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 ten 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.

Leave a comment

205 Comments

  1. Trucker Doc

     /  January 9, 2012

    @Anonymous
    What you will find with the DOT drug testing is if you test positive for a medication like Adderall, the medical review officer (MRO) will call you in person and request a copy of your Doctor’s prescription and confirm the dose with the findings on the test. That should change a positive result to a negative report.
    So you should be able to go ahead and go for the job. Thanks for the questions. Trucker Doc

  2. Anonymous

     /  January 8, 2012

    I am thinking about becoming a truck driver and have read up on it extensivley. The only thing that seems to be in my way is the D.O.T physical drug test. I have been taking 0.5 mg xanax for years for anxiety. But on top of that a week ago my doctor also put me on Prozac 20 mg once a day and Adderral 10 mg twice a day and they seem to be working pretty good although i know the Prozac takes awhile to take effect. Seeing as how Adderall is an amphetamine am i out of luck even though its doctor prescribed. I could probably do without the Prozac and Adderrall but not the xanax. Can you help answer my question please i really want this job and am running out of options and money. Thank You.

  3. Thanks doc for your advice. I’ve had this doctor for three years and he knows me well.
    I came in to the appointent a little stressed but he measured 125/82 so I’m in good shape!
    He said I would be better off not worrying so much! I’m good for a year. My goal now
    is to try to exercise so hard that I bring it down below 100. Eating whole grain, fish, chicken
    aspirin at bedtime, hibiscus tea, black currant juice, polish borsch etc.. Got the CDL and the
    certificate now and eating better. This is a good thing.

    When do I need to bring the certificateinto the DMV and choose the type of driving I intend
    (Interstate or intrastate)? My license expires in 2016.

    And, if I choose intrastate first, how easy is it to switch to the interstate classification?

  4. Trucker Doc

     /  January 2, 2012

    @Art
    Mainly your examiner will be concerned about your medication because: You should know that quetiapine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery and take precautions to avoid falls until you know how this medication affects you.
    So you will need to bring your medical doctor’s review and suggestions with you at the time of the exam. It may or may not be a disqualifier.
    Thanks for the question. Trucker Doc.

  5. art

     /  December 29, 2011

    I’ve been taking quetiapine (also known as Seroquel ) and have been on disability for For The last Ten Years. I’ve received quetiapine for General anxiety disorder and because difficulty in going to sleep. Will this automatically keep from obtaining passing cdl physical?

  6. Trucker Doc

     /  December 19, 2011

    @Richard
    Well to tell the truth, there should be more than one BP reading done during the DOT exam so you should have the examiner take more than one reading.
    Yes you could have your test done elsewhere, but why do that?
    Also, if you are on ace inhibitors, your examiner will have questions about your meds and their effect on you. Better to have your own doctor be able to explain the need for the meds and their effects on you. That may limit you DOT to one year, but you still have a medical certification to drive with.
    Thanks for the questions. Trucker Doc

  7. I am getting a DOT physical from my regular doctor Thursday. I saw him a few weeks ago for high blood pressure and the first reading taken through my sweater was about 160/105. (Btw, the nurse checked it wrong because I was sitting with my arms hanging down and the cuff was on my clothing.) When the doc finally came in I had a chance to relax and he checked it with my bare arm (but still sitting with my arm hanging down) and got a reading of 135/85. Problem is, on his computer he recorded the high (mis-done, in my opinion) reading.

    1)When I come in for the physical, does he have the discretion to say, this reading is abnormally high or does he have to stick by that reading and report it on the certificate. And,

    2) Is he required to turn these results in to the state or federal agency? And,

    3)And if he isn’t, couldn’t I theoretically, just get another physical from another office that shows my BP is below 140/90 and keep that certificate with me?

    And yes, I am on an ACE inhibitor (three years) and also get the white coat. I test myself regularly
    At home and get consistent readings of 110-130/75-90, pulse 60-80. All my blood work comes out
    In the normal ranges too. Seems like I got to much to lose over an instrument reading my nervous level more than my true readings.

