Is Your DOT Physical Examination Stressing You Out?

 

  • First be prepared (read information on the DOT physical and driver requirements on the links page)(read the Q&A section).
  • Know what the physical requirements are for commercial driving to know what your doctor will be looking for during your physical exam.  
  • Summary of physical requirements:

    Vision:
    at least 20/40 acuity in each eye with or without correction (eyeglasses or contacts) reading the Snellen chart, and at least 70 degrees of peripheral vision on the horizontal meridian in each eye.  Driver must also be able to recognize and distinguish standard traffic signals red, green and amber colors.
    If you wear glasses be sure to bring them with you.

     Hearing:  If you wear hearing devices, be sure to bring them with you. 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.
    If you wear hearing aids be sure to bring them with you.

     Blood Pressure:  Driver qualified if less than or equal to 140/90.  If your blood pressure is more than 140/90 but less than 180/110, you may qualify for a shorter interval depending on whether this is an initial or re-certification and also on your medical examiner's discretion.

    Medications:  Bring a complete list of ALL of your medications as well as doses, Doctors names and addresses as well as date of last visit.


    Drivers with Diabetes
    Bring your most recent lab results including A1C (HgA1C) and any other records related to your diabetes.

    Drivers with Sleep Apnea using CPAP machines
    Bring your CPAP machine report for last 90 days.

    Medications
    Bring a complete list of ALL your medications, including doses and your doctors names and addresses.


    What Medical Conditions Can Disqualify a Driver?

    1. History of epilepsy (seizure disorder).

    2. Diabetes requiring the use of insulin (unless you have FMCSA FORM 5870 completed by your endocrinologist). 

    3. If you don't meet the minimum vision and hearing standards listed above (even with the help of corrective lenses or a hearing aid) you may be disqualified. 

    If you don't meet the vision standards --it is also possible to apply for an exemption by going to the Federal Vision Exemption Program at the FMCSA website. 

    4.
    Medications:
    Use of methadone is automatically disqualifying

    Use of a narcotic, amphetamine, or other habit forming drug without a prescription from a treating physician is disqualifying. 

    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). http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/medical/spepackage.htm
    6. A driver with a history of alcoholism is disqualifying.


    In other words, be prepared.  know your medical history and don't forget that these requirements are created not to "hassle" you but to insure public safety.  As a professional truck, bus or taxi driver with a lot of responsibilities in your hands, you have an obligation to protect others who use the same roads, please DRIVE SAFELY and take care of yourself!