CDL/DOT Physicals

Everything you need to know about the department of transportation DOT/CDL drivers physicals

The Department of transportation sets all safety regulations for all major modes of transportation. DOT/CDL physicals are performed by certified DOT medical examiners. DOT physical examination is needed on a regular basis to continue commercial vehicle driving. It is a necessary requirement for truck drivers having a commercial driver’s license in the US. This physical exam is vital for truck drivers as their job relies on a valid CDL with updated exams.

DOT/CDL physical qualifications include:

The medical examiner studies the DOT health regulations to make sure that they achieve the needed standards and assesses their driving strengths. DOT drug screening can disclose minor traces of illegal drugs including phencyclidine, opiates, amphetamines, cocaine, and marijuana. DOT physicals require trucking companies to execute screenings for alcohol and hazardous drugs for all CDL permitted drivers. As per DOT regulations, the driver should be physically qualified to drive a commercial vehicle as per the following:

  • No Alcoholism
  • Is free of banned drug use
  • Has not lost an arm, hand, or foot unless intelligence performance interpretation certificate applies
  • Have no disabilities of a finger to avert grasping
  • Has no abnormality or limitation to any limb that meddles with the ability to drive a commercial vehicle
  • Has no history or current diabetes requiring insulin for control
  • Have no current cardiovascular diseases
  • Has at least distant vision of 20/40 and capability to control a commercial vehicle
  • Has no diagnosis of previous or current vascular and cardiovascular diseases
  • Has no respiratory problems
  • Has no diagnosis of high blood pressure

DOT physicals check paralysis, kidney disease, missing limbs, psychiatric disorders, heart problems, chronic pain, fainting or dizziness, impaired vision, alcoholism, digestive issues, brain injuries, neurological disorders, spinal cord injuries and loss of hearing. DOT physical examination process includes urinalysis, hearing test, vision test, pulse rate, and blood pressure.

DOT/CDL physicals involve the testing of body parts such as neurological, spine, skeletal, extremities, urinary system, vascular system, abdomen, chest, lungs, heart, mouth and throat, eyes, ears, and general appearance.

A DOT physical exam is valid for 24 months. The medical examiner may also give a certificate for less than 24 months if the condition needs to be audited such as high blood pressure. Employers must assure the health of drivers before starting them on road. It is very important to pass DOT physical tests for drivers to curtail accidents resulting from ill health and to keep the roads safe.

Preparations for DOT/CDL driver’s physicals:

  1. Bring the list of current medications you are using
  2. Bring hearing aids, contact lenses or eyeglasses if you are using any
  3. Bring all documents related to any current health condition
  4. If you see physician continuously, provide the approved documentation from your physician
  5. A DOT/CDL physical examination can only be completed by FMCSA certified medical examiner


Truck driving is a career path that requires perfect health. Sitting position for a lot of time can raise significant health risk. DOT/CDL physical examination ensures that you are perfectly fine to drive and that you are in good health for on-road safety.