DOT Physicals

Any person driving commercial motor vehicles such as semi-trucks, buses, or vehicles carrying hazardous materials, is required to have a DOT phyisical. We’ll explain what exactly a DOT physical entails and what you can expect during the examination.

Understanding DOT Physicals:

A DOT physical, short for U.S. Department of Transportation physical, is a mandatory medical evaluation ensuring that drivers of CMVs are fit to undertake the responsibility of operating these vehicles safely. This examination is imperative as driving such vehicles requires individuals to maintain awareness of their surroundings, respond to auditory cues, interpret road signs accurately, and remain alert throughout their journeys.

The Importance of DOT Physicals:

Given the substantial responsibility associated with driving CMVs, both employers and drivers need to prioritize safety. Certain health conditions or medications can potentially impair an individual’s ability to perform these critical tasks effectively. Moreover, underlying medical conditions could pose significant risks of emergencies while on the road, endangering not only the driver but also other road users.

Regulations and Requirements:

The regulations surrounding DOT physicals are overseen both nationally and at the state level. Nationally, the Department of Transportation sets standards for who must undergo these evaluations, typically mandating them for individuals driving CMVs across state lines. However, individual states may have additional criteria for requiring DOT physicals, extending the necessity to those driving within state boundaries.

Frequency and Compliance:

To ensure ongoing safety and compliance, drivers typically need to undergo a DOT physical every two years. However, certain medical histories or conditions may necessitate more frequent examinations. Upon meeting the Department of Transportation’s medical standards, drivers are issued a medical examiner’s certificate, colloquially referred to as a “medical card.”

What does a DOT physical consist of?

The physician giving you a DOT physical will first have you fill out a medical health history form that asks questions about your health history. Detailed health history form You’ll be asked to provide detailed information about your health, including:

  • medications you take
  • surgeries you’ve had
  • alcohol, tobacco, and other substances
  • health symptoms or medical conditions you currently have.

You also have the option of filling out this form ahead of time and bringing it with you.

Physical examination

At your DOT physical, you’ll be given a complete physical examination, which tests your:

  • hearing
  • vision
  • blood pressure
  • other health indicators.

Urinalysis and other testing

You’ll also have a urinalysis, which provides information about blood sugar levels and other health indicators. The urinalysis is also used for drug testing purposes. You may also have your blood drawn and undergo other in-office tests, such as an electrocardiogram. Each test you take is done to determine if you’re healthy enough to drive a commercial vehicle safely.

What do you need to do to prepare?

You will need to bring the following with you:

  • CPAP compliance: report from last 90 days
  • Diabetes Type 1: 5870 form completed no more than 45 days prior to DOT visit, plus 5 years of records
  • Diabetes Type 2: 5 years of records- recent A1C within 90 days
  • Diabetic Eye Exam: within 1 year
  • Eye exemption: 5871 must be completed no more than 45 days prior to DOT visit
  • Cardiac issues/heart disease: copies of echocardiogram/ stress test
  • Anxiety or Depression: Must have letter from PCP stable on current meds, how long have you been on meds, no side effects, no history of attempted suicide or homicide
  • Methadone: Must have letter for chronic pain without side effects. If taking for heroin addiction- must have letter in remission
  • If on seizure medication for non-seizure issues: will need letter from PCP stating taking what you are on the medication for

***If you do not have ALL of these items at the time of your visit, you will be asked to reschedule your appointment or will fail the DOT Physical Exam. ***

Testing is available at either our Hwy 31 office or the Trotwood office in Columbia, TN.
Please call (931) 540-4210 to schedule your DOT testing.