Tips For DOT Physical

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 guarantee a time that works for you.

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


DOT Doctor

Your DOT doctor at Sapp Bros. truck stop is Dr. Kenn Seals. Most drivers just call him “Doc”.

He’s been here at Sapp Bros. truck stop, in Salt Lake City,  working with commercial drivers for more than seven years so he understands the importance of you passing your DOT physical exam for your CDL.

Our goal at Chiro Stop is twofold: To support you in protecting your livelihood, and to help you with improved lifestyle choices for your health and for your life.

We do our best to help you prepare for your DOT physical exam and make your CDL medical certification as hassle free as possible.


DOT Physical Exam: Things to Plan in Advance:

If you have a medical condition you’re going to need some paperwork:

  • Diabetic Condition – Bring a list of medications and name of  prescribing doctor.
  • High Blood Pressure – Bring a list of medications and name of prescribing doctor.
  • Heart Condition – If you’ve had a heart attack or cardiovascular disease, you’ll need to bring a copy of your last stress test.
  • Sleep Apnea – Bring a copy of your latest sleep test results, if you have one.
  • Medications – List all the prescription medicines you take, including strength and dosage. If you regularly take over-the counter medications, such as antacids or allergy pills, list them, too.
  • Contact information – Have names and phone numbers of your doctors in case you need to call and have them fax missing information.


DOT Physical Exam: Things To Do to Manage Your Blood Pressure:

  • Make sure you don’t run out of your prescribed blood-pressure medication.
  • Remember to take your  medication on schedule. If you forget, most doctors recommend taking your medication as soon as possible.
  • If you’re significantly late taking your medication, tell the doctor conducting the DOT physical you forgot to take your regular medication. If your blood pressure is too high, ask to have it rechecked later that day – or even the following day.
  • Cutting back on caffeine and nicotine can help improve your blood pressure.
  • Reducing the amount of salty foods you eat and avoiding adding salt to your food can also help to lower your blood pressure.
  • The week before your DOT physical exam, cut back on coffee, sodas, energy drinks, potato chops, etc, and don’t add salt to your food. Also reduce your use of nicotine as much as possible. Doing this can help lower your blood pressure reading.


The Day of the DOT Physical Exam:

  • Remember to bring the medical records you’ve prepared in advance, including your list of medications.
  • Remember to bring eye glasses (it’s surprising how many people forget this).
  • Drink water. Come with a need to pee.


Getting Past ‘White Coat’ Syndrome:

  • First off, we understand that this is a very real concern for some drivers.
  • Secondly, we work with drivers all day long. We understand that passing your DOT physical exam is important to your continued career and your livelihood, and we’re here to do everything we can to help you.
  • Lastly, we work in a truck stop and you won’t find a white coat in our facility.


Frequently Asked Questions:

CDL and Health Related Articles:

High Blood Pressure: Commercial Driver Risk?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Commercial Driver Risk?


Questions or Comments:

If you have a question about the DOT physical requirements, please leave it in the space below. Doctor Kenn will answer it as soon as possible. Visit this web page again soon to see our response. Your comments are also welcome.

135 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Trucker Doc

     /  October 14, 2014

    @Manny
    You are presently taking medication that will result in an initial positive finding on your DOT drug screen for pre-employment.
    Try getting a medical release form completed by your primary doctor, explaining the meds and their needs.
    Also if you will be changing meds soon, make sure those are addressed too.
    As for your DOT medical card. The medical release from your doctor is going to be an absolute need for the DOT Medical Examiner. He will have lots of questions, but if you can have your medical card in hand when you go for the job, you should be good to go.
    One last thing, make sure you have a copy of your prescriptions with you when the medical review officer calls for the pre-employment drug screen. Good Luck

  2. Manny

     /  October 14, 2014

    Hey Doc,
    I have had 2 back surgeries and am still on pain meds for my back. I am currently on oxycodone and hydrocodone. I am planning on switching to tramadol and ibuprofen daily and hydrocodone 10/325 just for breakthrough pain. I live in California and was offered a job in New Mexico where I would need a CDL. Would taking these medications prevent me from obtaining a CDL in New Mexico? I have a tolerance to these medications obviously, and am not impaired by any means when I take them. I don’t want to go to New Mexico and end up not getting a job because of the medications I’m on. Please help, I wasn’t able to find information online.
    Thanks in advance,
    Manny

  3. lawsuits jacobs

     /  August 20, 2014

    I am a school bus driver in tx. I was recently told during my dot physical that I can not drive a bus for 1yr. I lost my job because they said it was federal law

  4. Trucker Doc

     /  August 11, 2014

    @Shirley
    If your doctor states on the medical release form that you can control your diabetes without the use of insulin, then you can get a medical card for one year.
    But if you use insulin to control, then you will need to acquire a insulin waiver from the FMCSA.
    The medical release from your primary physician is going to be the key here.

