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.

Leave a comment

472 Comments

  1. Trucker Doc

     /  October 25, 2016

    @William
    No, the newest card information was input to the federal data base and will override the previous medical certificate.
    Try getting a medical release form from your prescribing doctor explaining your meds and see if that helps.

  2. William

     /  October 25, 2016

    I currently have an active Dot card but I started a new job and I had to get another dot card because i was a new hire but I got rejected for a certain medication. But i wasnt on the medication when i got my first card. It doesnt expire until 2018. Is it still valid?

  3. Trucker Doc

     /  October 4, 2016

    @George
    If you have a CDL you’ll need to contact your local drivers license department to find out what their process is to keep your CDL current, or upgrade it once you are medically fit to drive again and have renewed your medical card.

  4. George

     /  October 2, 2016

    I tore my rotator cuff and not ready to go back to work yet my medical card expires in month can you help me on what I need to do

  5. Wkah

     /  September 24, 2016

    Hello i live in california, i need my class A for a new job. I noticed my BP was 141/90. I took one blood pressure pill not prescribed to me. Will this cause me to fail the drug test? Ive never done any other drugs in my life. And do i have to report any meds when i go take my physical? How will they know?

    Thank you

  6. Anonymous

     /  September 20, 2016

    when you go into the exam. What sre the steps they do in order? Is it urine, physical, medical? Any input?? I’m going to an Urgent Care

  7. Shantastic

     /  September 14, 2016

    @truckerdoc digital rectal exam for prostate check may be done to check for prostate size. If prostate feels enlarged then the person may have bladder issues like urinary urgency and frequency and even sometimes some incontinence. Such bladder problems may cause discomfort during driving and require frequent stops to use the john. And that’s why some examiners do a DRE

  8. Trucker Doc

     /  September 7, 2016

    @Matt
    Why on earth is any CME doing a prostate/testicular examination? All the DOT should be looking for is hernia, so you should be able to refuse any additional testing that is not a part of the DOT examination. If that is a problem with the examiner, be polite, get up and leave.

  9. Trucker Doc

     /  September 6, 2016

    @Scottie
    Yes, you can retake the test at any time, but that is usually at the request of the new hiring company.

  10. Matt

     /  September 6, 2016

    During the Physical can you refuse the prostate and testicular cancer exam? I didn’t see it in the requirements of the physical, just the hernia exam.

  11. Scottie

     /  September 2, 2016

    I did drive for FedEx. Failed my drug screen. Am I able to retake the test

  12. Trucker Doc

     /  August 5, 2016

    @Mac
    If you had a new DOT physical, then the CME entered the present information into the FMCSA database, so you need to check with the examiner. Or if he did issue a new card, then that is the one on file. If he did not issue you a card then he may have you in a suspended file on the FMCSA. Either way you need to know what your status is and your old card may be invalid at this time.

  13. Mac

     /  July 27, 2016

    I have a current med card good until the end of the year,I resently went to get another dot phy and found out I have heart issue is my old card still good

  14. Trucker Doc

     /  July 26, 2016

    @Anonymous
    Did you get checked out by your primary doctor regarding the sugar in your urine? That would be the first step in this situation. Urine test can be done at anytime during the testing procedure.

  15. Anonymous

     /  July 20, 2016

    I am getting ready to take my first dot exam. Last urine test I took come up positive for sugar. What can I do to get this under control? Also what are the exact steps do they make you follow, urine test then physical?

  16. Trucker Doc

     /  July 9, 2016

    @Vivian
    No, you cannot get an extension for a medical card, and you cannot drive on an expired medical card.

  17. Vivian

     /  July 6, 2016

    if I don’t get my dot physical before my expiration date can I get an extension for my physical I’m in PA

  18. Trucker Doc

     /  April 22, 2016

    @ wannabetrucker
    So basically you lied on the federal form and did not disclose a medication that is going to test positive when you are drug tested as a pre-employment or random drug screen.
    At this point you need a medical release form sign by your prescribing doctor. Also have a copy of the prescription on hand. You will need to confirm with any drug testing that you have a valid prescription. Your medications have some stipulations in place, but a properly prescribed medication that has been taken for any period of time and has shown no negative side effects can be accepted with proper documentation from your prescribing doctor.

  19. wannabetrucker

     /  April 22, 2016

    I have a serious question,I recently took a dot physical a n d didn’t put a medicine I take because of the stigma attached to it and advise from my prescribing doctor I’m a new cdl holder and haven’t even got a job yet I’m afraid where I didn’t list the med on my long-form and go for a job and it shows up then I’ll look like a idiot I’m wanting to start out driving but that is holding me back.Question is should I go and take another physical and just be honest or what I don’t want this haunting me later on.Any advice?

  20. Trucker Doc

     /  March 30, 2016

    @Daniel
    It all sounds reasonable, but in this case you may need to ask an attorney this question.

  21. Daniel S

     /  March 29, 2016

    If a company requires you to get your medical certificate through a specific medical examiner and that examiner requires a sleep study. Shouldn’t the company pay for the sleep test? They already pay for required urinalysis test so why wouldn’t they pay for the sleep test? Its their Dr./ medical examiner that is requiring the test. Shouldn’t they pay for it too? I went to my own Dr and got my medical certificate no problem. But if they require me to go to their medical examiner they should pay for it…am I right? Who is financially responsible for the tests required by the medical examiner that is contracted by my employer and who I am required to go to for my exam?

  22. JOhn

     /  March 16, 2016

    Need to find info on stress testing requirements. I am 58 and require a stress test every 2 years for my CDL. I need this in writing to give to my Primary “Care Phys. This way I can get the test preformed prior to getting my Annual DOT Phys.

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