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.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

 

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

477 Comments

  1. Trucker Doc

     /  June 30, 2011

    @Katy
    There are a couple of ways to answer this, but I need clarity first.
    The DOT examination does not do a drug screen as part of the examination, the urine test done during the examination is looking for blood, sugar, and protein. All of those results are kept in the same file with the DOT examination.
    If the DOT required a true drug screen testing, and you had the test done at the same facility as your DOT examination, yes, they will keep all the records in the same file.
    If your regular health care doctor does your DOT examination and also did your drug screen, then all of the records are in the same file, unless you ask him to make a different file for your DOT records and to seperate DOT information from your regular health records.
    This can be done and is legal to do so.
    I hope this answers your question.
    Trucker Doc

  2. Katy

     /  June 30, 2011

    I have a question. Should the Dot Drug Screen results be kept on someones personal health record with their Dot pysical papers? I am talking about School Bus Drivers. This is a big question no one seems to have an answer.
    Thanks

  3. Trucker Doc

     /  June 19, 2011

    @Anonymous
    Well, the last statement on the DOT long form is: If the driver qualifies he/she must carry a medical certificate — your medical card.
    But it seems that more and more states are looking for a way to be a pain, and they are saying they want to see the long form also. By DOT rules you must carry the medical card, but to keep the ‘law-enforcement’ people off your case, I’d carry a copy of the long form in my records.
    Thanks for the question, Trucker Doc

  4. Anonymous

     /  June 19, 2011

    Does a CDL driver have to keep a copy of his Medical long form on him at all times?

  5. Trucker Doc

     /  June 6, 2011

    @Billy
    If you know you will fail the drug test and you are looking to drive a commercial motor vehicle, why would you put yourself and others at risk?
    Yes the drug test will fail you and it goes into your records according to the CSA 2010 and follows you for an extended period of time.
    It also goes against the company you are working for, which does not help them in any way.
    Trucker Doc

  6. billy

     /  June 4, 2011

    If I know I won’t pass the drug test but will pass otherwise will the drug show up anyways?

  7. Trucker Doc

     /  May 31, 2011

    @Danny Boy
    Five panel drugs screens for the DOT have a very specific temperature reading that the urine sample must fall within, when collected.
    Then the urine sample is sent to a drug testing labratory for the five-panel test.
    Thanks for the question.
    Trucker Doc

  8. DAnNY Boy

     /  May 30, 2011

    do these “five panel drug test” check the temperature of the urine sample?
    I’m assuming its very close to a home drug test where it does’nt check temperature just the contents, and you just piss in a cup, and the cup reads the results… anyone with any info in this? it’d be much apprechiated

  9. Trucker Doc

     /  May 26, 2011

    @Michele
    Yes, the DOT physical exam to get your medical card, does not include a drug test.
    This does not mean that any Company you want to work for, will not request a drug test — they most likely will. But the DOT physical exam requirements do not include a drug test.
    Hope this helps.
    Trucker Doc

  10. Michele

     /  May 20, 2011

    Can I get a DOT physical and recieve a medical card without doing a drug test?

  11. Trucker Doc

     /  May 18, 2011

    1. While the use of methadone is not codified as an absolute disqualifier, it is explained in both advisory criteria and regulatory guidance that a commercial driver should NOT be qualified if on methadone.
    2. There are exceptions to the rule regarding drugs prescribed by MD, but this does NOT apply to methadone.
    3. Guidance: Methadone is a habit-forming narcotic which is NOT allowable as a CMV operater.
    4. Methadone is specifically mentioned in the advisory criteria, as well as the regulatory guidance, as not being subject to this exception, and a commercial driver on methadone should be found medically unqualified.

    So the answer is – You are not going to qualify as a CMV driver.
    Thanks for the question,
    Trucker Doc

  12. Anonymous

     /  May 18, 2011

    What are the rules for taking methadone?

  13. Trucker Doc

     /  May 11, 2011

    @Kevin
    Well in most cases the only person who knows about this is the employer who requested the test to begin with. You do not lose your CDL, but they may request you go through drug abuse training or some other type of drug usage related program. You will be able to use your CDL, but with the CSA 2010 reporting, you may be on the company list as a high risk driver for a while.
    Be safe and drive safe.
    Thanks for the question. Trucker Doc

  14. kevin

     /  May 10, 2011

    I failed a DOT pre-employment drug test. Who will know this information? Do I loose my CDL. Will I ever be able to use My CDL again?

  15. Trucker Doc

     /  May 5, 2011

    @Ryan
    The urine sample for the drug test for pre-employment is checking for drugs.

    The urine sample needed for the DOT Physical is to make sure your kidneys are functioning normally — to look for blood, sugar and protein in the urine, not drugs. Two completely different tests.
    Thanks for the question, Trucker Doc

  16. Ryan

     /  May 3, 2011

    took a drug test for pre employment. now, I got to take my dot physical to drive a tow truck. Do I have to give another drug screen during the physical? tow truck is 26,000 and under but is commercial, and we have chauffers d.l. thanks…..

