Is there a difference between a DOT medical, DOT physical or CDL Medical/CDL Physical?

No. Throughout the years these terms have all become interchangeable.  However, most people refer to the “medical” as the medical card, which you receive after your DOT Physical.

What is involved in a DOT physical?

Your DOT Physical Exam will include:  Health history, a thorough physical exam, a urine test.

How long is a DOT medical card good for?

A DOT medical card is good for two years if you have no restrictions. A history of high blood pressure, taking high blood pressure medications, and/or taking oral medications for diabetes can restrict the medical card to one year.

Why am I required to have a urine test?

The urine test is to screen for pH, Specific Gravity, sugar/Glucose, Protein, and Blood (upon request). It’s done to determine if there are any early signs of high blood pressure, kidney dysfunction, diabetes or infection.

Am I going to be tested for drugs?

Testing for controlled substances is not a part of the physical qualifications for the driver examination process. Testing for controlled substances falls under a different regulation.

What medications disqualify a CMV driver?

A driver cannot take a controlled substance or prescription medication without a prescription from a licensed practitioner.

If a driver uses a drug identified in 21 CFR 1308.11 (391.42(b)(12)) or any other substance such as amphetamine, a narcotic, or any other habit forming drug, The driver is medically unqualified.

There is an exception: the prescribing doctor can write that the driver is safe to be a commercial driver while taking the medication. In this case, the Medical Examiner may, but does not have to certify the driver.

Any anti-seizure medication used for the prevention of seizures is disqualifying.
Methadone use is disqualifying.

The Medical Examiner has 2 ways to determine if any medication a driver uses will adversely affect safe operation of a CMV:
1. Review each medication – prescription, non-prescription and supplement
2. Request a letter from the prescribing doctor

What medical conditions disqualify a commercial bus or truck driver?

The truck driver must be medically qualified to not only drive the vehicle safely, but also to do pre and post trip safety inspections, secure the load and make sure it has not shifted. Bus drivers have different demands.

By regulation, Specific Medically Disqualifying Conditions Found Under 49 CFR 391.41 are Hearing Loss, Vision Loss, Epilepsy and Insulin Use.

Drivers who require a Diabetes or Vision exemption to safely drive a CMV in addition to those pre-printed on the certification form are disqualified until they receive such an exemption.

What are the DOT blood pressure requirements?

The cardiovascular recommendations for certification using the JNC-6 stages of hypertension are summarized in the Medical Examination Report form table. Blood pressure (BP) readings are defined as:

140-159/90-99 = Stage 1 hypertension.
160-179/100-109 = Stage 2 hypertension.
Greater than or equal to 180/110 = Stage 3 hypertension.

The driver with hypertension and BP less than or equal to 139/89 may be certified for up to 1 year. Confirm an elevated BP by a second elevated BP later in the examination. The driver with stage 1 or stage 2 hypertension may be certified in accordance with the cardiovascular recommendations, which take into consideration known hypertension history. Disqualify a driver with stage 3 hypertension.


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