A Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination must be performed by a licensed "medical examiner" listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) National Registry. The term includes, but is not limited to, Doctor of Medicine (MD), doctors of osteopathy (DO), physician assistants (PA), advanced practice nurses (APN), and doctors of chiropractic (DC). A DOT physical may be valid for up to 24 months and the medical examiner may also issue a medical certificate for less than 24 months when it is necessary to monitor a condition, such as high blood pressure.

What is included in a DOT Physical?

A standard DOT Physical exam includes the following items.

  • Urine analysis (glucose)
  • Neurological Exam
  • Heart/lungs
  • Prescription/medication review

Once the physical examination is complete and if the medical examiner finds that the person he/she examined is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), the medical examiner will issue one copy of the results to the person who was examined and complete a Medical Examiner’s Certificate.

Upon completion of the DOT physical examination the qualified medical examiner will complete your DOT physical form and note any issues requiring monitoring or any health concerns which may adversely affect your ability to receive or renew your DOT medical certificate.

The DOT physical is a highly regulated process established to ensure the safety of our nation’s highways and failing to hold a valid DOT medical certificate can result in significant fines and penalties.

What to expect for a DOT Physical?

When you arrive at the testing center for your DOT physical, please be prepared to provide a urine sample for glucose only, if you need a DOT drug test in conjunction with your physical that oftentimes will have a separate fee associated with it, also make sure to have a list of any medications you are currently taking, have your corrective lenses (glasses or contacts) and any information relating to your health history.

A DOT physical examination is valid for up to 24 months, however the medical examiner may also issue a medical certificate for less than the standard 24 months, if certain health conditions require future monitoring.

Upon passing a DOT physical the medical examiner will furnish 1 copy of the DOT physical results to the person who was examined and then complete the medical examiners certificate.

The DOT physical is an important part of the Department of Transportation’s requirements for employees designated as “safety sensitive” and while commercial motor vehicle drivers (FMCSA) are primarily the persons in need of a DOT physical, DOT physicals may be required for other types of DOT regulated positions.