Get back on the road with a DOT Physical
A Department of Transportation DOT physical is needed to run commercial vehicles. This exam is a “medical fitness for duty” exam. The DOT physical makes sure that each driver is able to complete any duties. DOT exams are in place for your safety and others that are on the road.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the body that governs DOT exams and the healthcare workers that do the exams. As reported by the FMCSA, a DOT physical is a mandate if you are using a commercial vehicle across state lines (interstate driving). You need a DOT health card for the following conditions:
Transports hazardous materials in quantities that require placarding under the hazardous materials regulations.
Has a combined gross vehicle weight or weight rating of 10,001 lbs. or more
Is designed or used to transport 9-15 passengers (including the driver) for compensation .
Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) regardless if for compensation .
Driving in state, intrastate driving, may also require a DOT physical. This is up to each state's own rules.
The FMCSA also requires the exam to be completed by a certified medical examiner. The medical examiner will see if you meet the DOT physical requirements. You will get a medical examiner’s certificate (MEC) when you do. This card is also called a DOT health card. You have to have a DOT health card to hold a CDL.
Where can I get a DOT Physical?
DOT physicals can only be given by an FMCSA certified medical provider. They have received specific training approved by the FMCSA. They are also registered on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME). Faith Medical Clinic is a FMCSA certified medical provider. We will be able to get you in for your DOT physical quickly because we know how important your DOT health card can be.
DOT Physical Renewals?
Your MEC or health card will be valid for up to 24 months on a normal basis. The certificate may be less than 24 months. There may be a condition that needs to be checked more often. The reasons for shorter term health cards can vary. It could be due to high blood pressure, diabetes, a heart condition, or even disorders like sleep apena that can affect your rest.
What do I need?
Here are some things to remember after you set your DOT exam with Faith Medical Clinic. You will want to bring your medical history. This will include your doctors’ names and contact information. You will want to have a list of the medicines you take. This will include dosage and the name of the doctor. You will also want to have information ready to fill out a health questionnaire about your history. It will be helpful to know dates and details about any past surgeries as well as family health history. You will want to be honest. You will also want to be thorough. This could cause problems later if not. Make sure you have any aids necessary for driving like glasses or hearing aids if you have them. You will need to bring any lab results and blood sugar logs if you have diabetes. You will need information from your cardiologist if you have a heart-related issue. You can contact Faith Medical Clinic if you have any questions related to what you need to bring.
What will the DOT Physical Exam cover?
Physical Examination and Vitals
The largest part of the DOT physical is a general physical exam. Vitals will include your height, weight, pulse and blood pressure.
Blood Pressure information
A healthy blood pressure is needed to pass your DOT exam for your DOT health card.
The “normal” blood pressure is 120/80. It can range at times up to 140/90. Any test within this range can meet the 24 month medical certification. A 12 month DOT medical certification may be given if the top is 140-159 and the bottom is 90-99. There could be a 3 month temporary DOT certification with a top of 160-179 and a bottom of 100-109. Higher blood pressure readings may require you to seek help with your blood pressure and to take medications. You could then retest and see if your certificate could be extended. You may be unable to receive DOT medical certification with a blood pressure reading of 180/110 or higher. This suggests a stage 3 hypertension. DOT medical certification may not be possible. You may have to seek treatment and try again.
The physical examination will evaluate general physical appearance for things such as obesity and other medical conditions. The various body systems will be examined to include eyes, ears, mouth throat etc. They will examine your extremities and range of motion. They will also examine your neurological system.
You will have a vision screening to pass. You can wear corrective lenses for this test. The standard of at least 20/40 has to be met. This will be tested in each eye and then with both together. You will also have to have a peripheral vision of 70° horizontal meridian in each eye. You will take a color distinction test if you are color blind.
This test can occur with an audiometry test or a whisper test. An audiometry test measures sounds at different frequencies to see if there is hearing loss. A whisper test records the distance from you to the examiner that you can hear a forced whisper. Passing requires hearing at not less than five feet with or without a hearing aid.
This test will look for blood and proteins in your urine. It will also measure the sugar level. This will help find any underlying medical problems.
Blood sugar: If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you will want to contact Faith Medical Clinic to discuss what you will need to bring with you to the DOT physical.
Drug screening is not a part of the DOT physical exam. The DOT does require a drug screen. You may want to do this at Faith Medical Clinic while you are here.
The Medical Examiner will determine if a candidate meets all the requirements. The examiner will complete the necessary paperwork. You will be given a full 24 month period if all is well. If not, a shorter period may be given due to a medical condition. Sometimes routine annual monitoring is needed. You may just need a shorter monitoring period while follow up testing is done.
Call Faith Medical clinic today to schedule your DOT physical exam or to gain more information or about any questions you have.