CDL/DOT Physical

CDL/DOT Physical Specialist
Federal guidelines call for anyone receiving a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to pass the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) health examination. Dr. F. Mark Paz and the team at Occupational Medicine of the Rockies in Golden, Colorado, are here to provide all your work-related medical needs, including your CDL exam. Call or click ‘Book Online’ today for an appointment.

CDL/DOT Physical Q & A

Occupational Medicine of the Rockies

When do I need a DOT physical?

You’re required to pass a DOT physical before beginning any job driving a truck in a commercial setting. This is a federally mandated condition, which means it’s required in all 50 states, not just Colorado.

Additionally, most schools training you for your CDL license require that you pass the DOT physical. After successful completion of your exam, you’ll receive a DOT medical card certifying your fitness to drive a commercial motor vehicle. You must keep a copy with you at all times while driving commercially.

You’re required to take the DOT physical if any of the following conditions apply to you:

  • You’re paid to operate a motor vehicle carrying between 9 to 15 passengers
  • You drive a vehicle more than 75 miles from where you report to work
  • The vehicle is used for interstate commerce
  • The vehicle exceeds 10,001 pounds in gross weight
  • You transport hazardous goods in excess of certain amounts

Are there any restrictions that jeopardize my CDL?

Yes. For example, if you have diabetes and take insulin in an injectable form, you can’t get a CDL. Drug testing is also a component of the DOT exam, and you won’t pass if there’s evidence of narcotics, amphetamines, or other illicit drugs in your system.

Poor eyesight is not an issue, so long as you wear corrective eyewear, such as glasses or contacts, that restore your vision to at least 20/40.

Your personal medical history is also part of the DOT exam and you’ll be asked to declare if you have medical conditions such as (but not limited to):

  • Epilepsy or other conditions involving seizures
  • Hearing loss
  • Heart disease and/or heart attack
  • Kidney disease
  • Paralysis
  • Stroke

While some conditions may prevent you from receiving a CDL, others may not be an issue if you get medical clearance. However, there are potentially serious legal consequences if you misrepresent your health.

What should I expect during a DOT physical?

If you’re in good health with a clear history, the DOT physical is not particularly strenuous or extensive. Your good health is confirmed through a check of vital signs; vision test; ear, nose, and throat examination; and several other simple checks. Blood work and urine testing are generally included as well.

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