DOT Physicals

We all know that to land a job and pursue a good career, we need to take an exam to prove our qualifications. Similarly, the Department of Transportation (DOT) conducts a physical exam to certify individuals for operating commercial motor vehicles.

What Does It Mean By DOT Physicals?

DOT Physicals is a comprehensive physical examination conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for commercial drivers. This exam assesses the driver's fitness to determine if they are capable and safe to operate commercial vehicles, ensuring the safety of the public and the driver themselves. Moreover, the exam determines if the commercial driver is eligible and fit to drive commercial vehicles.

Things To Keep Ready Before Giving DOT Physicals

  1.  Your medical history:  During the DOT physical exam, the examiner will inquire about your medical history, including any past or current issues related to the heart, lungs, diabetes, or asthma. It is important to provide a comprehensive and accurate account of your health history. 
  2. Medicine dosages: If you consume any medicines, it's important to bring the prescription with proper dosage indications. You also need to provide your complete physical health details including the hospital, doctor, and contact numbers for inquiry.
  3. Drugs consumption: To pass the DOT Physicals, it is essential to disclose whether you consume any drugs, smoke, or consume alcohol. These details are crucial and must be provided during the examination.
  4. Latest medical report: To ensure a thorough examination, it's important to bring the latest medical report that includes any relevant details about blood pressure problems, eye problems, or diabetes, along with any associated prescriptions.
  5. Surgeries: If you have had any past surgeries, you need to inform the examiner and provide a description of why and where you had the surgery.

Tests Run At The Time Of Examination:

Doctors ran many physical tests to issue your certificate, which include:

Visual tests: During the exam, doctors will check your eyesight. If you have poor eyesight, you should bring your glasses or contact lenses.

Hearing tests: the examiner will also test your hearing ability to ensure that it meets the required standards for driving. If you already have a hearing problem, you must bring your hearing devices with you to the exam.

Health problems: The examiners will conduct thorough tests to identify any health issues. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or smoke heavily, your lung conditions will be checked.

Physical tests: They will check your weight, height, and the condition of your internal organs such as the throat, lungs, kidneys, heart, abdomen, and spine.

Usage and Validity of DOT Examination

The DOT physical examination can provide commercial drivers with a certificate for driving commercial motor vehicles, indicating that they are eligible and safe to operate such vehicles in public. The certificate, which confirms a driver's good health, is valid for two years.

However, in exceptional cases where the driver experiences health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or chest issues, they must undergo check-ups every three or six months, depending on the doctor's recommendation.

Who can provide a valid DOT physical certificate?

You cannot go to a standard hospital or any doctor for a medical check-up to obtain a commercial motor vehicle certificate. The Federal Motor Safety Administration conducts DOT examinations, and you must visit a licensed doctor registered with FMCSA. The certificate issued by an FMCSA-registered doctor is considered authentic and valid.


Driving a commercial vehicle without a valid motor vehicle certificate is illegal, especially when transporting hazardous chemicals. Commercial drivers must undergo DOT physicals and obtain certificates to become licensed commercial drivers, ensuring the safety of both the public and drivers.

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