Department of Transportation (DOT) physicals health facts
- Federal law requires a holder of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to receive a regular physical examination, called a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical.
- HealthFit has Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration certified providers who complete these DOT physicals.
- Colorado CDLs are valid for 48 months, unless there is a health concern the provider would like to keep a closer eye on.
What is a DOT physical?
All CDL holders are required to get a DOT physical conducted by a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) certified, licensed medical examiner on a regular basis. Each state sets license requirements for most drivers, and a driver can only have a CDL issued by one state. Colorado CDLs are good for 48 months, but a provider can issue a certificate for less than 48 months when monitoring a medical condition such as high blood pressure.
The DOT physical is designed to detect mental, physical and emotional issues that could negatively affect a driver with a CDL. It is important to make sure those drivers are fit to spend long hours on the road without being at undue risk of causing injury to themselves or others.
A Colorado CDL and the DOT physical are required for drivers of:
- Commercial motor vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or greater.
- A commercial vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, driver included.
- A vehicle hauling hazardous material and required to carry a federal warning placard.
- A vehicle that can tow other vehicles or a large trailer.
In addition, some commercial companies, such as Uber or Lyft, require their drivers to meet a medical check. A DOT physical exam can meet those requirements.
HealthFit’s approach to DOT physicals
HealthFit Family Medicine has providers who are certified by the FMCSA to complete a DOT medical exam. This makes it easy for drivers to make an appointment with us.
Upon completion of a passed DOT exam, HealthFit will provide the driver with a medical examiner’s certificate prior to leaving the office.
The FMCSA has set strict guidelines that our providers follow to ensure drivers are in good health to work safely. A DOT physical will test for the following with a hands-on exam and urinalysis:
- Hearing disorders.
- Vision disorders.
- Vascular disorders.
- Neurological disorders.
- Low or high blood pressure.
- Irregular heartbeat.
- Lung disease.
- Physical disabilities.
What to bring to a DOT physical
It is important that drivers bring their medications to the appointment. If a driver requires eyeglasses, contacts or hearing aids, those should also be brought to the appointment.
Some medical conditions require that we have additional information. If drivers have one of the following conditions, they should bring a DOT clearance note granted by their treating specialist.
- Sleep apnea.
- Cardiovascular disease.
- Seizure disorder.
- Bleeding or tumor in the brain.
- Loss of a leg or an arm.
To save time at the appointment, we recommend that drivers complete the new patient paperwork prior to coming to the practice.