What Is a Dot Physical Exam, and How Do I Go About It?

Nov 02, 2022

DOT Physicals

DOT Physical

Do you drive a large professional commercial vehicle? If so, then you might need to take a DOT physical examination to ensure that you are physically fit to operate big commercial vehicles. The United States has an estimated 1.3 million commercial drivers, of which several do not have a DOT physical license.

What Is a DOT Physical Exam?

DOT stands for the Department of Transportation, and the DOT Physical examination is conducted by a licensed doctor to ensure that you are in good health and are fit to operate and drive commercial transport. This is listed as a requirement from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for commercial drivers.

Who Really Needs DOT Physicals?

You are required to have a DOT physical examination in case you are a commercial driver and drive a vehicle that can carry more than 15 people. There are several other criteria for having a DOT physical:

  • You carry more than eight people in your commercial vehicle.
  • You transport hazardous material in your vehicle. In such cases, you must also have a placard mentioning the contents of the vehicle.
  • You drive on the interstate with your vehicle, which weighs more than 10,000 lbs.

What Does a DOT Physical Consist Of?

An urgent care DOT physical is an evaluation of your overall health that includes blood pressure, hearing test, vision test, blood tests, etc. It also reviews your medical history to verify that you do not suffer from chronic ailments and are fit to operate a heavy commercial vehicle.

  • Blood pressure

You will be checked for high blood pressure or irregular heartbeats. This is done to make sure that you are capable of enduring long rides. 

  • Vision

The doctor will test you to ensure that you have a minimum of 20/40 vision in both your eyes, with or without glasses. You must also have at least a 70-inch peripheral in each eye.

  • Hearing

Your hearing capacity will often be tested via a whisper test. You must have a transparent hearing ability so that you can perceive a forced whisper from a distance of 5 feet with or without the assistance of a hearing aid.

  • Urinalysis

This test will be conducted to check whether you are suffering from any internal medical conditions like diabetes, etc.

Apart from the tests mentioned above, you will also have to go through physical examinations like:

  • A general appearance examination that tracks your weight and drug or alcohol consumption
  • Mouth and throat exams to monitor any swallowing problems.
  • Lung and chest exams to rule out any breathing problems
  • Abdomen and internal organs exam to check for any unusual weakness or hernias
  • Vascular systems exam to check the pulse and blood circulation.
  • Skeletal tests to check your limitations
  • Neurological tests assess your reflexes and balance.

You will also need to update and present your medical history, mentioning your vaccination details.

What Do You Need to Bring to a DOT Physical Examination?

You must bring all the medical documents you have had with you in the past. This may include a full list of medications, documents related to any condition you previously suffered from, reports on any recent injuries, surgeries, etc. You might also need to show up with a doctor's medical certificate in case of any past illnesses.

DOT Physical Forms That You Must Be Aware Of

There are different forms available for the DOT Physical Examination. All these forms are available online, so if you intend to have a DOT physical exam, you can always view them online and review them before applying. As a commercial driver, you must be aware of the requirements of the DOT Physical Forms. Some of the forms available for DOT physicals are:

1. MCSA-5875, Medical Examination Report Form (MER)

This particular form contains details about the health history and other vital information about the commercial vehicle driver and the findings of the practicing physician.

2. MCSA-5876, Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC)

This is the certificate that you will receive once you pass the DOT Physical Examination.

3. MCSA-5870, Diabetes Mellitus Assessment That Is Treated with Insulin

If you have diabetes and are on insulin, you must fill out this form. Complete it with the help of your treating physician, who is aware of your diabetes history. This form must be filled out within a period of 45 days before appearing for the DOT Physical Examination. Unless this form is available, you will not be given the medical certificate even after passing the DOT Physical Examination. The form must be filled out by a reputed and certified physician.

How Do You Prepare for a DOT Physical?

Normally the DOT Physical Exam takes less than an hour to finish. You must ensure that you are following the FMCSA guidelines and bring all your valid and necessary documents for the examination. You should carry with you the following:

  • A valid commercial driving license
  • Past medical history documents
  • Records of past surgeries and medications
  • List any allergies that you might have suffered from earlier.
  • Additional medical certificates if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.

Once your DOT physicals are over, the physician will complete his assessment and get started with the documentation. The DOT physical is valid for a maximum period of 24 months. Some health issues may require regular monitoring, while others do not have any of those requirements. You will receive a certification for the DOT physical conducted.

Get Your DOT Physical Examination Done Here at StatMD Urgent Care! 

StatMD Urgent Care has a walk-in clinic in Bakersfield, CA, where you can receive DOT Physicals care quickly and efficiently. As one of the leading DOT Physical providers, we have up-to-date and comprehensive knowledge of DOT regulations. All our physicians are FMCSA certified, and we conduct the DOT physical as per the guidance and directions of the FMCSA. Our rates are cost-effective, and since we have a walk-in clinic, you do not even need an appointment. Contact us today to learn more about our DOT physical service.

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