  8. Trucker Doc

     /  December 9, 2011

    @Anon
    Basically the DOT officers and the employers check to see if the driver actually had the physical done by the named examiner. If it is found that the forms were falsified, you loss your cdl and the right to drive. Why chance that kind of loss?? Trucker Doc

  9. Anonymous

     /  December 9, 2011

    what keeps a driver from filling out his own physical papers

  10. Trucker Doc

     /  December 7, 2011

    @Bobby
    Your vision must correct, either with or without corrective lenses to 20/ 40 in both eyes, both used together and each eye individually. But if you fail the vision portion of the examination your examining Dr. can not issue a DOT medical certificate. Get the eyes checked and corrected and you shouldn’t have any problems.
    Trucker Doc

  11. Bobby Erwin III

     /  December 6, 2011

    Hey Doc I’m worried about passing my vision test. I Just got me a local job out of Greensboro NC. I started work yesterday. They acctually let me drive before even doing a drug test or physical. I was suprised that they did that. Yesterday they just handed me the keys to the truck and said GO!!! But yeah I haven’t worn my glasses in months, I tried wearing them the other day and it makes my eyes blurry. I been wearing my girlfriends glasses and I see better in hers then mine. What will my company do if I fail a DOT Physical Vision Test?

  12. Trucker Doc

     /  November 10, 2011

    @Tony C
    Smoking marijuana is going to stay in the system for a fairly long time, 4-6 weeks usually, sometimes longer.
    I’d say get one of the instant urine test from Walmart or the drug store and see if you pass before you have to take the lab based urine test.

    I will say that driving and smoking marijuana are not good combinations.

    As far as the beer is concerned and alcohol testing. You can have alcoholic drinks when you’re at home.
    Testing is to determine if you are drinking and driving. Alcohol is out of the system within a few hours after consumption. So you can have a drink, just don’t drive until a day later.

    Thanks for the questions. Trucker Doc

  13. alexis garrido

     /  November 8, 2011

    alexis garrido Im type 1
    i take 70/30 insuline once a day i work out when i can i try to eat healthy but im not perfect

  14. Tony C

     /  November 8, 2011

    hey doc, i start my cld classes in 29 days.they drugtest during the first week of class.ive smoked marijuana for years,i want to drive a truck so now am done with it,no big deal…my question is,is 29 days enough time to clean up my pee?also whats the deal with alcohol testing am i never alowed to drink a beer again with a cdl?

  15. Trucker Doc

     /  November 8, 2011

    @Alexis
    An insulin dependent diabetic has two possible options.
    1. you can drive intrastate, most states have made allowances for diabetes to travel and drive commercially within the state boundaries.
    2. Check with the Federal Motor Carries at FMCSA.gov and see what the requirements are to obtain a waiver to drive interstate. I have some drivers who do this and it’s just a process of jumping through hoops to get it done.
    Hope this answers your questions. Thanks, Trucker Doc

  16. alexis garrido

     /  November 8, 2011

    Trucker Doc: @Anonymous
    There are a few questions that need to be answered here: 1. What level of diabetic are you? 2. Diet and meds or insulin?
    Get back with the answer and we’ll go from there.
    Thanks for the question.Trucker Doc

    i have type one diabetis and i was wondering if this is going to stop me from geting my cdl i only take insuline when i need it

  17. Trucker Doc

     /  October 25, 2011

    @Anonymous
    There are a few questions that need to be answered here:
    1. What level of diabetic are you?
    2. Diet and meds or insulin?
    Get back with the answer and we’ll go from there.
    Thanks for the question. Trucker Doc

  18. Anonymous

     /  October 21, 2011

    hi my name is tyrone wilson my dream job is to drive trucks but now i cant pass my dot test cause im a diabetic this is streeing me out. So my question do you know something i can do

  19. Trucker Doc

     /  August 17, 2011

    @Marc
    Your DOT examiner is looking out for you and for the safety of the public at large. If you have a recent stress test and that is not enough for your DOT examiner, then you are kinda’ stuck for right now. It is the numbers on the stress test and the findings from your cadiologist that should clear you to go back to driving, unless there is some other reasoning.
    Thanks for the question, Trucker Doc

  20. Marc

     /  August 15, 2011

    I had a stay in the hospital – they diagnosed me with chf in April. The heart dr has put me on medication and I am doing so much better.
    The heart dr said my heart rate was back up to meet DOT guidelines and said there was no reason I should not be driving. I had to go to the DOT dr to get release and he is saying I can’t go back to work yet, even though my numbers are where they need to be – he said he wants to wait another 6 weeks to have the echo test again.
    Is there anything I can do to go over the DOT – when the Cardiologist is saying I am good to go.
    Thanks!