  17. Trucker Doc

     /  April 28, 2011

    @Jon
    With documentation from your heart doctor, that all is going well, you should clear a one year physical with out any difficulty. The one-year restriction will be because of the blood pressure medication and diabetic meds. Also if you had a heart attack you will need a copy of your last stress test.
    Thanks for the question.
    Trucker Doc

  18. Jon

     /  April 27, 2011

    I had my aortic valve replaced 14 months ago. Since then my bp is like 124/64. I am pre or borderline diabetic taking 2.5mg glipizide once a day, usually around 120. I take diovan for my BP and Lipetor for my colestral which also is under control. I feel good and have no symptoms that I am aware of that would restrict me from driving. I am also on correg to build my heart back up, 25 mg a day along with fish oil. So my question to you is, do you think it’s worth wasting my time and money on trying to obtain a cdl physical card?
    Thank you.

  19. Trucker Doc

     /  April 15, 2011

    @Daniel
    Myth, Your medical can be laminated. I usually have the drivers sign it in blue ink and then laminate it. That way if a DOT officer or police officer has the card in hand, they know they are holding the original.
    Thanks for the question, Travel Safely, Trucker Doc.

  20. daniel

     /  April 15, 2011

    is it true that a medical card for a CDL cannot be laminated and has to be tri-folded?

  21. Trucker Doc

     /  April 9, 2011

    @Pam
    All DOT information is kept in the doctors office.
    If you come from states like AZ, CA, NV, and a few others you have to give the information to the state.
    Most companies, you drive for, will want to have a copy of your long form, as well as a copy of your medical certificate. But, according to HIPPA compliance – all they need is a copy of your medical certificate.
    So really, the only people who receive your DOT information are people that you give the forms to.
    Thanks for the question,
    Dr. Kenn

  22. Pam

     /  April 8, 2011

    Does any of the information from you DOT physical get reported to DOT or anywhere else?

  23. Trucker Docc

     /  April 7, 2011

    @Marge
    If your son is going to drive intra-state then his visual accuity testing will be based on the states requirments.
    If he will be driving inter-state he may need a waiver from his eye doctor to clarify his visual accuity and visual abilities.
    Thanks for the question. Dr. Kenn

  24. marge

     /  March 31, 2011

    my son wants to drive for UPS. He has a central vision defect in one eye with 20/70 vision. the other eye is 20/15. together it is 20/15. does this mean he cant drive?

  25. Trucker Doc

     /  March 29, 2011

    No, an STD will not affect a DOT examination.
    I hope this answers your question.
    Dr. Kenn

  26. LADYK

     /  March 25, 2011

    does the DOT exam require that truck drivers are completely healthy…does that include sexually transmitted diseases??

  27. Trucker Doc

     /  March 19, 2011

    Yes, Just check on the medical certificate for the proper date of examination and when it expires.
    Thanks for the question. Travel Safe.
    Dr. Kenn

  28. Joey

     /  March 17, 2011

    If the doc Gave me my medical card at the office does that mean i passed the urine sample and am good to go?

  29. Trucker Doc

     /  March 16, 2011

    Yes, the employer can have you take a new physical and medical certificate, if is company policy. They also usually will pay for the exam too.
    Hope this helps. Thanks,
    Dr. Kenn

  30. Trucker Doc

     /  March 16, 2011

    I believe the information will be in the CSA 2010 records. I’m not sure if you can access them on the web.
    Or do a records check with the DOT and see what they have on the drivers record. Check through FMCSA.
    Hope this helps.
    Thanks, Dr. Kenn

  31. MARK

     /  March 16, 2011

    Can my employer make me get a DOT physical if my currant certificate is good for another 18 months?

  32. Jeff

     /  March 16, 2011

    How do I find out whats been reported to DOT on previous positive drug tests? I am concerned about what employers can find out. Thanks

  33. Trucker Doc

     /  March 7, 2011

    @Russell

    1. As a driver with type II diabetes, you will need to fill the history portion of the medical exam out with the rough date of diagnosis and how you are treating your diabetes, and the name of your treating physician, city, state. You do not need to bring any other info from your treating physician.

    2. The simplist answer is your physical examination and medical card will be limited to one year, because you are a diabetic taking medication. Also the wording on the high blood pressure medication is ‘a history ‘ of high blood pressure. If your heart doctor writes a note for the examiner stating you no longer need the high blood pressure medication, then he has a way to start moving you away from the high blood pressure history.

    Hope this helps,
    Thanks Dr. Kenn

  34. Russell

     /  March 6, 2011

    1. I have type 2 diabetes and take oral medications since dianosed and eat right to keep it under control. Will I need and medical reports from my doctor to pass a DOT exam or will just a list of the medications I take and the doctors name/address be good. Thanks in advance for any advice you can suppy me with.

