Becoming a professional or commercial driver can be an exciting career advancement or change. But first, many commercial drivers must receive a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination.
DOT designates jobs like driving a commercial vehicle over a certain gross weight as “safety sensitive.” This safety-sensitive designation means your job impacts the safety of others. Therefore, gaining and retaining these jobs requires workers to comply with DOT requirements.
One requirement is receiving regular DOT physicals. Instead of searching “DOT physicals near me,” you can schedule an appointment with Aspen Medical Center. Our friendly staff administers physicals for commercial drivers, ensuring they meet their employer’s requirements.
When Is a DOT Physical Required?
A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) health care worker must carry out a DOT physical. FMCSA also regulates the requirements for these physicals. A commercial driver must receive a DOT physical when they cross any state lines and:
- Their vehicle has a weight rating or gross weight of 10,001+ pounds.
- Their commercial motor vehicle transports more than nine passengers, including the driver.
- Their vehicle transfers hazardous chemicals or other materials designated by specific hazardous material regulations.
Commercial drivers that operate only in one state may still need a DOT physical, depending upon their state’s specific regulations.
What Happens During a DOT Physical?
When you receive your DOT physical at Aspen Medical Center, you can anticipate six different components:
- Medical history: Your physician will start by asking and reviewing details of your medical history. These details may include current or prior medications taken, past surgeries, current medical conditions, and family history. You’ll want to be as accurate as possible, including relaying information like tobacco usage.
- Testing your vitals: Testing your vitals take up a significant portion of your DOT physical. Your FMCSA physician will test your blood pressure, weight, pulse, and height. You will also need a urinalysis that detects any medical conditions by looking at the blood, sugar, and protein in your urine.
- Testing your hearing: Many physicians use a whisper test that examines precisely the distance from which a driver can hear whispering. In addition, an audiometry test measures frequencies to see if you’ve experienced hearing loss.
- Testing your vision: Commercial drivers must have at least 20/40 vision and a 70° horizontal meridian vision field in each of their eyes. Drivers may use glasses or contact lenses to meet these requirements.
- A general physical examination: Your physician will also evaluate your overall physical appearance. They will look for medical issues like obesity and examine your skin, lungs, heart, balance, movement, etc.
- Drug screening: While not technically part of your physical examination, DOT requires a drug screening. Your physician will administer the drug screening simultaneously with your DOT physical.
How Should You Prepare for Your DOT Physical?
Most DOT physicals take around 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Before arriving at Aspen Medical Center, make sure to bring the following:
- Your valid driver’s license
- Your MedExpress Employer Authorization Form, if your employer sent it to you
- A list of any past surgeries and any past or current medical conditions
- Any allergies you have
- Any current medications you’re taking
Certain medical conditions may require you to bring additional paperwork. Additionally, if you don’t have all the necessary information, your physical might be postponed until you obtain it.
How Often Do You Need To Renew Your DOT Physical
After finishing your exam, your physician will finalize their assessment, fill out the required paperwork, and decide whether or not to approve your request.
If approved, you will be certified for two years or shorter when medically necessary. For example, certain medical conditions may require monitoring, with typical conditions including:
- Sleep disorders
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
After 24 months or the period set by the FMCSA physician, you will need to renew your certification. Whether renewing or receiving your first DOT certification, our team can help.
For DOT Physicals Near Me, Call Aspen Medical Center
Many commercial driver jobs require you receive a DOT physical. Our Aspen Medical Center team is here to help to make the process easier.