  21. Update – I’m now being told by a NON sleep specialist that I need to be re-titrated. This is ridiculous! Thanks for your response but I’m frustrated with all these hoops. Especially if its well maintained.

  22. Trucker Doc

     /  July 26, 2011

    @ The Bus Driver
    I don’t believe you will have any problems with getting the reports you need for the DOT examiner, and the results speak for themselves. The condition is well maintained, you drive a school bus, so unless the school board has an issue with the results, then you should have no problems.
    Thanks for the questions. Trucker Doc

  23. I have a question for the “Trucker Doc”.

    I’m a 29 yr old school bus driver and have had Obstructive Sleep Apnea diagnosed since 2007. I am currently doing very well on a CPAP machine with a pressure of 12.0cm/H2O. I get an average of 7-8 hours of sleep per night. I regularly follow up with my Pulmonologist/Sleep Specialist and my last overnight Pulse Oximeter reading had an average pulse ox of 96.6-99.0 with a single outlying drop in O2 to 92 over a period of 5 and a half hours. That was 6 months ago.

    I recently had my yearly physical for the bus and got told that I needed to get a “sleep test”. The doctor that does our physicals is NOT my primary care physician and has limited knowledge of my medical history. Since I already have OSA – I offered to get records from my Sleep Specialist to them for the last 2 visits. I’m worried that my OSA will prevent me from being approved to drive a bus, even though it is clearly under control and well monitored. What are your thoughts on this? Thank you for reading this.

  24. Trucker Doc

     /  June 15, 2011

    @Anon
    I would recommend you go to Walmart and get a glucose testing urine strip from the pharmacy and test it yourself.
    If it comes up positive then you know this needs to be looked into further.
    If it comes up negative I would have the physical exam done over and get on with life.
    Hope this helps. Thanks for the question. Trucker Doc.

  25. Anonymous

     /  June 14, 2011

    Hey doc my fiance just went in for a routine physical due to a new job opportunity. He goes yearly and for some reason his urine came back with traces of glucose. He has never had any problems with Diabetes and for the last 20 years has never had a problem with the urine test coming up with this.. Problem is they would not sign off and failed him and said he needs to get all this testing done, alot which looks to be times consuming. Problem is the job starts in less than 1 week and he thinks this job is pretty much not going to happen because of this delay.. In your opinion can this happen? We have been waiting for this job opportunity for years and can’t believe this..

  26. Trucker Doc

     /  May 16, 2011

    @Terry
    I would suggest you get a note from your medical doctor regarding your use of the needed medication. If it is doctor prescribed and does not interfere with your ability to drive, then you will only have to contend with your DOT drug testing. Your employer will need to know about your prescription and its ramifications. The use of the prescribed medication does not effect your CDL directly, but may effect your employability. You have to check it out case by case.
    Thanks for the question. Trucker Doc

  27. If doctor has me on valium for anxiety and I have a DOT physical will I still pass or not what should I do to pass so I dont or wont loose my cdl he has me on 3 pills a day .. And i am, applying for new job ?

  28. Trucker Doc

     /  May 9, 2011

    @William
    Since most of the testing that I do is for Federal DOT, I am not sure I can answer this question completely. I believe Federal DOT would not allow you to drive under the influence of Methadone, but I am unsure about Maryland and driving intra-state. Also I’m no sure about how you would go about passing the pre-employment portion of the examination with your new employer. You will have to check with your local providers to get the most up-to-date information about Maryland’s DOT policy. Thanks for the question.
    Be Well, Travel Safely,
    Trucker Doc

  29. william rappold

     /  May 9, 2011

    Dear Doc,
    I have been prescribed Methadone for many years and have regular drug test which I have always passed at my Doctors office. I have no other medical conditions and have proof that I am in no way taking nor have I taken any illegal drugs for years. Could I pass a Maryland D.O.T. physical while on this prescription?

