How Long Is a DOT Physical Good For?

Written by Nick Webster

Published on March 10, 2023, 6 a.m.

How Long Is a DOT Physical Good For?

“How long is a DOT physical good for?” is a common question in the US trucking industry. A DOT physical exam is valid for a period of up to two years. The medical examiner may also decide to provide a medical examiner’s certificate for a shorter duration if there is an underlying condition, such as high blood pressure, that needs monitoring. DOT disqualifying medical conditions

The Basics of DOT Physical Requirements

A DOT Physical is a critical requirement for any Commercial Driver's License holder. Its purpose is to help ensure the safety of both the licensed driver and other motorists on the road. This comprehensive physical examination helps to ensure that CDL holders possess the necessary physical qualifications and abilities needed to safely operate their commercial vehicles. Taking part in this important evaluation can therefore be beneficial to all involved. Visit How Much Does a DOT Physical Cost?

The Department of Transportation requires all CDL drivers to get periodic physical examinations from a DOT-approved medical examiner. This exam screens for any pre-existing medical conditions that might hinder a driver's capability of driving safely in a commercial setting. Keeping up with these checkups ensures that you are able to stay on the road and keep your career moving forward. By taking this proactive step, you'll be able to avoid any unexpected delays or problems. Visit The DOT Physical Drug Test

In order to obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) in the majority of states, prospective drivers must present proof that they meet the medical requirements for operating a commercial vehicle. This is typically done by providing a valid Medical Examiner's Certificate, also referred to as a DOT Medical Card. Until this certificate is presented and accepted, no CDL Learner's Permit can be issued. Having a DOT Medical Card is an essential step to becoming a commercial driver. What Is DOT Drug Testing?

What Are DOT Physicals?

A DOT physical is a comprehensive medical exam that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates for commercial drivers who hold a CDL. This important examination helps to keep public safety at the forefront by ensuring that only physically and mentally fit drivers are on the road. All CDL holders must take and pass this exam every two years to remain compliant with regulations. With regular check-ups, it's possible to reduce risk of potential accidents caused by health issues related to driving abilities. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

Who Needs To Receive a DOT Physical?

All of the parties listed below must obtain a Department of Transportation physical:

  • Those who are required to affix a placard to their truck when transporting hazardous materials. Must visit the link.

  • Those driving vehicles with 15+ passengers

  • Those employed in the operation of vehicles carrying more than eight passengers

  • Those involved in the transportation of vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds. What are the Top 3 DOT Violations?

Standard DOT Medical Requirements

If you're looking to get your CDL, it's important to make sure that you meet the vision requirements first. You must have 20/40 correctable vision in each eye. This means glasses or contact lenses are allowed. Unfortunately, those who require needle-injected insulin as a result of diabetes cannot obtain a CDL license. However, if your diabetes can be managed through diet and medication, then you may still be eligible. Lastly, drivers will also need to have a blood pressure reading of 140 over 90 or lower in order to receive their 24 month DOT Medical Certificate. What is DOT SAP Program?

Your blood sugar level must stay below 200 in order to pass the DOT physical. Any use of narcotics or other habit-forming drugs will not be tolerated and can result in failure of the exam. If you have been diagnosed with any cardiovascular disease or cardiac issues, you may need to provide additional information from your doctor before passing the DOT physical. In certain cases, a prescription medicine for high blood pressure may be used as part of your treatment plan. How To Request the DOT PIN Number?

DOT Physical Blood Pressure Levels

Blood pressure levels between 140-159/90-99 are considered to be in the normal range, and a 12 month driver certificate will be issued. A temporary 3 month license is given if blood pressure readings fall within 160-179/100-109. Unfortunately, if blood pressure measures over 180/110, DOT regulations disqualify the individual from driving commercial vehicles. Visit DOT Authority Package, Tips to prepare for 2023 DOT Week filings in minutes. How to get Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?

What Is the A1c Limit for the DOT Physical?

