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What is a DOT Medical Exam?
The following is a summary of physical requirements for a DOT Physical Exam
You must have at least 20/40 acuity in each eye with or without correction (eyeglasses or contacts) and at least 70 degrees of peripheral vision on the horizontal meridian in each eye.
You must also be able to recognize and distinguish standard traffic signal colors: red, green, and amber.
You must perceive a forced whisper voice at 5 feet or more with or without hearing aid. Otherwise, you must undergo a formal hearing test with an audiometer and pass .
Your blood pressure must be less than or equal to 140/90 to be qualified as a driver. If your blood pressure is more than 140/90 but less than 180/110, you may qualify for a shorter interval Medical Examination Certificate. This depends on several things, including if this is an initial or re-certification and also on the discretion of the medical examiner.
Medical Conditions That Can Disqualify a Driver
1. History of epilepsy(seizure disorder).
2. Diabetes requiring the use of insulin (unless you have an exemption issued by the Federal government).
3. Failing to meet the minimum vision and hearing standards listed above.
If you don’t meet the vision standards or you are using insulin for your diabetes, it is possible to apply for an exemption by going to the Federal Diabetes and Vision Exemption Program on the FMCSA website.
4. The use of some medications:
o Methadone use automatically disqualifies you.
o Use of a narcotic, amphetamine, or other habit forming drug without a prescription from a treating physician automatically disqualifies you.
5. Loss or impairment of an arm or limb that interferes with commercial driving or tasks related to driving, unless accompanied by a Skills Performance Certificate (SPE).
6. A history of alcoholism disqualifies you.
STEP ONE: Driver Health History
Before meeting with the examiner, you must fill out the top part of the DOT physical form. The first section has room for your name, social security number, birth date, driver’s license number, address, and telephone number. The second section asks about your medical history. Be sure to answer each question truthfully or you could face serious legal consequences in the future.
You must indicate whether you have had any of the following:
STEP TWO: DOT Physical Exam Procedure
In order to comply with federal law, a qualified medical examiner must complete your DOT physical form. A qualified examiner may be a doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner. The examiner will review your health history and ask you to list the medications you take on a regular basis. During your DOT physical, the examiner will also do the following:
STEP THREE: Pass or Fail
If the examiner determines you have passed your physical, you will be given an updated medical certificate. If you do not pass the examination for any reason, the doctor will explain what needs to be addressed to meet current FMCSA guidelines.