FAQ

Here is a list of questions we often hear from drivers.

We hope this helps your search to understand what’s required to meet FMCSA DOT physical regulations and get your DOT medical card with as little hassle as possible.


At Chiro Stop we do
DOT Physical Exams and
DOT Drug Alcohol Testing.

Quick, Accurate, and Hassle Free

No appointment necessary. Walk-ins are welcome,
or call 801-972-2332 to book a time that works for you.

Parking for 135 trucks at Sapp Bros. I 80 Truck Stop, in Salt Lake City, Utah.


–NEW–
We have a new website so you can find DOT doctors nationwide. You can also find frequently asked questions, by category, on the new website.
And you can find information on what you need to self-certify your CDL with your State Licensing Department.

 

Please help us transition to the new website (so we can retire this one!!).

Click HERE http://dotphysicaldoctor.com/faq/ to go to our new FAQ and post your question.

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You can still get answers on this ‘old’ website – read below.
And Trucker Doc is still answering questions posted on our good ol’ favorite website.

What are the DOT physical requirements?

Does a DOT physical include a drug test?

What drugs are tested for, if a DOT drug test is requested?

What’s involved in a DOT physical?

Why do I have to have a urine test?

Can I obtain a copy of my DOT physical form?

Can the DOT medical card be laminated?

How long is a DOT medical card good for?

How many 3-month DOT medical cards can you have?

Is there a difference between a DOT medical card and a DOT physical card?

If I don’t have medical insurance can I still get a DOT physical?

How much does a DOT physical cost without insurance?

How do overweight truck drivers pass the DOT physical?

What are the DOT Physical blood pressure requirements?

Can a driver with mild sleep apnea get a CDL?

What are the truck driving vision requirements?

What would cause me to fail a DOT physical?

What if the DOT drug screen tests positive?

Do I need a medical card if I’m a local driver?


What are the DOT physical requirements?

Does a DOT physical include a drug test?

  • Drug testing is not part of a DOT Physical exam but your Company may request to have drug alcohol testing done at the same time. DOT drug testing and breath alcohol testing are additional charges.

What drugs are tested for, if a DOT drug test is requested?

  • The 5 Panel drug test analyzes urine for the following drugs:
    • Marijuana (THC metabolite)
    • Cocaine
    • Amphetamines
    • Opiates (including heroin)
    • Phencyclidine (PCP)

What’s involved in a DOT physical?

Why do I have to have a urine test?

  • The urine test is just a kidney screen to test for sugar and protein. It’s done to determine that there is no early onset of conditions like high blood pressure breaking down the kidneys, or early signs of diabetes, or kidney infection.

Can I obtain a copy of my DOT physical form?

  • Yes. We give you 2 copies of the long-form. One for the driver, one for the Company. If you need, we will fax the DOT form to your company. The examining doctor keeps a copy of the form for our office records.

Can the DOT medical card be laminated?

  • Yes. We laminate your DOT medical card for you. Because you need to keep it with you at all times while you’re driving, lamination helps to reduce the wear and tear on the card.

How long is a DOT medical card good for?

  • A DOT medical card is good for two years if you have no restrictions. A history of high blood pressure, taking high blood pressure medications, and/or taking oral medications for diabetes can restrict the medical card to one year.

How many 3-month DOT medical cards can you have?

  • One only. You should have the condition, which caused the restriction, under control by the end of the 3-month window.

Is there a difference between a DOT medical and a DOT physical?

  • No. These terms are used interchangeably. They are most often referred to as a DOT medical when referring to the DOT medical card, and DOT physical when referring to the DOT physical exam, and sometimes drivers refer to them as a CDL physical or CDL medical.

If I don’t have medical insurance can I still get a DOT physical?

  • Yes. You do not need medical insurance to get a DOT Physical. Insurance is not a part of our DOT Physical exam service. Payment for the exam is your responsibility at time of service. Some insurance companies treat this exam as preventative health care and will not reimburse for it. If you have insurance and want to claim reimbursement we can give you a receipt to submit to your insurance company.

How much does a DOT physical cost without insurance?

  • We’ve seen DOT physicals charged anywhere between $50 and $200. We charge the same price whether you have insurance or not. Payment for our DOT Physical service is $80.00 and payment options are cash, credit card, T-check, Com-check, or pre-authorized company account.

