What Does a DOT Physical Entail?

DOT PhysicalAnyone who would like to work as a commercial driver must first take and pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) health examination. The DOT exam is similar to an annual physical; its objective is to ensure that a prospective commercial driver can meet the physical and mental demands of the job, both currently and for the period of time that the medical certificate will cover, and does not have any health issues that could impact his or her ability to drive safely. Most applicants are required to take a DOT exam once every 24 months, unless a potential health issue is being monitored, in which case the driver will be tested more frequently as recommended by the examining physician.

A DOT physical examination must be performed by a licensed “medical examiner” who is listed in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration National Registry. In order to pass a DOT physical exam, an applicant must have:

  • 20/40 correctable vision in each eye, as well as in both eyes combined
  • An ability to distinguish colors
  • An ability to hear a forced whisper from a minimum distance of five feet
  • Blood pressure of 160/100 or lower (blood pressure may be controlled by prescription medicine)
  • A blood sugar level that is no higher than 200
  • No use of habit-forming narcotics

Additionally, if an applicant is diabetic, the condition must be controlled by diet or oral medications. If insulin injections are required, the applicant will be disqualified.

After completing a DOT exam, the examining physician will discuss any potential hazards created by the applicant’s health history or current medical condition. If the physician finds that the applicant is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle, the physician will complete a Medical Examiner’s Certificate and provide a copy to the applicant.

If you need a DOT physical, you can either walk in or schedule an appointment with a licensed medical examiner at South Tampa Immediate Care. We also offer other types of physical examinations, such as school physicals, sports physicals, pre-employment physicals, and general wellness physicals.