DOT Physicals

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DOT Physicals

A Department of Transportation (DOT) physical is a health examination mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. A DOT physical helps determine if a driver is physically, mentally, and emotionally fit to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). This exam serves to comply with the Michigan Department of Transportation or MDOT and other regulatory requirements.

Who needs to have a DOT physical?

According to FMCSA, a DOT physical is required for CMV drivers who operate in interstate commerce or across state lines and meet the following criteria:
  • If they operate a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), gross combination weight rating (GCWR), gross vehicle weight (GVW), or gross combination weight (GCW) of 10,001 pounds (4,536 kilograms) or more in interstate commerce.
  • If they operate a motor vehicle designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers (including the driver) in interstate commerce.
  • If they operate a motor vehicle designed or used to transport between 9 and 15 passengers, for direct compensation.
  • If they transport hazardous materials, in a quantity requiring placards, in interstate commerce.

Who can administer a DOT physical?

A certified Medical Examiner needs to perform a DOT physical. These are providers who have specific FMCSA training and are registered on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME).

How long is a DOT physical certificate valid?

A DOT physical exam is valid for up to 24 months. However, the medical examiner may also issue a medical examiner's certificate for less than 24 months when it is desirable to monitor a health condition, such as high blood pressure.

What should you expect during a DOT physical?

A typical DOT physical begins by reviewing your medical history and asking you to list the medications you take on a regular basis. During your physical, your examiner will also:

  • Check your blood pressure
  • Perform a vision test, since drivers are required to have at least 20/40 acuity in each eye
  • Examine your ears and hearing ability. The hearing ability is usually done throught a whisper test, where they test your ability to perceive a “forced whisper” from at least 5 feet away
  • Look at your mouth and throat for any breathing problems
  • Heart and lungs exam to find any heart murmurs and respiratory issues
  • An abdomen exam to check for abnormalities
  • Conduct urinalysis for indications of underlying medical conditions

What do you need to get a DOT physical?

A typical DOT physical takes about 45 minutes. It's important to have the necessary documentation to make it easier and faster

  • A valid drivers license
  • An employer authorization form (in case your employer is paying for the DOT physical)
  • List of current medications
  • List of past surgeries and any medical conditions that the examier should be aware of
  • List of allergies, if any

What happens at the end of the DOT physical?

If the Medical Examiner doesn't find any medical issues, they will issue you a certificate that's valid for 24 months. However, if there is any medical issue that needs to be monitored, they might issue a certificate for a shorter duration, for only six months or a year. At Prognify Urgent Care, we have providers who are certified to perform DOT physicals, and are on top of the latest regulations.

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