How do overweight truck drivers pass the DOT physical?

  • Being overweight is not a restriction to passing the DOT Physical exam. It is the medical conditions that being overweight eventually leads to, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease, that may affect your ability to safely drive a commercial vehicle. That is what the DOT Physical exam will determine – whether you have any of these restrictive medical conditions. Getting healthy and staying healthy is your best guarantee for your life and your livelihood.

What are the DOT physical blood pressure requirements?

Here are the medical guidelines according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Note that employers are allowed to impose more stringent medical requirements.

  • A driver with a BP of less than 140 systolic and less than 90 diastolic may be medically certified to drive for a two-year period.
  • A driver with a BP of 140 – 159 systolic and /or a BP of 90-99 diastolic, has stage 1 hypertension, and may be medically certified to drive for a one-year period. Certification examinations should be done annually thereafter and should be at or less than 140/90.
  • A driver with a a BP of 160-179 systolic and/or a BP of 100-109 diastolic, has stage 2 hypertension, and is a candidate for antihypertensive drug therapy. The driver is given a one-time certification of three months to reduce his or her blood pressure to less than or equal to 140/90. Provided treatment is well tolerated and the driver demonstrates a BP value of 140/90 or less, he or she may be re-certified for one year from the date of the initial exam. The driver is certified annually thereafter.
  • A driver with a BP at or greater than 180 systolic and / or 110 diastolic has stage 3 hypertension and is disqualified. The driver may not be qualified, even temporarily, until blood pressure is reduced to equal to or less than 140/90 and treatment is well tolerated. The driver may be certified for 6 months and biannually (every 6 months) thereafter if at recheck BP is equal to or less than 140/90.

Drivers with  Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, or kidney disease require treatment if their blood pressure rises above 130/80, since they already have a high risk of heart disease. See our article on “High Blood Pressure: Commercial Driver Risk?” for more information.

Can a driver with mild sleep apnea get a CDL?

  • Obstructive sleep apnea does not necessarily disqualify you for a DOT medical card. Treatment with a CPAP machine and some basic lifestyle changes can help you get a restful sleep and maintain your commercial drivers license. For more information on what is currently required for DOT physical certification see our news article “Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Commercial Driver Risk?“.

What are the truck driving vision requirements?

  • A commercial driver must have distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye. That means without corrective lenses, or with corrective lenses, you must be able to see 20/40 or better, with each eye individually as well as together. Your  field of vision should be  at least 70 degrees horizontally, and you must be able to recognize the standard traffic signal colors of red, green and amber.

What would cause me to fail a DOT physical?

  • Over all the years we’ve been working with drivers, the biggest cause for concern we see is high blood pressure. Another concern is uncontrolled sugar in the urine. There are ways you can manage your blood pressure and blood sugar. See our tips to prepare for your DOT physical.
  • Any condition that would cause a loss of ability to control, operate, or drive a commercial vehicle safely – loss or impairment of limbs, poor visual acuity, insulin-controlled diabetes, high blood pressure (more than 180/110), heart disease, respiratory disfunction, epilepsy, mental disorder, use of certain drugs, alcoholism. See a complete list of FMCSA rules and regulations.

What if the DOT drug screen tests positive?

  • If the urinalysis is positive for one or more of the drugs on the 5 panel drug test, then the driver will be contacted in person by the Medical Review Officer. The MRO will interview the driver to determine if there is an alternative medical explanation for the drugs found in the urine specimen. If the driver provides appropriate documentation, a confirmation test is performed for each identified drug using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis. GC/MS confirmation ensures that over-the-counter medications or preparations are not reported as positive results. If the MRO determines that it is a legitimate medical use of the prohibited drug, the drug test result is reported as negative to the employer. Otherwise the drug test will be reported as positive.

Do I need a medical card if I’m a local driver?

  • We’ll answer this question as it pertains to the state of Utah, as we’re located in Salt Lake City. For other states please check with the motor carrier division of your state. For Utah the full documentation is available at the Motor Carrier Division Utah DOT.
  • In summary, a driver qualifies under UDOT, and must carry a valid medical card, if driving a commercial vehicle that:
    • Has a gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight of 10,001 pounds or more
    • Is designed or used to transport more than 8 persons for compensation
    • Is designed or used to transport more than 15 persons not for compensation
    • Is used in transporting hazardous material


Additional Questions or Comments:

If you have a question that you feel has not been answered here, please leave it in the space below. Doctor Kenn will answer  questions about the DOT physical requirements or exam as soon as possible. Visit this web page again soon to see our response. Your comments are also welcome.

