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 $100. We charge the same price whether you have insurance or not. Payment for our DOT Physical service is $65.00 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.

335 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Trucker Doc

     /  April 18, 2014

    @Frank
    The urine testing done during the medical examination for a CDL driver never consisted of a drug test. It was a test designed to rule out other systematic conditions. They are looking for blood, sugar and protein. So yes you will still have to pee in a cup, but no drug testing unless your employer requests it, and you will know about it before you take the test.

  2. Frank

     /  April 16, 2014

    I have a class B CDL, I don’t drive a commercial vehicle anymore but want to keep my license. Do I still get drug tested when going for my medical?

  3. Trucker Doc

     /  April 8, 2014

    @LL
    No, you shouldn’t need to. You already have a valid medical card on file with the DMV.
    BUT – here’s where things may get complicated – if you get another medical card, issued on and valid until a different date, and by a different medical examiner, and you carry it as your official medical card, and law enforcement checks, then the information will be different than the information CA DMV has – and this could be a problem.

  4. Trucker Doc

     /  April 8, 2014

    @Ryan
    I would check this out with your state and with FMCSA.
    I believe you are able to drive with this condition, but you will need to provide your certified medical examiner, aka DOT doctor, with the proper documentation, form your primary care physician, regarding your condition.
    Safety is the primary concern for both you and the public at large.
    Also, is the company always going to have you home for the transfusion?
    Do your background work first with the state and FMCSA, then make your decision.

  5. LL

     /  April 8, 2014

    I have just renewed my DOT medical and cdl license a month ago in CA, my new job in CA requested a drug test and DOT physical to start a new job. Since I already have renewed it a month ago and it is already on file, do I need to submit this medical form again to DMV in California ?

  6. Ryan

     /  April 7, 2014

    I have a blood disorder but have to get transfusion every four weeks but they said they could put me on prednisone. But I don’t want to switch can you still drive and get the transfusions. I been wanting my cdls since I was 18 now I’m 26 so I’m hoping I can get it.

  7. Trucker Doc

     /  April 6, 2014

    @Roy
    I don’t believe so.
    You are taking a pretty strong narcotic for pain and its side effects would not be very conducive to driving, at least on a class A.
    As a class C, I would check with your state on any restrictions they may have.

  8. Roy Guillot

     /  April 4, 2014

    I take opana er 10 4 times,on a bad day. Most days it is 3 , it is precribe by my Doctor. My question is can I get a CDL class c. Thanks

  9. Trucker Doc

     /  March 21, 2014

    @Sue
    Yes, he has to redo his DOT Physical. You did the right thing to pull him from training.
    Once a disqualifying medical condition is resolved, and before resuming operation of CMVs, he is responsible for obtaining re-certification from a Medical Examiner.

  10. Sue Shively

     /  March 21, 2014

    Hi, I have a person taking cdl-a training. He has taken his ODOT physical and passed. He had a heart attack a few weeks ago. Does he have to take the ODOT physical again due to the heart attack. I have also pulled him from training as he went back and started driving a week after he had his heart attack.

  11. Trucker Doc

     /  March 20, 2014

    @Kirk
    One good reading is all you should need. At present the recommendation for multiple readings is a guideline not a rule.

  12. Trucker Doc

     /  March 20, 2014

    @Anonymous
    Stress test is required once every two years after a coronary bypass.

  13. kirkbrykowski

     /  March 20, 2014

    I failed my dot physical because I could only get one good reading out of three below 140 over 90. Previously I was only tested one time and came up with a good reading and passed. Other drivers told me that they only had to have one good reading. Is it true according to the law that I have to have 3 good readings. The physical was done at a cvs minute clinic in Crystal Lake Illinois.

  14. Anonymous

     /  March 1, 2014

    When a dot driver has a coronary bypass how often is a stress test required for a CDL exam?

  15. Trucker Doc

     /  January 15, 2014

    @Kevin
    Drug testing is not part of the DOT physical examination for medical certification.
    But the company you work for may have a policy that when you come in, they perform a drug test. That would be a request from the company you are going to work for, not the DOT examiner’s.

  16. kevin kemp

     /  January 9, 2014

    hello
    i hav a new doctor tha replacd myold dox
    .this doc didnt approve my CDLl med application cause i
    tested positive for weed.. I told him that he wasn’t supposed to be testing for marijuana in the first place and he still disregarded and would not approve my application I always smoke on my 3 months off in the summer and I explain that to him thaye will take the test when I come back

  17. Trucker Doc

     /  January 7, 2014

    @Aaron
    To keep you CDL current you must have completed the Self Certification Affidavit by 1/30/14. Your DMV may allow you to self-certify in a category that doesn’t require a medical card. Keeping your CDL, without being an active driver, differs from state to state.
    For more information see this article on our new website blog – New FMCSA Medical Certification Requirements.

  18. Trucker Doc

     /  January 7, 2014

    @Chad
    If you want to bring your blood pressure down below the mark, you may need to work with your primary healthcare provider and start on a blood pressure medication. It will not take long for you to tweak your meds and have your bp below the cutoff.
    You would want to start that process as soon as possible.
    Also if your meds are just being tweaked and your pressure is still a little high, the DOT examiner, may extend you card again for a period of time. I can’t speak for all examiners, but if the effort is being taken seriously, then why jeopardize your livelihood?