  5. Shirley

     /  August 9, 2014

    I’m not insulin dependent but told the doc I use insulin to help control. I’m not able to drive if using insulin. Am I able to get this off my chart. My job depends on it. How is it listed in the directory? Is there any hope here?

  6. Trucker Doc

     /  August 9, 2014

    @Shirley
    As an insulin dependent diabetic, you must have an insulin waiver to drive interstate.
    Yes your data is entered into the FMCSA database, so going elsewhere isn’t going to do you any good.
    You should have your doctor complete a medical release form for you and check with him about Byetta rather than insulin. It does not require an insulin waiver. Good Luck

  7. Shirley

     /  August 9, 2014

    I recently did a dot physical but didn’t pass because of using insulin along with pills to control diabetics. Am I able to see another doctor to get certified? Do doctors enter your name in some data base stating you failed and for what reasons?

  8. Trucker Doc

     /  August 4, 2014

    @Thorne
    No, you would need to acquire a insulin waiver from the Federal DOT before you would be able to drive interstate.
    Some states are allowing drivers with insulin dependent diabetes to operate intra-state.
    Check with your state and see what they have to say regarding this issue.

  9. Thorne

     /  August 1, 2014

    I am a type one diabetic. My diabetes is controlled. I am insulin dependent, but this is only because I have juvenile diabetes that I will have for the rest of my life. I am in the process of getting my CDL, will I NEVER pass a DOT exam?? or can I get a signed paper from my physician saying I am controlled?

  10. Trucker Doc

     /  July 28, 2014

    @Ron
    No, if you can perform your normal duties as a driver, then there is no restriction.

  11. Ron

     /  July 28, 2014

    I was tested for rheumatoid arthritis and came back positive just after my last
    medical exam. I have no problems with movement and only had the one flare up in my
    pinky finger when I was diagnosed. Will this disqualify me?

  12. Trucker Doc

     /  July 11, 2014

    @Sir Brown
    There must be NO sugar in your urine.
    If there is, then your condition is no longer under control.
    Also, if you are a diabetic, make sure you get your medical release form completed by your primary healthcare provider before you go for your DOT medical exam.

  13. Sir Brown

     /  July 11, 2014

    What is the range level for blood sugar to get CDLs

  14. Trucker Doc

     /  June 9, 2014

    @Scott
    You may have your blood pressure under control, but it is being held in control with medication. It is the medication and the FMCSA that are the restriction to a one year medical cards verses a two year card.
    The DOT examiner is just following the rules he has to. One year card for drivers using blood pressure medication to control high blood pressure.

  15. JZ

     /  June 9, 2014

    Hi, I am about to be getting my cdl a license. I have weed in my system, zero other drugs. Never at work, only at night before bed. Is this an automatic disqualification?

  16. Scott

     /  June 7, 2014

    Doc I am on blood pressure meds that keep my blood pressure under the 140/90 mark, usually I am in the area of 130/84 or so which the law says I can have a 2 year card. My Dr. will only give me a one year card due to the meds. My question is do I qualify for a 2 year card with my numbers under the 140/90 or do I only qualify for a 1 year card due to the meds.

  17. Trucker Doc

     /  May 16, 2014

    @Joel
    The FMCSA did not establish any programs for sleep apnea. No rulings, no regulations — only a few guidelines.
    If you have a diagnosed case of excessive daytime sleepiness, then you should follow-up on the sleep study.
    If you don’t have any of this, then there is no such thing as you have to have a sleep study done.
    This subject was and still is a lot of misinformation.
    A DOT examiner is not granted permission to diagnose or treat any condition. His/her job is to determine a driver’s medical fitness to operate a commercial motor vehicle. That’s all, period.
    You should consider though, that a healthier lifestyle, the best you can do, would take this worry out of this situation.

  18. Joel

     /  May 16, 2014

    Doc, what are the factors used in determining if a driver needs to be tested for sleep apnea? I’ve been told that it is some sort of combination of neck size, bmi, and blood pressure. Is this correct? if so, what are the parameters and/or combination of parameters?
    thanks,
    Joel

  19. Trucker Doc

     /  April 27, 2014

    @Joe.
    No, there is not a list. The determination depends on multiple factors e.g. the side effects of the drug, the medical condition of the patient, and the effectiveness of treatment.
    See FAQs regarding medications on our DOTPhysicalDOCTORS website.

  20. Is there a list off prescriptions you can take with a dot card

  21. Trucker Doc

     /  April 22, 2014

    @Rob
    Bring a note from your orthopedist stating the reasons why you can’t lift your arm overhead. Then you can explain to the DOT examiner what you can and can’t do and if there are any other restrictions.

  22. rob

     /  April 19, 2014

    Would a shoulder injury keep me from getting my CDL with the medical examiner I can shift and do everything I just can’t lift my arm over my head

  23. Trucker Doc

     /  April 8, 2014

    @Aly
    Being pregnant is not a disqualifier on the DOT examination.
    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.