    2. The last exam I had I was on blood pressure medication for my blood pressure but I since stopped using salt and had to stop taking blood pressure medication since I no longer have high blood pressure. Do I inform the doctor and it will not show on my medical card/from this exam or once on there one there for life? What proof do I need to bring to show I no longer have high blood pressure. I do current take a 5 mg blood pressure pill per my doctor to protect my kidneys from the diabetes medications. I used to take 20 mg a day before stopping all extra salt on my food so it is obivous I might have been a big salt fan……….lol Thanks again.

  35. Trucker Doc

     /  March 4, 2011

    I don’t believe so. If you’re not driving you shouldn’t be in anyone’s pool. Are you working inside a company where you might potentially need to move a truck e.g. dispatch? Otherwise it sound like someone just forgot to take you out of their database.
    Hope this helps.
    Dr. Kenn

  36. Patrick

     /  March 4, 2011

    If I have a CDL but my doctor won’t let me drive because of PTSD should i still be in the ramdom testing pool, I havn’t used my CDL In five years.

  37. Trucker Doc

     /  February 21, 2011

    @John.
    It should not be a problem. It will show up in the drug test. Then the medical review officer will contact you and question you regarding the medication and the doctor’s prescription. Your explanation should be able to clear the test.
    Dr. Kenn

  38. John

     /  February 18, 2011

    Hi, I am getting my CDL in Ct and I have the drug test next week. My doctor prescribes me oxycodone. I have a written note, will this be a problem

  39. Trucker Doc

     /  February 16, 2011

    @RKotabish
    In most cases, no. But it will depend on why you received a one year or less medical certificate.
    e.g. Stage one hypertension-good for one year
    Taking oral medication for type II diabetes-one year
    Stage two hypertension, blood pressure above 160 / 100-good for 3 months and you must get your pressure below 140 / 90
    Type one diabetes- insulin shots- INTRA-STATE only and a waiver.

    Hope this helps, Thanks for the questions.
    Be Well, Travel Safe. Dr. Kenn

  40. Roy

     /  February 16, 2011

    I received less than 2 years on my exam. Does this affect my ablity to drive interstate at all?

  41. Trucker Doc

     /  February 8, 2011

    @Joe P
    Ability to operate, yes. Legally operate, NO. He can be put out of service and with the new CSA 2010 rules the infraction will be following him from job to job for quite a while. Thanks, Dr. Kenn.

  42. Joe P Bruce Supply

     /  February 7, 2011

    Can a New York City truck driver operate a CDL truck with an expired medical card. Can he be put out of service.

  43. Trucker Doc

     /  January 9, 2011

    @chrisann
    That varies from company to company, some see it as part of the job and some see it as, “if you don’t have a medical card, you don’t have the job.” These is no set in stone answer. Thanks, Dr. Kenn

  44. chrisann

     /  January 8, 2011

    If you are working with a company. Is it there responsibility to pay for the exam.

  45. Trucker Doc

     /  October 29, 2010

    @Anonymous
    The Federal DOT does not require a drug test at the time of the DOT medical examination; only a small urine sample is needed to check for blood, sugar, specific gravity and protein in the urine. These are all early warning signs for other conditions – high blood pressure breaking down the kidneys, late onset diabetes, kidney or urinary tract infections.

    Now, if your employer requests a DOT qualified drug screen be done at the same time, then and only then are both tests done at the time of the medical examination.

    Hope this helps you out.
    Thanks,
    Doc Kenn

  46. Anonymous

     /  October 28, 2010

    I’m in Washington State. Are you sure that the examination will not automatically include a drug screening in the urine test?

  47. Trucker Doc

     /  August 23, 2010

    @Kris.
    Well, in the first place a blood pressure between 140 / 90 and 160 /100 is good for a one year certificate. So I’m not sure why you only got three months. If your blood pressure is normally below 140 / 90 and the DOT examining physician only did one blood pressure reading, well that just does not seem fair, especially if you felt nervous at the time of the exam. Blood Pressure should be checked a few times during the exam, because blood pressures vary from minute to minute.

    Your DOT examination forms are kept at the examining doctor’s office and not reported to the government or DMV, unless asked for by either of those departments. If you drive for a company it would have been reported via your giving them a copy of your long form. If you are an owner-operator, you have the long form in hand. You can have another examination completed by another examining DOT physician and could be issued a new card, as long as your blood pressure is below 140 / 90. You could also go back to the last doctor, give him the one year info to get your certificate for one year instead of three months, but then you have a history of high blood pressure and will only get a one year certificate from this point on.

    Hope this helps answer your question.

    Travel safely. Doc Kenn.

  48. kris floyd

     /  August 23, 2010

    I got a one time three month card for having a bp 140/90 can I go to a different doctor AND GET ANOTHER dot physical. I dont really have high blood pressure just nervous that day. Do you know if my original dot physical is reported to the government or dmv or would it be against the law to got to a different doctor and try to get a 2 yr card from him.
    THANKS

  49. truckerdoc

     /  August 3, 2010

    @Eric. No. There is no reason to get naked. Loose clothing will suffice for the examining physician to be able to complete all aspects of the DOT physical exam.

  50. eric

     /  August 1, 2010

    in a dot physical do you have to get complety naked?

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