  19. chad

     /  January 7, 2014

    ok so if my bp is still too high when i try again in three months and i lose my cdl, can i get it back ever again?

  20. Aaron

     /  January 7, 2014

    I have not been an active driver for @ 10 years. I am in a different profession now. I have kept my CDL current though. I would like to continue to do so, but the new requirements for the Med card are hard to keep up with because I do have sleep apnea, which is treated by my MD. Can I keep my CDL without having to provide all the extra info and do all the extra testing and re-testing they DMV wants?

  21. Trucker Doc

     /  January 7, 2014

    @Louis
    When you have your DOT physical done, if you qualify for a medical card, you will get the medical card from the medical examiner’s office at the end of your visit.

  22. LOUIS

     /  January 6, 2014

    MY medical card is expired does any one know if i get a dot physical is a medical card given to me at office or do i get one some were else?

  23. Trucker Doc

     /  December 24, 2013

    @Anonymous
    For you to pass the eye examination for a DOT medical card you must have at least 70 degrees of side view vision (peripheral vision) in each eye. You also must have a visual acuity of 20/40 with both eyes and in each eye individually. Now that can be with glasses or some type of corrective lens if needed.
    If you can’t pass that portion of the examination, then you don’t get to drive, unless you acquire a visual exemption from FMCSA.
    For more information on the medical certification regulations as related to driving, see this link for a free Guidebook.

  24. Anonymous

     /  December 23, 2013

    what if i fail the eye exam

  25. Trucker Doc

     /  December 17, 2013

    @Anonymous
    There is no drug testing during the DOT physical — BUT you will be drug tested at the time of employment.
    Besides, if you are going to continue smoking, you will be randomly drug tested routinely, so you might want to consider another occupation other than driving.

  26. Anonymous

     /  December 11, 2013

    I’m going to get my physical for a permit in el pado tx. I’m “dirty” do to smokeing weed. Will I take a drug test for my permitt?

  27. Trucker Doc

     /  December 4, 2013

    @Pat
    Well, if you tested positive and you are a user, then you are out of the trucking industry, no questions asked.
    If you were to be hired and you continue testing positive, then stay out of the industry. Drugs and driving a commercial motor vehicle are a very bad mix, so first decide if you want to party or you want to drive for a living.

    You will be drug tested for every job you apply for and you will be randomly tested throughout your driving career. If you have a problem with drug use, then get help. On a first time basis, they do not take your CDL, but you will need to go to a substance abuse program and pass with flying colors.

    In this industry you will not get many second chances. Passing your medical examination is the easiest part of the whole process, but why waste your time and everybody else’s if you are going to fail your drug screens. Just think about it.
    Thanks for the question. Trucker Doc.

  28. Hi I’m scared because I just got my cdl a couple of weeks ago and was taking a dot exam For a company and tested positive for cocain on the drug screen. What are the consequences? Do I lose my cdl or does it stay on my record forever? Will I still b able to get my medical card?

  29. Trucker Doc

     /  December 3, 2013

    @Rio
    Yes, Just make sure you get a note from your primary healthcare provider explaining your past and present condition. And if you are on new medications, make sure he explains them to the DOT examiner. Thanks for the question. Trucker Doc

  30. if i fail can i just go to another doctor and take another physical. i mentioned methadone.

  31. Trucker Doc

     /  November 18, 2013

    @Carla
    Maybe.
    If the medication is prescribed and is being taken as prescribed, then in most cases, the MRO will call and request a copy of the script and can change a positive test to a negative. Just make sure that you put your contact information on the chain of custody form.
    And, if the medication has the chance of altering your ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely, then it is not OK to operate a CMV.
    Just check with your prescribing doctor and have the necessary information/documentation for the MRO or medical examiner. Thanks for the question. Trucker Doc.

  32. Carla Castilian

     /  November 17, 2013

    If you are prescribed a narrcotic from a workman comp. case taking legally, as long as you have doctor approval can you still pass the DOT drug rules.

  33. Trucker Doc

     /  October 30, 2013

    @Rich
    Well, you are a class A driver, which requires, by law, a medical certificate.
    As far as a drug test is concerned, you will take a new drug test with anybody you are going to work for.
    Thanks for the questions. Trucker Doc

  34. rich

     /  October 29, 2013

    i need dot card, i was told by the driver license office in dade city FL i am taking drivers exam already had cdl they lost drivers exam records from 92 but they did have all written exams on record. any way driver license office requirers dot card why
    i am driving for my own start up company, bought truck yesterday, mobil home mover service Class A air breaks gmc 1988 says( company ask for drug test)

  35. Trucker Doc

     /  September 16, 2013

    @Patricia
    If your employer’s DOT examiner is certified to do DOT examinations then you can use the medical card to renew your cdl at your local dmv. Just make sure that you have a valid medical card.
    Thanks for the question. Trucker Doc

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