  30. Thank you for answering me:) the specialist also wants me to have a kidney biopsy also.. and no im not positive i want to drive now that i know this info.. im not sure what would cause the black spots in my vision though?? ive been having more headaches lately to.. i take ibuprophen for the headaches cause nothing else works and i have ITP so no asprin for me.. tylenol makes me sick to my stomach..

  31. Trucker Doc

     /  May 5, 2011

    @Kaylee
    I guess my first question would be “Considering all these conditions, do you think you should pass the DOT examination and do you feel that you are as safe as a driver who does not have all these conditions?”

    A blood pressure of 140 /100 only gets you a three month ticket to drive and you must get your pressure below 140 / 90.

    Medication that causes you to have dark spots in your vision causes concern in your ability to operate a commercial vehicle safely.

    The protein in your urine indicates a breakdown of the kidneys due to the high blood pressue and that you’re operating on 1/2 of the kidney power you need.

    I would have a difficult time passing you on a DOT physical at this point, and with the history of high blood pressure, you would get a three month card. You have to get your blood pressure down and then your physical will only be good for one year a best. My recommendations would be get the pressure down and get the medications in line before you try to take the exam. With everything under control you could pass for one year at a time without much problem.
    Thanks for the question, Trucker Doc

  32. kaylee

     /  May 4, 2011

    i only have one kidney.. and i have protein in my urine also.. went to a specialist and they took blood and said that i have lupas.. i also have high blood pressure. 140/100 and lately once in a while after taken my medicine lisonipril i get black spots in my vision.. will i pass my dot exam??

  33. Trucker Doc

     /  April 26, 2011

    @Dave
    The best way to specifically answer your question is to have the details for systolic and diastolic measurements for each level of qualification. You will find that information on our website under FAQs / News Articles – the article is High Blood Pressure: Commercial Driver Risk.
    Hope this helps.
    Trucker Doc

  34. dave

     /  April 26, 2011

    THANKS DOC, YOU SAID I HAVE A LIMTED TIME TO GET IT BELOW 140/90. HOW MUCH TIME ,DO YOU GET? AND IF I GO TUESDAY AND HAVE IT RECHECK AND IT WAS 159/94. WOULD THAT BE GOOD ENOUGH FOR A 1 YR. CARD. INSTEAD OF A 3 MONTH. IM WAITING FOR THE BLOOD WORK TO COME BACK. AND AGAIN THANKS ,FOR ALL YOUR HELP.I WILL HAVE TO STOP IN AND SAY HI. DAVE MAPLE PARK IL

  35. Trucker Doc

     /  April 25, 2011

    @Dave
    A blood pressure below 180 / 110 and over 160 /100 will clear you for 3 months, and that is enough time for you to get started on a blood pressure medication. That’s about all you can hope for right now. Also, once you are diagnosed with blood pressure this high, you have a limited time to get it below 140 / 90 on a permanent basis, with or without medication.
    Thanks for the question, Trucker Doc

  36. dave

     /  April 25, 2011

    i have 160/94 blood pressure,just found out today, my dot exmaine is thursday,4 days from now,What can i do to pass.been out of work for 10 months,and i need this.thanks dave montague maple park ill

  37. Trucker Doc

     /  January 24, 2011

    @concerned daughter
    Sorry I missed your question for a quick reply.
    If your father has been drinking and the examing doctor is aware of the condition, or smells alcohol on your dad, he probably won’t pass. There will not be a drug/alcohol test given during the examination unless the company requests it. Also if he’s unable to function normally / walk without a support or has difficulty functioning as a operater of a commercial vehicle should, he will not pass the physical examination. I would not fret with the company unless he gets his DOT card. Hope everything works out for the best.
    Thanks, Dr. Kenn

  38. concerned daughter

     /  January 19, 2011

    Hi , my father has been a truck driver for well over 7 yrs. he hauls propane,which we all know is dangerous. hes been off work since Nov. due to a knee replacement. during his time off he picked up heavily on his drinking… I mean heavily!! 4-5 gallons a week.for some dumb reason his doc. released him. with him not being able to get around missed his first appt. to be released b/c he was drunk.Due to the drinking and now depression that has set in he is not healing like he should. He has his Dot physical tomorrow. as his daughter I know hes not ready to get back on the road. My question, will they do a alcohol test on him. should i say something to the company? and like I said he is not able to barely walk w/o his walker, more less drive. should i not even attempt to call his company, b/c he probably wont pass it anyway due to his physical health?