  24. Aly

     /  April 6, 2014

    I noticed on the for they take a urine sample. If I am pregnant can I fail a dot physical?

  25. Trucker Doc

     /  March 20, 2014

    @Derek
    No!

  26. derek

     /  March 8, 2014

    I just took a drug test for this company, and i found out that i have weed in my system, is there any another way to pass a drug test screening even tho u r dirty. or do u just have to wait till the weed is out of yo system… and if u do test positive 4 weed in your system does it go on your dat report or what…

  27. Trucker Doc

     /  January 15, 2014

    @Arthur
    This should not be a problem for you. It is only a concern if it causes discomfort or is progressively getting worse.

  28. Arthur Sequeira

     /  January 9, 2014

    I have a very small hernia, right side of my groin area…not large or protruding..and its not painful. i am a bodybuilder and lift daily. you can feel it on the exam when I cough..otherwise you cant tell by looking. when I get my physical will this disqualify me from getting a renewal? previous company went thru Concentra for DOT physicals but now does a local DR. my Physical is due in May… please advise

  29. Trucker Doc

     /  December 10, 2013

    @Alvin
    Not necessarily, but you will want to bring information to the examining dot doctor to evaluate as he is going through the examination. Blood thinners usually have other effects and there is a reason for taking this medication to begin with. So bring information and your medication with you at the time of the exam. Thanks for the question. Trucker Doc.

  30. Will I disqualify from a CDL if I take comodine?

  31. Trucker Doc

     /  November 14, 2013

    @Max
    Sorry to hear that you are encountering challenges that affect your livelihood. Hope this information helps.
    This is not a ‘new’ federal law. The federal self-certification process is new, but the DOT physical exam requirements haven’t changed. Since you received your class A driver’s license you have had to have a valid medical certificate to operate a CMV.
    Unless your hernia interferes with your ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle, then there is no reason that the DOT examiner would not qualify you. And if it is true that the hernia does interfere with your operating a CMV, then you should consider getting it fixed.
    As for why an employer would let a good employee go, I think I would have to have a conversation with my employer as to why I was being released. Questions should be answered honestly.
    Thanks for your comments. Trucker Doc.

  32. All of a sudden new federal requirements say its mandatory I have a health card with me starting in 2014. Well I got a left inguinal hernia in the army on my way to desert storm. The army rushed me to surgery and two day later it was fixed. That was in 1991. The hernia came back 4 years ago and I have been living with it. Now it looks like my career will end because I went for my new required physical and the doc said he could not Qualify me to drive. He said I must stop driving. I went back and told my employer. After 9 years with the company they no longer have any use for me. I have been unemployed since july 10 2013. After having a class A CDL for 15 years, my way of living is gone just like that.

  33. Trucker Doc

     /  November 12, 2013

    @Mike
    More questions than answers, I think.
    Like – How are you controlling your diabetes? Diet, meds, insulin?
    Prescription pain meds for your back. What kind and for what duration?

    So if you just want to keep your cdl – Why? See this article on the new FMCSA medical certification requirements for a way to possibly keep your CDL without a medical card.
    If you want to keep your CDL and you are going to go through a DOT medical examination, then I would make a few recommendations.
    Make sure you take whatever information you can about both of your conditions and how they are being treated by your healthcare provider. DOT has changed some of the regulations and you will need to substantiate the findings, treatment and stability of your present conditions to the DOT examiner.
    You don’t need to worry about the long form, every DOT examiner has the forms.
    Thanks for the questions. Trucker Doc

  34. Trucker Doc

     /  November 12, 2013

    @JT
    I do not believe the medications you are taking will cause a DOT drug test to comeback positive.
    If for some reason one of the medications does cause a positive finding, then the Medical Review Officer (MRO) would call you personally and request a copy of your doctors prescription be faxed over to him. That way he can perform a second test on your split sample to confirm your medications, thus causing a positive test to be negative.
    Thanks for the question. Trucker Doc.

  35. hI, QUESTION OR TWO, IM GOING TO BE 60 YRS OLD. IM RETIRED CONTROLED DIABETIC. IM ON PAIN MEDS FOR MY BACK. NOW I HAVE MY PRIMARY TO CONTROL MY DIABETIC NEEDS. AND A NEURO THAT PERCRIBES MY PAIN MEDS. MY QUESTION IS SHOULD I BRING MY LAB WORK PAPERS AND SHOULD I HAVE DOCUMENTATION FROM MY NERO. I JUST WANT TO KEEP MY CDL. BUT I HAVE TO GO TO A CLINIC. WHAT EXACTLY DO THEY LOOK FOR. AND WHATS THE LONG FORM THEY TALK ABOUT TO FILL OUT. I LIVE IN THE STATE OF N.Y. IF YOU CAN KIND OF GUIDE ME THROUGH THIS I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT. AND THANK-YOU.
    MIKE

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