391 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Trucker Doc

     /  October 29, 2014

    @Kenneth
    Get your cardiologist to complete your medical release form for you before you go for DOT examination. This covers everything to do with having your condition under control and safe for driving commercial.
    The CME has questions which your cardiologist will answer in the release, so you should be good to go after that. Good Luck

  2. Doc,recently failed a dot test due to a negative stress test result from February 2014. I go for a stress test every year due to triple bypass surgery 9 years ago. I see my heart doctor at least 4 times a year. For frequent check ups And e.k.g’s and echo’s if need be take my Med’s every day, they say I failed because my stress test showed something called zukanol I don’t know if I spelled that correctly or pronounced that correctly. I need help on this what can I do to get retested or is their medication I need to take. I am 58 need my card to keep driving a charter bus in New Jersey. Thanks for your help on this matter.

  3. Trucker Doc

     /  October 27, 2014

    @Jeff
    As long as it does not impede your ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle. You must be medically fit to do so. Unless the spinal stenosis causes you problems or physical weakness, you should be OK. Good Luck

  4. jeff freeman

     /  October 27, 2014

    I was told i may have spinal stenosis can i pass a dot physical

  5. Trucker Doc

     /  October 13, 2014

    @Clk
    A driver get one three month card to get his condition under control. After that he would be disqualified until he gets his condition under control.
    I don’t think any CME is going to pass a high blood pressure issue off with another doctors note. So I would work with your primary doctor to get his blood pressure under control, even when he has to see a DOT examiner.

  6. Can they give the three month card once every year if you have to have the dot physical done yearly? My husband received his three month card for high blood pressure. He has “white coat syndrome”. His family doctor is aware of it. If she writes him a note saying he has it will they let him have his yearly dot card without his blood pressure being within the limits at their office? And with this three month card could he go by the doctors daily and say, “Can you check my blood pressure and see if it’s good?” He goes to a different doctor for the dot physical because his work pays for it and his insurance won’t pay any of it if he goes to his family doctor. But regardless of who he goes through it would be high because he knows his job is riding on it. Thanks.

  7. Trucker Doc

     /  October 10, 2014

    @John
    Yes, but you will need to acquire a vision waiver from the FMCSA before that can happen.

  8. john golden

     /  October 9, 2014

    I have one eye that is good and a prosthsis in the other eye can I drive a truck

  9. Trucker Doc

     /  October 6, 2014

    @Trudi
    You told which doctor?
    The MRO has one set of rules and must follow-up with the individual who is taking the test. He would have ask for a prescription for the meds. No script=positive test. No further steps.

  10. trudi

     /  October 3, 2014

    Hello
    I was taking some diet pills that I bought in jamiaca and was as a result I was positive for an pre employment screening I told the doctor I was taking diet pills and I was reported positive for this is there anything I can do to prove this….
    Please explain the steps to me thank you…

  11. Trucker Doc

     /  September 18, 2014

    @Anonymous
    FMCSA started an improved new program that went in to effect May 21 2014.
    In the new testing process, they want everyone involved with the determination of a drivers medical fitness for duty evaluation.
    The CME who did the most recent examination is telling you to get a medical release form completed by the neurologist. It is not the duty of the CME (according to the new FMCSA regulations) to determine the need for or the evaluation of any existing conditions.
    So get to the neurologist and have him complete a medical release form, to take to his dot physical exam, and everything will work out just fine.

  12. Anonymous

     /  September 17, 2014

    My husband took a dot test today for red certification. He was told he had failed the test because he couldn’t walk heel to toe for 5 feet. The Dr doing the test did that he would have passed him if he could have walked it.the Dr told him that he would have to see a neurologist and get him to say that it was fine for my husband to drive a truck. Dot Dr said that he feared it was neuropathy because my husband has diabetes. His diabetes is under control. Have u ever heard of such nonsense. We r really upset and convinced that this Dr does not know what he is doing. Can u offer any suggestions?

