CDL Training

What is a DOT Physical?


A DOT physical is a medical exam required for any commercial driver. This exam is designed to ensure you are fit to operate a commercial vehicle. To get your commercial driver’s license (CDL), you will need to pass this exam.

This blog will explain what happens during a DOT physical, what to expect before and after the exam, what a passing score means, and who performs the exam.

What Does the CDL Physical Exam Consist of? 

To be eligible for a DOT physical, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. In addition, you will need to provide your Social Security number and complete a medical questionnaire. At least one year must have elapsed since your last DOT physical.

The medical exam has two parts: the first part is a medical history questionnaire that you will have to fill out during your visit. During the second part, which takes place about 30 minutes, the doctor will conduct a physical examination of the driver. This will include a review of your medical history, a general physical examination, and a vision and hearing screening. The doctor may also order additional tests, depending on your individual medical history.

Key Requirements for Passing a DOT Physical

A passing score means that you are medically certified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. This certification is valid for two years. If you fail the DOT physical, you must wait at least 14 days before you can retake it.

The Role of DOT Physicals in Ensuring Road Safety

There are several reasons why the DOT requires a physical exam for commercial drivers. First, driving a large vehicle is more dangerous than driving a typical vehicle. If drivers are not physically able to operate the commercial vehicle, they are putting their passengers’ lives in danger. Additionally, some physical conditions impair one’s ability to drive safely. For example, diabetes can make it difficult for commercial drivers to notice when their blood sugar levels are too low or too high while on the road. A DOT physical can help identify these risks and keep commercial drivers safe while on the road.

The DOT physical is also used to ensure drivers are physically able to complete the duties of the job. Driving a truck for hours at a time, often in difficult conditions, can be strenuous. The DOT physical tests for things like vision, hearing, and reflexes – all of which are important for safe driving.

Finally, a DOT physical is a step towards receiving a commercial driver’s license. The DOT issues the medical card as proof of receiving a passing result on the exam to CDL applicants.

Preparing for Your DOT Physical: Tips and Guidelines

Preparing for your DOT physical is essential for commercial drivers to ensure a smooth and successful examination. First and foremost, gather all the necessary documents and medical records required by the Department of Transportation (DOT). These may include a list of medications you’re currently taking, a history of any medical conditions, and any relevant test results. Double-check that your documents are up-to-date and neatly organized to expedite the process.

Next, be mindful of your health and well-being leading up to the examination. Get a good night’s sleep and avoid consuming excessive caffeine or stimulants on the day of the physical. Also, remember to stay hydrated and eat a balanced meal before the appointment. This will help ensure accurate test results and give you the best chance of passing the examination. Lastly, arrive at the appointment with enough time to spare, so you’re relaxed and not rushing through the process. Following these tips and guidelines will not only make the experience less stressful but also increase the likelihood of receiving a favorable outcome for your DOT physical, keeping you on the road and your career on track.

Where can I get a DOT physical?

Some clinics and hospitals offer DOT physicals. A certified medical examiner performs the DOT physical. To find a certified medical examiner in your area, use the FMCSA DOT Medical Examiner Registry.

Getting a DOT physical is one of the first steps to getting your CDL. The physical is not required to start training. However, it will make the first week of training less stressful and ensure that you meet the physical requirements to operate a commercial vehicle.

Ready to enroll for CDL Training? Take the next step and apply below. A career specialist will be in touch to discuss training time, tuition, and job opportunities.


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