What Is a DOT Medical Exam? Truck Drivers Manual

February 16, 20210

To get a Commercial Driver’s License you must undergo a DOT Medical Exam.

It was established for the safety control on the road and guaranties that bus drivers or truckers are in normal physical and mental state.

It’s necessary to pass DOT Medical Exam every 2 years for drivers of vehicles and drivers who:

  • are engaged in interstate commercial operations;
  • transport HAZMAT;
  • transport more than 15 people.

Drivers with diabetes or high blood pressure should get a medical examination more often.

Before the examination, you have to fill out a form, where are listed:

  • unhealthy habits;
  • medicine that driver takes;
  • surgery history;
  • current medical problem.

What’s being examined?

Blood pressure and pulse. Normal blood pressure must be below 140/90. If the pressure isn’t normal, the driver receives a corresponding certificate and is re-examined after a while.

Sense of vision. Driver must have at least 20/40 vision. He can also use lenses or glasses. Peripheral vision and ability to distinguish traffic light colors are also tested.

Hearing sense. Drivers must be able to distinguish text “in whisper” from a distance of more than 5 feet.

Clinical common urine analysis. It’s tested to diagnose kidney or liver problems.

On the top of all, the driver’s physical abilities are checked – general appearance, musculo-skeletal system, limb functions, etc.

What to bring to a DOT physical exam

  • Valid driving license and other identity documents;
  • Glasses, contact lenses and hearing aids;
  • List of medications along with doctors’ prescriptions;
  • If you have any medical conditions, you need to bring a medical allowance from your doctor. It must state that your physical condition can’t affect your ability to drive a commercial vehicle safely;
  • If the driver passes the medical examination successfully, he receives a two-year medical card;
  • In case if the driver has a problem, he can get a short-term card.

How much does a medical examination cost?

Drivers tell that cost ranges from $ 100 to $ 150 depending on the state. The cost increases if additional tests are required.

If you are a commercial driver who doesn’t cross state borders, you should check DOT website in your state for more details about requirements.

Doctor’s advice on how to maintain your good health:

– Drink no more than 3 cups of coffee a day;

– Walk outdoors more often;

– Replace snacks with nutritious food;

Get enough sleep.


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