  13. Trucker Doc

     /  September 8, 2014

    @Doug
    It appears that some issue existed that you failed the DOT physical.
    The result has been put into the FMCSA medical registry.
    You may be able to do another physical in 30 days, but you need to have resolved the issue that caused you to fail in the first place.

  14. doug

     /  September 8, 2014

    I went in for dot physical new job have a almost 2 year card. started new job new physical failed not hired can i continue to use old card still up to date at my next job

  15. Trucker Doc

     /  August 29, 2014

    @Bob
    Yes, as soon as the blood pressure is within the normal limits, then you can get the remainder of your medical certificate. Most likely will be for one year.

  16. Bob Harrison

     /  August 27, 2014

    If I am on a three month extension because of high blood pressure, can I visit the center anyday within that three month period to have my blood pressure taken. In other words, could I have my pressure taken everyday in order to get below that 140/90 mark anytime within the grace period. Thank you

  17. Trucker Doc

     /  August 26, 2014

    @John
    In most cases that information is kept between the company and the driver.
    Three years clean is a good way to keep it off your record. Otherwise I know of no way to remove the information from any data base.

  18. If someone fails a drug screen due to a positive test, what can they do to get that off theyre record, being that it was three years ago?

  19. Trucker Doc

     /  August 20, 2014

    @Woman Trucker
    If you are intra-state only and you need a waiver for you to operate in the state of Georgia, then you won’t have any problems.
    Check with your state DLD and see what the requirements are in regards to your issue, but I think you’ll be OK. Good Luck

  20. Woman Trucker

     /  August 20, 2014

    I just renewed my dot card for a year. After the renewal my Dr put me on insulin. Do I have to notify anyone before my next dot card renewal? I drive intrastate in Ga. Will I be able to renew dot with exemption waiver?

  21. Trucker Doc

     /  August 20, 2014

    @Kensho
    If you feel that you have been wrongly denied, then wait thirty days and go to a different doctor.
    Also, have your primary doctor complete a medical release form for you and have it in hand at the time of your next exam. Good Luck.

  22. Kensho

     /  August 19, 2014

    I just got disqualified by the md that did my renewal for my dot medical certificate because of ptsd, my question is can i go to different doctor to get recertified or do i have to wait and how long?

  23. Trucker Doc

     /  August 18, 2014

    @Anonymous
    Yes, as long as his condition is starting to come under control, then there should be no problem to get a short term card while he continues with the doctors recommendations.

  24. Anonymous

     /  August 18, 2014

    My husband went for his DOT physical two weeks ago where they found sugar in his urine. He was told that he had to get a primary care doctor and get the sugar under control before this doctor would pass him. He was told by he doctor that it takes at least a couple of week to get sugar under control with medication. My husband went to a primary care physician the very next day and had sugar test done. His A1C was 9 which we know is high. The primary care immediately put him on meds and a strict diet. Since that time my husband has been doing everything he’s been asked to do and for the last week his sugar has tested within or BELOW normal ranges. Is it possible for my husband to get a temporary (3 month) physical card so he can continue to work until he can have his A1C tested again in 2.5 months?

  25. Trucker Doc

     /  July 25, 2014

    @Andy
    I wouldn’t make a specific change unless your primary doctor feels the need for the change.
    All you really need to do is have your doctor fill out a medical release form (on our national website) explaining the need for the meds you are on and take it with you when you have your next DOT examination. It will answer any questions the examiner may have.

  26. Trucker Doc

     /  July 25, 2014

    @Christina
    The FMCSA has a data base that is nationwide for drivers. But that information is not available to other doctors.

  27. Andy Spiro

     /  July 24, 2014

    Doc I was diagnosed with adult adhd years ago. I take 20 mg of adderal xr daily, I have a perscription. Should I have the doc change it to Straterra? A non stimulant, I don’t like it and would it show as a stimulant anyway?
    Thanks for your time.

  28. Christina Hosch

     /  July 24, 2014

    When you take a DOT physical , do the results just stay in that state or are the results nation wide availiable to amy Dr . ??

  29. Trucker Doc

     /  July 11, 2014

    @Steven
    There are medications that could test positive during a drug screen.
    And if they are properly prescribed and you have a written prescription from your MD, then when the MRO calls you to find out what you are taking you send him a copy of the script and you’re good to go, usually.

