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DOT Blood Pressure Limits

Written by Nick Webster

Published on May 27, 2023, 11:24 a.m.


DOT Blood Pressure Limits for Physical

Let’s jump in and go over the basics of DOT blood pressure limits:

  • According to the US Department of Transportation (DOT), truck drivers must not have a systolic blood pressure reading higher than 140 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure reading higher than 90 mmHg.
  • If truck drivers have any readings outside these limits, they will be asked to provide additional medical testing and documentation before returning to work.
  • Drivers are also encouraged to regularly monitor their blood pressure levels and report any changes in readings to their employer or doctor.
  • All truck drivers must keep an eye on their blood pressure levels, as elevated numbers can put them at risk for serious health issues such as stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and vision problems. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?


As a commercial truck driver, you must ensure that your blood pressure remains within the recommended range to maintain good health and stay safe on the road. Unfortunately, hypertension (high blood pressure) is a widespread health problem in the US, with almost 50% of adults having a systolic blood pressure over 130 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure over 80 mm Hg, or taking medication for their condition. Even more concerning is that 76% of these individuals are not even aware they have high blood pressure. How To Request the DOT PIN Number?

Are you preparing for your upcoming DOT physical? To ensure that you meet the requirements, it's essential to understand what is required of you regarding blood pressure. Below, we have answered all the most common questions about blood pressure and outlined some tips that can help you lower your pressure quickly before the exam. We wish you the best of luck! What is Unified Carrier Registration?

Can I Pass a DOT Physical Even Though I Have High Blood Pressure?

Your blood pressure is recorded with two figures. The higher value, referred to as the systolic blood pressure, indicates the force at which your heart pumps blood throughout your body. The lower value, known as diastolic pressure, measures how much pressure is between heartbeats. Both values are measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). What is the DOT SAP Program?

If your blood pressure is above the normal range, you may not be able to pass your DOT physical on the first try. Suppose it is within the "Stage 1" high category of 140-159 systolic and 90-99 mm Hg diastolic. In that case, you can obtain clearance for a DOT physical exam, but with an important caveat: you must return annually for testing as part of continued monitoring. What is MC Number?

Say your blood pressure falls between 160-179 systolic or 100-109 diastolic. It is classified as Stage 2” high blood pressure. In this case, you will only be granted a 3-month certificate by the DOT which requires you to take action to bring your readings down to 140/90 or lower. Prompt treatment of high blood pressure is essential for keeping yourself healthy. Therefore, if you find your numbers fall within this range, be sure to take immediate steps toward lowering them.

If your blood pressure is higher than 180 systolic and 110 diastolic, you are considered to have Stage 3 high blood pressure — a situation that is classified as high risk, and, therefore, will not pass the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical. No certification will be granted in such a scenario. California DOT number?

To continue driving a commercial motor vehicle, you must reduce your blood pressure below 140/90. If successful, you will receive approval to drive for six months before undergoing another physical checkup. You'll maintain this certification if the readings remain under these figures during biannual inspections. Know about Motor Carrier Certification vs DOT Certification.

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What Does the DOT Consider as “Normal” Blood Pressure?

Normal blood pressure is regarded as anything below 120/80 mm Hg, which can be expressed as 120-over-80. If your blood pressure falls between 120-139 systolic and 80-89 diastolic for the DOT physical, it would not create any issues during the assessment. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

What Does the DOT Consider as “High” Blood Pressure?

If your systolic blood pressure reading is 140 or higher, and your diastolic blood pressure reading is 90 or higher, you are considered to have high blood pressure. This means that restrictions may be imposed on you. If your tasks fall below these numbers, no action will be taken. The DOT has set these limits as indicators of high blood pressure. Learn here about DOT License Validation Service.

At Stage 1 of your truck driving career, you must take the DOT physical annually, instead of bi-annually. Upon reaching Stage 2, you can drive but must get your blood pressure readings back down to Stage 1 levels within three months. Should your blood pressure rise too high, you must suspend your driving until it's back under control at Stage 3.

What’s the Highest Blood Pressure I Can Have During My DOT Physical?

If your blood pressure is above 140/90, it's time to start taking action against high blood pressure. Treatment usually involves both medications and lifestyle changes, and the results often manifest quickly.

The highest permissible blood pressure for a commercial driver as per DOT physical criteria is 179/109, but rest assured that your Medical Examiner will have reservations about such figures. Taking steps to lower your BP can help you stay healthy and avoid potential issues with passing the DOT physical in the future. What is the UCR program?

What’s the Standard Blood Pressure Range at a DOT Physical?

The DOT blood pressure standards are straightforward – anything below 140/90, and you pass the exam. However, if your results are higher than that, it's essential to take action. The Department of Transportation has established blood pressure regulations for truck driver physicals to ensure their health and safety on the job.

Recent guidelines from organizations like the American Heart Association have lowered the Stage 1 threshold to 130/80 to highlight just how serious high blood pressure can be. Early detection and control of hypertension is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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What Are Some Tips for Lowering Blood Pressure?

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
  • Reduce sodium intake.
  • Eat more potassium-rich foods, such as bananas and leafy greens.
  • Limit processed carbohydrates and added sugars.
  • Cut back on caffeine and alcohol consumption.
  • Practice stress management techniques, such as yoga or meditation.
  • Track your blood pressure regularly with a home monitor or at your doctor's office.
  • If necessary, take medications your doctor prescribes to control blood pressure levels.

Can I Pass a DOT Physical While Taking Medication for Blood Pressure?

Routinely taking prescribed medication for high blood pressure is a common practice, and it can help get your blood pressure back to a healthy level. This will offer you a better long-term outlook. There's no need to worry if you take these medications — it won't impact your DOT results. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions.

Can I Fail My DOT Physical Exam Due to High Blood Pressure?

If your blood pressure is higher than 140/90, it's time to take action if you want to keep getting DOT certification for the long haul. Unfortunately, if your blood pressure rises above 180/110 in the physical examination, you won't pass. But don't despair! By reducing your blood pressure levels below 140/90, you can reapply for certification. So start taking steps now and get back on track toward achieving your health goals!

Summary: What Are the DOT’s Blood Pressure Limits?

  • Drivers should have a systolic blood pressure of less than 140 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure of less than 90 mmHg.
  • Suppose the driver’s blood pressure is higher than these limits. In that case, they must be evaluated by a medical professional to determine if it is safe for them to continue operating their vehicle. You will need driver qualification files.
  • If the medical examiner determines that it is unsafe for the driver to operate their vehicle, they will be disqualified from being medically certified.
  • The driver may also be disqualified from being medically certified if they do not meet other DOT requirements, such as vision standards or physical abilities tests.
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