DOT Exam
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What Happens During a DOT Exam?

Sitting all day is a lot harder on your body than one would think. 

The Department of Transportation (DOT) recognizes that the physical stress of sitting all day and being on hyper alert in a big truck is a taxing task. 

This kind of stress on your body can create health risks. Part of the DOT’s job is to mitigate that risk for you, your employer, and other people on the road. 

They do this by requiring anyone who wants to drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) to complete a DOT exam.

Read on to find out more about the DOT exam. 

What is a DOT Exam?

The DOT requires CMV drivers to pass a physical and medical exam. You can only schedule your exam with a licensed medical professional who is on the approved registry with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Upon completion, you and your employer will be provided with a medical certificate showing the results. Your certificate can be valid for 3-24 months, depending on your health and if your doctor wants to monitor you more regularly for any reason. 

What Do They Check During the Exam?

The DOT medical exam will evaluate all aspects of your health. Expect to have a complete physical where the doctor checks your body for range of motion, physical signs of illness, and ensures that everything is in working order.

Blood draws and urinalysis will also be required to check for certain medical conditions as part of the DOT testing

In addition to the DOT physical exam, you will be required to pass an eye exam and hearing test.

Using the DOT eye exam chart you will need to have a minimum of 20/40 vision in each eye. If you need glasses or contacts to have 20/40 or better vision, be sure to bring them with you to your appointment. Your peripheral vision will also be tested. 

Your doctor will also test your hearing. You should be able to hear a forced whisper from over 5 feet away. 

Is a Drug Test Part of the DOT Exam?

While a urinalysis is part of the medical exam to check for certain medical conditions, you will also have to pass a drug test. 

The DOT drug test screens for 5 major classes of drugs:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Opioids (both opium and codeine derivatives)
  • Methamphetamines and Amphetamines
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

All applicants seeking to drive a CMV will be required to take the drug test. 

If you are taking a medication that is being monitored by your doctor that could potentially flag positive on a drug test, bring a document from your regular provider stating what medications you are taking and for what conditions. 

The DOT Exam is Standard Procedure

There is no need to fear being subject to a DOT exam. It may be more extensive than a regular check-up with your doctor, but if you are in relatively good health you only need to worry about finding the time, finding an approved medical provider, and bringing any needed documentation with you. 

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