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.

423 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Trucker Doc

     /  July 7, 2015

    @Tazz
    Drug testing is different from a medical card. If you take a medical examination, the urine test is for proper kidney function, not drug screening.
    If you are going for pre-employment or random drug screening, then you are being tested for specific drugs. Two different things. And, in most cases you do not lose your medical card.

  2. Tazz

     /  July 7, 2015

    If you fail a drug test will they still give you your dot medical card?

  3. Trucker Doc

     /  June 16, 2015

    @Tiffany
    No blood test. Just a urine test to check for kidney function.
    To know the important things, go to this link on our national website and download the free guidebook on DOT physicals.

  4. Tiffany

     /  June 15, 2015

    Hi I wanted to know do they do blood test for the D.O.T physical and what are the important things they do

  5. Trucker Doc

     /  May 13, 2015

    @Anonymous
    Most likely you will have a 5 year wait following your stroke and the defibrillator is unacceptable for an interstate driver.
    So you would want to check into intra-state only. Your state DLD will be the best bet for the most up to date information. As an intra-state only driver, some of the rules and regulations soften and you may be able to drive commercially with the defib unit. So check with your state DLD to make that final decision based on the information they provide for you.

  6. Anonymous

     /  May 13, 2015

    I had a TIA on 4 aug 2014,had a pacemaker/defibrillator implant on 17 feb 2015 what are my requirements to recertify my dot medical card. I was told I had to wait 5 years after the stroke to requalify. im in Houston texas

  7. Trucker Doc

     /  April 20, 2015

    @Mike
    If you were sent by your employer, then there shouldn’t be any real issues.

  8. Trucker Doc

     /  April 20, 2015

    @Brandon
    Once you are fully healed from the donation, you should be just fine.
    You might need to take a medical release form with you from the doctor. It will answer most of the CME’s question. Be Well!

  9. brandon

     /  April 19, 2015

    My dad has stage four kidney failure if i donate one of mine to him can i still keep my class A CDL?

  10. Mike

     /  April 17, 2015

    I just had a dot examine for my job. The examiner gave me a 3 month medical card because he said I need a sleep apnea test done. Less than a week later a new employer called me and I had to take another dot examine. The examiner gave me a 1 year medical card. Will this be considered doctor shopping? I put the same thing on both of my paperwork.

  11. Trucker Doc

     /  April 15, 2015

    @bus driver23
    You may keep your license, but you will need a medical release form from your doctor to keep your medical card up to date.

  12. bus driver23

     /  April 14, 2015

    Can I keep my cdl license if my doctor prescribes me lortabs? Not driving for at least 8 hours after taking medication.

  13. Trucker Doc

     /  April 14, 2015

    @Tom.
    Yes.

  14. TOM

     /  April 14, 2015

    CAN DOCTORS SEE IF YOU HAVE HAD A DOT PHYSICAL SOMEWHERE ELSE OR ARE ON A MEDICATION ?

  15. Trucker Doc

     /  April 7, 2015

    @Chuck
    Check inside the FMCSA guideline handbook on the FMCSA website.
    Any illness or injury that removes a driver from the safe operation of a CMV must have a new DOT examination to determine if the driver is “fit for duty”.

  16. Chuck

     /  April 7, 2015

    Can you tell me where I can find a DOT Regulation that states if an employee is out sick for ten days for a sickness that didn’t happen at work that he his required to get a new DOT Card? This employee received his new DOT card on the Friday before he became ill.

  17. Trucker Doc

     /  March 27, 2015

    @Jeff
    It is not a new law or regulation. It is a guideline/recommendation for smokers.
    It’s also a way to make extra money off of the truck drivers. If there is a visible / functional reason for such testing then it will be hard to get around. If there is no real logical/ functional reason, then it’s for the dough.

  18. Jeff

     /  March 26, 2015

    Tim Landes: Was informed today by the Texas CDL medical examiner that if I am a smoker I must also, by a new law, have, and pay for, something called a PFT test, (a lung function test). Never heard of this law and cannot find any information about it. Any truth to this? Is there a new law?Thanks

    Yes, it is true. I just had one two day’s ago and failed. It is a very hard test, I passed out 3 times. I think it is a crock if you ask me.

  19. Trucker Doc

     /  March 14, 2015

    @Chris
    Just have your prescribing doctor fill out a medical release form for you. Also, have a copy of your script on hand. If the drug test pops positive, the MRO will call and ask for a copy of the prescription to determine proper usage. That will help the most.

  20. Chris Thomas

     /  March 13, 2015

    I’m enrolled in a truck driving school and I am prescribed a very, very low dose of suboxone. Is this going to be a problem with passing my drug screen for my DOT or any pre-employment screenings? Most people who take it are on as much as 32mg a day, I take 1mg daily and it’s more so to keep me from relapsing. I’ve been clean now for over a year and the low dose suboxone fights any urges to use again.

  21. Tim Landes

     /  March 9, 2015

    Was informed today by the Texas CDL medical examiner that if I am a smoker I must also, by a new law, have, and pay for, something called a PFT test, (a lung function test). Never heard of this law and cannot find any information about it. Any truth to this? Is there a new law?

    Thanks

  22. Trucker Doc

     /  February 28, 2015

    @Don
    Not sure what the question really is.
    There is no drug test taken at the time of the DOT medical examination, so what does the drug test have tho do with the retaking of a medical examination. Drug testing is an employment requirement. Positive test results are sent to the employer and it is up to them as to how they will treat the positive findings. As far as your CDL and driving/employability is concerned, a new employer is going to want another drug screen for pre-employment hiring, so get clean and stay clean.

  23. I have CDL permit and med card. Failed my drug test. I want to try again, by failing my first drug test. Will they question why I need another med card since I fail the drug test. Is the fact that I fail reported so that I can’t get another job with a carrier.

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