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What are DOT physicals?

Federal law requires drivers of commercial motor vehicles (DMVs) to receive regular physical examinations. These exams are defined as the “Department of Transportation Medical Examinations.” DOT physicals are highly regulated for the drivers’ safety. They detect physical, mental, and emotional issues that can affect a driver’s ability to safely drive a commercial vehicle. DOT medical examiners are specially trained to understand the regulations and prevent drivers from being inappropriately disqualified.

Why did the FMCSA regulations change?

Driving a commercial motor vehicle means long, hard hours on the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has updated the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations to better reflect the physical demands drivers face and to help them be safer on the job. The new regulations require all medical examiners performing DOT physicals to:

  1. Be trained and certified in the FMCSA standards;
  2. Report exam results monthly to the FMCSA.

I’m a driver. What should I expect from the new regulations?

Your health history will be carefully reviewed during your DOT physical exam. The physical exam will include:

  • Past or recent illnesses and injuries (including head and brain injuries)
  • Vision acuity
  • Hearing disorders
  • Heart disorders
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscular weakness or disease
  • Diabetes
  • Digestion
  • Respiratory problems
  • Lung, kidney, liver, and nervous system health

You must meet all of the health requirements in order to pass your DOT physical exam. For more information on what to expect and what’s required, visit DOT physical requirements.