passing the DOT Physical exam. It is the medical conditions that being overweight eventually leads to, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease, that may affect your ability to safely drive a commercial vehicle. That is what the DOT Physical exam will determine whether you have any of these restrictive medical conditions. Getting healthy and staying healthy is your best guarantee for your life and your livelihood.


What are the DOT physical blood pressure requirements?

  • Here are the medical guidelines according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Note that employers are allowed to impose more stringent medical requirements.

  • A driver with a BP of less than 140 systolic and less than 90 diastolic may be medically certified to drive for a two-year period.

  • A driver with a BP of 140 – 159 systolic and /or a BP of 90-99 diastolic, has stage 1 hypertension, and may be medically certified to drive for a one-year period. Re-certification examinations should be done annually thereafter and should be at or less than 140/90.

  • A driver with a a BP of 160-179 systolic and/or a BP of 100-109 diastolic, has stage 2 hypertension, and is a candidate for anti-hypertensive drug therapy. The driver is given a one-time certification of three months to reduce his or her blood pressure to less than or equal to 140/90. Provided treatment is well tolerated and the driver demonstrates a BP value of 140/90 or less, he or she may be re-certified for one year from the date of the initial exam. The driver is certified annually thereafter.

  • A driver with a BP at or greater than 180 systolic and / or 110 diastolic has stage 3 hypertension and is disqualified. The driver may not be qualified, even temporarily, until blood pressure is reduced to equal to or less than 140/90 and treatment is well tolerated. The driver may be certified for 6 months and biannually (every 6 months) thereafter if at recheck BP is equal to or less than 140/90.

  • Watch our video on Tips to reduce your blood pressure naturally.

Can a driver with mild sleep apnea get a CDL?

  • Obstructive sleep apnea does not necessarily disqualify you for a DOT medical card. Treatment with a CPAP machine and some basic lifestyle changes can help you get a restful sleep and maintain your commercial drivers license.  What is currently required for DOT physical certification with CPAC use?

  • To maintain compliance:
    • Drivers must use a CPAP machine at least four hours
    per night, 70 percent of the time.
    • Drivers beginning CPAP treatment may be certified if
    they have been successfully treated for a minimum
    of one week.
    • Drivers previously established on a CPAP machine
    may be re-certified annually provided they meet
    the minimum recommended compliance use.
    The compliance data should not be more than 30
    days old and should be for a minimum of 90 days

  • Compliance data needs to be brought in by you for your exam


What are the truck driving vision requirements?

  • A commercial driver must have distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye. That means without corrective lenses, or with corrective lenses, you must be able to see 20/40 or better, with each eye individually as well as together. Your field of vision needs to be at least 70 degrees horizontally, and you must be able to recognize the standard traffic signal colors of red, green and amber.  Drivers looking for an exemption for monocular vision must undergo examination by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist.


What would cause me to fail a DOT physical?

  • Over all of the years we have been working with drivers, the biggest cause for concern we see is high blood pressure.

  • Any condition that would cause a loss of ability to control, operate, or drive a commercial vehicle safely – loss or impairment of limbs, poor visual acuity, insulin-controlled diabetes, high blood pressure (more than 180/110), heart disease, respiratory dysfunction, epilepsy, mental disorder, use of certain drugs, alcoholism.

  • What if the DOT drug screen tests positive? Click here for FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Rules.

  • If the urinalysis is positive for one or more of the drugs on the 5 panel drug test, then the driver will be contacted in person by the Medical Review Officer. The MRO will interview the driver to determine if there is an alternative medical explanation for the drugs found in the urine specimen. If the driver provides appropriate documentation, a confirmation test is performed for each identified drug using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis. GC/MS confirmation ensures that over-the-counter medications or preparations are not reported as positive results. If the MRO determines that it is a legitimate medical use of the prohibited drug, the drug test result is reported as negative to the employer. Otherwise the drug test will be reported as positive.

  • In summary, a driver qualifies under Tennessee DOT, and must carry a valid medical card, if driving a commercial vehicle that:

    • Has a gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight of 10,001 pounds or more

    • Is designed or used to transport more than 8 persons for compensation

    • Is designed or used to transport more than 15 persons not for compensation

    • Is used in transporting hazardous material

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