If your A1c is higher than 8%, the medical examiner may have concerns about your health and may refer you for additional testing and monitoring. To pass the DOT physical, your A1c must be 10% or lower. If it falls between 8-10%, extra caution is advised. It's important to stay on top of your health with regular check-ups to ensure that any potential issues are caught early on. Your DOT medical examiner can provide helpful guidance in this regard. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.

How Can I Lower My A1C Fast?

Consider taking the following actions to reduce your A1c:

  • Make diet and lifestyle changes that can help bring your blood sugar levels down.

  • Exercise, even if it's just a short 10-minute walk every day.

  • Manage stress and anxiety in healthy ways like talking to friends or family, going for walks, or taking part in activities that you enjoy. Also visit the link.

  • Cut down on sugary and processed foods, as well as alcohol and caffeine.

  • Eat more plant-based proteins such as legumes and beans, which are lower in fat than animal proteins.

  • Increase fiber intake by eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

How DOT Physical Recordkeeping Works

If the medical examiner determines that an individual is able to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safely, they will provide the examined person with one copy of the results and fill out a Medical Examiner's Certificate. This document serves as proof that the individual has been medically evaluated and deemed physically fit for CMV operation. What is Unified Carrier Registration?

The Medical Examiner's Certificate must be kept in-date at all times so it can be presented to authorities upon request. Without this certificate, an individual cannot legally operate a CMV. Therefore, it is important for drivers to ensure their certificate remains up-to-date. Once issued, it should be renewed annually or biannually depending on driver age and certain other criteria. Read about Texas DOT Number and USDOT Number.

What Is a DOT Vision Test?

CDL drivers must meet a certain standard of vision in order to qualify for their license. They must have visual acuity of at least 20/40 in both eyes, which can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Additionally, they should possess a minimum peripheral vision of 70" in both eyes. These standards are essential to ensure that CDL drivers are able to operate safely and reliably on the road. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

What Is a DOT Hearing Test?

DOT medical examiners use the forced whisper test to assess a driver's hearing abilities. They will ask the driver to listen for a whispered phrase from five feet away or less. Drivers can pass the test with or without the aid of hearing aids, as long as they have a hearing loss in their good ear of fewer than 40 decibels. This test is used to ensure that drivers are capable of detecting important sounds on the road, such as honking horns and sirens. Ultimately, it helps keep them safe while behind the wheel. IFTA Sticker Registration steps.

What Is a DOT Sleep Apnea Test?

Drivers who experience daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, sore throat/dry mouth on waking, gasping during sleep, or loud snoring may be required to undergo a Department of Transportation (DOT) sleep apnea test. Such symptoms can indicate that a person has obstructive sleep apnea, which disrupts their normal breathing pattern and quality of restful sleep. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then have the ability to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker.

How Soon Can Someone Retake the DOT Physical?

If you fail your DOT physical, you can always get a second opinion. However, the reason for disqualification should seem unreasonable. In that case, you must supply the second examiner with your complete medical history and background information. If they find that you are medically capable of driving, then there might be conflicting results between both DOT physicals. What are the Top 3 DOT paper appointed Violations?

To resolve this issue, you will need to apply to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) under 49 CFR Part 391 § 391.47. This way, they can review the two exams and provide a resolution so you can continue operating as a CDL driver every 24 months as mandated by law. You will need driver qualification files filed out by all employees that drive for you working. Also, take a look at What Is IRP or Apportioned Registration.

Summary: How Long Are DOT Physicals Good For?

  • A DOT physical is typically valid for 24 months.

  • The medical examiner may determine a shorter validity period based on an individual's health status. Please visit the website link.

  • However, the maximum validity period of a DOT physical cannot extend beyond two years from the date it was issued.

  • Drivers are responsible for ensuring that their DOT physicals remain up to date and if it has expired, they must undergo another one in order to continue driving.

  • In addition, drivers over the age of 65 must get a new DOT physical every year. Visit BOC-3.

  • Drivers should also check with their state government to see if there are any extra requirements for commercial vehicle operation within its borders.