  30. steven Galvin

     /  July 10, 2014

    would like to know if under doctors care what prescriptions if any would disqualify me from passing drug screen for cdl and what prescriptions would be allowed I currently pain medication for chronic back pain

  31. Trucker Doc

     /  July 1, 2014

    @new trucker
    You need to look at the company’s policy. They can request any type of testing they want.
    You can refuse. It is a refusal and in most cases marked as a positive because they will feel like you have something to hide.
    But check with the company and see what they say.
    As far as the substance abuse program, that is something established by the company again. So check with HR in the company.

  32. new trucker

     /  June 30, 2014

    If a company wants to hair test and I refuse but am willing to take a urine test will this count as failing and cause me to have to take a substance abuse class?

  33. Kim Goss

     /  June 30, 2014

    Nice website Doc!

    Kim

  34. Trucker Doc

     /  June 11, 2014

    @Paul
    Is your driver driving over the road or local?
    The difference is that an interstate driver would have to carry an insulin waiver once he passed the DOT medical examination.
    As an intrastate driver, this changes based on each states rules. Insulin dependent drivers, must have a DOT waiver. If he is using a medication like Byetta, then he does not need the waiver.
    His medical card will be good for one year and he still needs to bring a medical release form with him to the DOT examination.

  35. paul kane

     /  June 11, 2014

    My driver has been taking the drug LANTUS for several years. When he went to renew his CDL they told him the requirements have changed and the fact that he is taking this medication precludes him from passing his CDL physical. Is this correct? They show commercials on tv of truck drivers using this medication.
    Thank you

  36. Trucker Doc

     /  June 6, 2014

    @Anonymous
    Your questions indicate that you need to understand a lot more about this entire medical card process or you may miss something and have a problem. The best place to start would be on our new website – FAQ FMCSA Regulations.

  37. Trucker Doc

     /  June 6, 2014

    @Anonymous (BMI)
    WOW, I am not sure the direction to go in. If this was happening to me I would try this first.
    1. Get a copy of the medical release form from here . Take this form to your primary healthcare provider and have it filled out in regards to the stated issues.
    2. Then take that release back to the DOT examiner and see what they say.
    3. Otherwise, there is an area of the FMCSA which allows you to enter into conflict regarding your doctor and the DOT examiner. This process will take quite some time and a lot of administrative work.
    4. You may be able to go to another examiner, but the first examiner’s results have been entered into the FMCSA’s database.
    So I would try the first approach and then go from there.

  38. Anonymous

     /  June 5, 2014

    Ok I picked up the medical card form, took it to my doctor he ran all tests, now what do I do? Should I how much will dmv charge me to get the card and will I get a temporary card so I can drive

  39. Anonymous

     /  June 5, 2014

    I recently took a DOT physical. The doctor measured my next at 17 (I’m a woman). That along with my high BMI, gave them reason to only give me a 3 month card. They said I must get a sleep apnea test done in order to get a regular card.
    I went to my personal doctor to have a test scheduled, and she measured my neck, and it measured at 16, which is passing for a DOT card. The paper says if I have 1 of 3 of the following conditions ( neck over 16 inches, high BMI, and hypertension) I qualify for a DOT card. I do admit to having a high BMI, but that is the only thing I have. My bp is 120/82, my neck is 16, however, the physician who conducted the physical says I could only get a 3 month card, and need a apnea test. When I confronted them about the wrong measurement on my beck, she then said my mallampati gland is at a 3 and therefore disqualifies me from getting a 2 year card unless I have a test done.
    My question is: where does it say on the qualifications anything about a mallampati gland? This is my livelihood, I have no apnea symptoms, my personal doctor says I’m fine, she says she can see down my throat just fine, and she has to really dig for symptoms in order for my insurance to cover the apnea test. I want a fair physical, I don’t want to be judged simply because I weigh 280 pounds. Is there anything about the mallampati glad that prohibits me from getting my card? Am I able to go somewhere else to get another physical done? Btw, I pay for my physicals out of my own pocket.

  40. john matthews

     /  June 2, 2014

    I have a past medical of cancer. I’ve had a number of surgeries. no seizer or blackout. i do have a shunt. my last sergery was done in december of 1990

  41. Trucker Doc

     /  May 21, 2014

    @kindbud
    When you go in to have your test, ask what this test is for. No one is keeping secrets. You must be advised that you are about to do a drug screen test and you have to sign on the dotted line following the test. So you know right up front.

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