Top Tips To Prepare For Your DOT Medical Exam

Like it or not, passing your DOT physical exam is as much a part of the job as maintaining a license to operate bus, truck, limo, taxi or any other kind of vehicle.

Do yourself a favor and be prepared for your next DOT physical. Here are some obvious, (some less so than others), but very important tips that will help you get this out of the way so you can get to work!

  • If you use eyeglasses or contact lenses or wear a hearing aid bring them with you.
  • Bring a list of the current medications you take and also bring the name and contact number of the doctor who prescribed the medication to you. 
  • When you fill out the health history portion of the long form, do your best to explain any previous or current medical condition you may have. 
  • Supply the medical examiner with medical records for any conditions you have such as diabetes, cardiac disease, sleep disorders , neurological conditions etc. Before we can complete your DOT exam, we may need to review any diagnostic studies you had in the past such as for sleep apnea, exercise stress test or echocardiogram after you had a heart attack, and also obtain a clearance letter from your treating doctor.   If you take certain medications for pain, psychiatric conditions, attention deficit disorder, or smoking cessation for example, we would need a letter from your treating doctor as well.

If you smoke cigarettes don't smoke 2 hours prior to arriving and try not to stress yourself out!  Bring your driver's license and don't worry we supply all the necessary forms including the US DOT Medical card  or Medical Examiner's Certificate to be issued the same day.

Should you require a DOT physical examination, we are located in the metropolitan New York area in College Point, Queens. Same day appointments are usually available. 

Physical examination

Is Your DOT Physical Examination Stressing You Out?

medical equipment

Summary of Physical Requirements

VISION: At least 20/40 acuity in each eye with or without correction (eyeglasses or contacts) reading the Snellen Chart, and at least 70 degrees of peripheral vison on the horizontal meridian in each eye. Driver must also be able to recognize and distinguish standard traffic signals red, green and amber colors.

HEARING: You Must perceive a forced whisper voice at 5 feet or more with or without hearing aid. Otherwise, you must  undergo  a formal hearing test with an audiometer and pass.

BLOOD PRESSURE: Driver qualified if less than or equal to 140/90. If your blood pressure is more than 140/90 but less than 180/110, you may qualify for a shorter interval depending on whether this is an initial or re-certification and also on your medical examiner's discretion.

thermometer in a doctors office

What Medical Conditions Can Disqualify a Driver?

1. History of epilepsy (seizure disorder). 

2. Diabetes requiring the use of insulin (unless you have an exemption issued by the Federal government). 

3. If you don't meet the minimum vision and hearing standards listed above, even with the help of corrective lenses or a hearing aid, you may be disqualified.

If you don't meet the vision standards or you are using insulin for your diabetes it is also possible to apply for an exemption by going to  the Federal Diabetes and Vision Exemption Program at the FMCSA website.

4. Use of methadone is automatically disqualifying. Use of a narcotic, amphetamine,or other habit forming drug without a prescription from a treating physician is disqualifying. 

5. Loss or impairment of an arm or limb that interferes with commercial driving or tasks related to driving, unless accompanied by a Skills performance Evaluation (SPE) Certificate.
6. A driver with a history of alcoholism is disqualifying. Be prepared and know your medical history. 

For more information on other medical conditions affecting commercial drivers see:  FMCSA Medical Examiner's Handbook.