DOT's Physical Exam

People with high blood pressure need an honest assessment of their condition. Learn about the risks, causes and treatments for this common health issue in this helpful guide. Keyword to include: High blood pressure


What is a DOT physical exam? 

A DOT (Department of Transportation) physical exam is commonly required to obtain a commercial driver’s license. DOT physicals are used to determine your overall physical health. This physical exam ensures you are physically, emotionally, and mentally fit to handle intense situations and the physical and emotional demands of driving commercial vehicles. According to the FMCSA, the DOT physical exam is valid for up to 24 months.  

What happens in a DOT physical exam? 

Detailed health history: What history does it cover? 

  • Current and past medications 
  • Any surgeries or procedures you have had  
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco or other substances 
  • Any health concerns, symptoms, or medical conditions you may have 

Urinalysis and other testing 

  • Urinalysis will provide information about your blood sugar level, protein, blood, and specific gravity. It will also be used for drug testing purposes.  
  • Basic tests including blood pressure, vision check, hearing test, and pulse rate. 
  • Blood work 

Physical examination 

The DOT physical exam is comprehensive and consists of different categories including: 

  • Blood pressure 
  • General appearance 
  • Skin  
  • Eyes  
  • Vision  
  • Ears 
  • Height and weight 
  • Mouth and throat 
  • Lungs and chest 
  • Heart 
  • Abdomen 
  • Back and spine 
  • Extremities and joints 
  • Genital and urinary system (hernia check) 
  • Nervous system 
  • Gait 
  • Circulatory system 

What do I need to bring to my exam? 

  • A complete list of current and past medications that includes the dosage regime and providers’ names and addresses 
  • If you are a driver with vision or hearing problems, you must bring your glasses, contacts, or hearing aids. 
  • If you are a driver with heart-related issues, bring a letter from your cardiologist that outlines you are safe to work, along with your medical history and current medications. 
  • If you are a driver with diabetes, you must bring the most recent lab results from your Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1C) and your blood sugar logs. 

Do I still need to get my annual wellness visit? 

Yes, we still recommend going to your primary care provider for your annual wellness visit. However, you can call your provider and see about scheduling both your DOT and the wellness visit in the same day.  

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