  39. Trucker Doc

     /  January 6, 2011

    @Stephen
    No, the sample needs to be urine. It is to determine the integrity of the kidneys and their function regarding blood, protein, and sugar.
    Dr. Kenn

  40. Stephen

     /  January 3, 2011

    Can I give blood instead of urine

  41. Trucker Doc

     /  December 19, 2010

    @Anon
    He will most likely need notation from his medical physican regarding his condition and the non-likelihood of having a seizure while operating a commercial motor vehicle. The physical examination will also look at the whole person to determine his ability to operate a CMV. If he is healthy and has no other findings, he shouldn’t have any major problems.
    Thanks for your question. Dr. Kenn

  42. Trucker Doc

     /  December 16, 2010

    @Kirs
    If you are a diabetic, you know where your blood sugar levels should be.
    The DOT physical looks at your blood sugar levels, as well as spill-over from the kidneys into your urine. There should not be any spill-over.
    Also, if you are a diabetic, your physical is to be repeated every year so your condition does not get out of hand.
    Thanks, Dr. Kenn

  43. Anonymous

     /  December 16, 2010

    My husband is interested in getting his cdl. He has driven truck in a ranch setting before and is now interested in getting paid to do that. He takes two anti-seizure medications, Dilantin and Tegretol. Can he pass his DOT physical if everything else is fine? Thanks.

  44. Kirs

     /  December 14, 2010

    Is there a certain level my blood sugar needs to be below to pass the physical

  45. Trucker Doc

     /  December 3, 2010

    @Tim
    I think the difficulty in the use of this medication is its effects on the body/driver and the possible effect of his ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle. The drugs may cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, unsteadiness, nausea, vomiting, headache, anxiety, memory problems, as well as possible confusion, loss of contact with reality, chest pain, and vision problems.

    All of these become important when considering driving an 80,000 lb truck going 70 mph. I would check with your MD and see if he will write a note for the examining DOT doctor and see if an exemption would be in order for your particular condition.

    I hope this helps a bit. Thanks for the question.
    Travel Safely,
    Dr. Kenn

  46. Tim

     /  December 3, 2010

    Ok I have a question that I haven’t been able to find an answer. I want to go get the DOT physical so I can go get my cdl. My question is that I have a condition that I was prescribed tegretol for the condition. I know that tegretol is an anti seizure medication which I know is not allowed for you to pass your DOT physical. My condition isn’t a seizure though and when I was diagnosed they tested me for seizures and I had no seizure activity and have never had a seizure. My condition also never happens when I’m sitting down or driving it only happens when I go to walk. I don’t even always have to take the tegretol and go days without it without any problems. I’m trying to find out if because I’m suppose to take tegretol if that could cause me to fail the DOT Physical? If you can please help me out. Thank you.

  47. Trucker Doc

     /  October 25, 2010

    @andre
    The DOT medical examination is a complete physical examination. So yes, a urine sample is take. The urine test is done to check for blood, sugar or protien in the urine. The urine test is done to determine that the kidneys are functioning properly. No blood is taken during this examination. Drug testing is a separate test, not part of the DOT physical. However your company may request a drug test (urine also) to be done at the same time as the DOT physical.
    Hope this answers your question.
    Doc Kenn

  48. andre

     /  October 23, 2010

    For the dot test will they take blood or urine

  49. truckerdoc

     /  August 3, 2010

    @ Sam. Typically no.
    Protein on a test strip is an indicator of kidney breakdown brought about by high blood pressure.
    White blood cells indicate some type of bladder or urinary tract infection. Red blood cells indicate breakdown of small capillary walls.
    So, even though blood or protein showing up on test strips typically won’t fail you on the DOT physical exam, they are indicators of potential health problems. The examining doctor should ask you more questions to determine health risks such as high blood pressure, dietary, exercise or sleep deficiencies.
    Passing your DOT physical should be as important to you, personally, to protect your life (health) as it is to protect your livelihood.

  50. sam

     /  August 2, 2010

    can you fail a DOT physical for having blood and protien come up on the test strips

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