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How Long Is a DOT Physical Good For?

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Dec. 11, 2023, 4:26 p.m.


“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 an underlying condition, such as high blood pressure, needs monitoring. DOT disqualifying medical conditions

The Basics of DOT Physical Requirements

A DOT Physical is critical 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 ensure that CDL holders possess the necessary physical qualifications and abilities to operate their commercial vehicles safely. Taking part in this critical 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 can stay on the road and keep your career moving forward. Taking this proactive step can avoid any unexpected delays or problems. Visit The DOT Physical Drug Test

To obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) in most 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 called a DOT Medical Card. Until this certificate is presented and accepted, no CDL Learner's Permit can be issued. A DOT Medical Card is essential 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 critical 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 comply with regulations. With regular check-ups, it's possible to reduce the 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 must affix a placard to their truck when transporting hazardous materials.
  • 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?

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Standard DOT Medical Requirements

If you're looking to get your CDL, it's essential to ensure 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 must also have a blood pressure reading of 140 over 90 or lower to receive their 24-month DOT Medical Certificate. What is the DOT SAP Program?

Your blood sugar level must stay below 200 to pass the DOT physical. Any use of narcotics or other habit-forming drugs will not be tolerated, and can fail 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. Sometimes, 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 individuals from driving commercial vehicles. Visit the DOT Authority Package, which contains tips to prepare for 2023 DOT Week filings in minutes. How do you get an 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 be concerned about your health and refer you for additional testing and monitoring. Your A1c must be 10% or lower to pass the DOT physical. If it falls between 8-10%, extra caution is advised. It's essential to stay on top of your health with regular check-ups to catch any potential issues 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 to help decrease blood sugar levels.
  • 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 participating in activities you enjoy.
  • 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.
  • Limit saturated fats from sources like red meat and full-fat dairy products. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement? Give us a call.

How DOT Physical Recordkeeping Works

If the medical examiner determines that an individual can 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 proves 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 up-to-date at all times to be presented to authorities upon request. Without this certificate, an individual cannot legally operate a CMV. Therefore, drivers need to ensure their certificate remains up-to-date. Once issued, it should be renewed annually or biannually, depending on the driver's age and specific other criteria. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers.

What Is a DOT Vision Test?

CDL drivers must meet a certain vision standard 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 can 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 excellent ear of fewer than 40 decibels. This test ensures that drivers can detect essential sounds on the road, such as honking horns and sirens. Ultimately, it helps keep them safe while behind the wheel. IFTA Sticker Registration steps.

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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 regular 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?

You can always get a second opinion if you fail your DOT physical. However, the reason for disqualification should seem unreasonable. You must supply the second examiner with your complete medical history and background information in that case. 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-appointedViolations?

To resolve this issue, you must 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 who drive for you working. Also, take a look at what IRP or Apportioned Registration is.

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.
  • 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 they have expired, they must undergo another one 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.
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