A DOT physical, which is a head-to-toe physical assessment mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), is essentially your ticket to securing and maintaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL). It is geared toward ensuring you have no medical conditions or physical limitations that can interfere with your ability to operate a commercial vehicle safely.
If you’re seeking employment in the transport industry and you’ve been told you need a DOT physical, keep reading to learn more about it, particularly what it involves, what you should bring with you to your appointment, and your safest course of action in the event that you fail it.
What Does the DOT Physical Involve?
A DOT physical can include the following assessment categories:
- Medical history
- Vitals signs (heart rate, breathing, respirations)
- Body weight and body mass index (BMI)
- Head to toe exam
A DOT physical is similar to an annual physical exam given by primary care physicians but focuses specifically on the ability to safely drive a commercial motor vehicle. More testing may be necessary based on medical history.
What Must I Bring to My DOT Physical?
When preparing for your DOT physical appointment, make sure to include the following in your checklist:
- Any routine medications you take (e.g., prescription, over-the-counter medicines, etc.)
- Corrective lenses (contacts and/or eyeglasses) and hearing aids
- Medical records: those from your primary care physician and any specialty providers, such as orthopedic doctor, cardiologist, etc.
- Doctor’s names and addresses
- Your photo ID
- Most recent lab results (if you have diabetes)
- Urine sample
- A letter from your sleep medicine specialist (if you have sleep apnea)
- Current medical insurance information
What to Do When You Fail Your DOT Physical
If you fail an assessment in your DOT physical, keep in mind that it does not necessarily mean that it is already the end of the line for you—there might just be something off that can still be corrected.
Your best bet is to talk to your examiner to find out why you failed the physical and ask if they have any suggestions as to what particular steps you can take to pass. If the reason for your being deemed ineligible for a CDL is not within your control, find out if you can apply for an exemption.
The FMCSA will review your case by assessing your medical records, employment history, driving experience, and other information you have provided to determine your capacity to safely operate a commercial vehicle. They usually release their decision within 180 days after they receive your application. Keep in mind that exemptions are only granted to interstate drivers: the FMCSA is not authorized to grant intrastate requirement exemptions.
DOT Physicals in King, North Carolina
If you’re looking for a reputable healthcare facility that offers DOT physicals within the King area in North Carolina, visit us here at Cardinal Urgent Care. DOT physicals belong to a vast array of ancillary services that we offer for the people in our community as part of our commitment of providing them with comprehensive healthcare services.
To schedule an appointment for a DOT physical, contact our staff at (336) 985-9111, and we will gladly guide you on how to go about the process. You may also use this form to send an appointment request. We look forward to serving you!