How to Get a DOT Medical Card

Written by Nick Webster

Published on June 3, 2023, 11 a.m.

How to Get a DOT Medical Card

Here is how to get a DOT medical card:

  • Contact your local Medical Examiner’s office to find out the requirements and process for obtaining a DOT Medical Certificate.

  • Provide the necessary documentation, including proof of identity, Social Security number, and any other applicable documents.

  • Make an appointment with a certified medical examiner who is authorized to issue DOT Medical Certificates.

  • At the time of your appointment, be prepared to answer questions about your medical history and present any required physical examinations or tests that may be needed.

  • After completing all necessary exams and providing all necessary paperwork, you will receive a signed copy of your medical certificate from the medical examiner.

  • Submit this document along with any other required paperwork to the appropriate government agency or employer.


Do you need to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL)? Are you required to complete a DOT physical in order to receive one? If so, you're not alone. “DOT” refers to the US Department of Transportation.The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) outline specific qualifications that must be met in order to drive commercially. One such qualification is the DOT medical certification.

If this is something that applies to you, it's important to understand what a DOT medical card is and why it's beneficial. Learn how to get your DOT medical certification with these frequently asked questions for more insight into the process. By understanding what the requirements are, as well as any additional documentation needed, you can ensure that you meet the standard criteria to hold an active DOT medical card.

What Does DOT Medical Certification Mean?

If you are a commercial driver, you will need to obtain the Department of Transportation (DOT) medical certification. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) awards this credential after a physical examination from a DOT-approved medical provider. This certification is proof that you are physically, mentally, and emotionally fit to perform in a commercial driving role. Ensure that you meet all of the requirements for obtaining this credential so you can remain compliant with federal regulations.

It's important to take the to familiarize yourself with your state's criteria for physical examinations, as it is a requirement for receiving your DOT Medical Examiner's Certificate and operating safety-sensitive driving equipment. Starting a Trucking Company Correctly. Complying with these regulations is necessary in order to stay compliant and remain safe on the roads. Take the necessary steps today so you can continue safely and confidently behind the wheel.

Who Must Have DOT Medical Certification?

Those operating motor vehicles with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds, transporting passengers or hazardous materials often need to obtain a Commercial Driver's License and pass a medical examination according to the US Department of Transportation standards. Visit DOT Authority Package, Tips to prepare for 2023 DOT Week filings in minutes. The results of this exam must be reflected in a valid DOT Medical Certificate for these drivers to remain eligible for their job. Drivers who do not meet the criteria laid out by the DOT do not require a medical certificate as part of their driving qualifications.

What Do Physicians Look for Throughout DOT Physicals?

During the physical, medical examiners take vital measurements such as height, weight and blood. A urinalysis is conducted to examine sugar, blood, and protein levels in the kidneys. Additionally, vision and hearing tests are performed and a patient's medical history is reviewed for further insight into their overall health status. The assessment must also include a drug screen as part of the protocol.

How Should I Prepare for a DOT Medical Exam?

When you visit the medical examiner for your physical, make sure to bring along all of the necessary documents. This includes your commercial learner permit or license and any other paperwork required by the DMV to verify your information. Visit and know How To Pass Dot Drug Test? Additionally, you'll need a completed DOT medical certification form for the medical provider's assessment.

If you're currently taking medication or have certain health conditions that could affect your status, be sure to let the medical provider know about these ahead of time. Having this information will help ensure that you get an accurate evaluation during your physical.

The Steps for Getting a DOT Medical Certification

Say you're looking to pursue a career as a commercial driver. You'll need to get your DOT medical card ASAP. At many driving schools, they can provide assistance and guidance throughout the process. Written below are some steps that may help you on your way.

Step #1: Reach Out to Approved Medical Providers

Interstate drivers need to get their physicals done by an FMCSA-certified medical examiner (CME). As for intrastate operators, they will need to do research on the approved health and medical providers in their state that are authorized to perform their physicals. Each state can have its own set of requirements, so it's critical to check what those requirements are before getting your physical. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement? The Department of Transportation requires these checks to be completed with an approved provider.

Step #2: Undergo an Official DOT Physical Examination

When selecting a medical examiner, it's best to look for one that is local to you. This can save time on travel and help ensure you complete your certification on schedule. Make an appointment with the provider and receive your medical card to submit to the Department of Transportation (DOT). Your chosen medical examiner will also keep a record of your certification.

Step #3: Submit the DOT Medical Card

After getting their DOT medical cards from a qualified healthcare provider, most can submit the certificate to their state's Department of Motor Vehicles. Where you live, you may be able to send it in person, by mail, fax, or email. Check your state's DMV website for exact instructions on documents that are required and how they should be submitted. With all the paperwork taken care of, you're one step closer to being ready to hit the road!

It is essential to promptly submit your medical certificate to the DMV in order to stay compliant with your state's requirements. To make sure that everything is up-to-date, you're welcome to check the status of your medical certificate on some motor vehicle department websites. Doing so will ensure that you have a valid driving record.

Step #4: Adhere to Renewal Guidelines

Commercial drivers must usually renew their DOT medical cards every 24 months, however, those with documented health conditions that could potentially impair their performance may have to renew every 12 months. This is done in order to ensure that any health issues remain under control and do not interfere with driving safely.

Examples of conditions requiring frequent renewal include high blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnea — depending on the severity. FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics To stay on top of your credentials, it's important to understand your state's requirements for renewal.

Having DOT Medical Certification Fulfills Job Requirements

If you plan to work in the trucking or transportation industries, obtaining a DOT Medical Card is essential. This certification is mandatory for many job opportunities, so completing your physical and getting this card can make sure you meet the requirements of the roles you seek. A CDL is also required if working for either private or commercial companies. Get your documents in order and start exploring new opportunities today!

Reduce Your Liability

The DOT physical exam is an integral part of the records they maintain for professionals who possess Commercial Driver's Licenses. The Basics of Farm Exemptions. This data helps employers and government organizations confirm that these commercial drivers are physically able to perform their duties.

Having this assurance in place can assist companies in reducing the cost of insurance premiums associated with employing drivers without a CDL, as the DOT medical certification provides proof that a valid commercial license has been issued along with subsequent insurance.

Secure New Career Opportunities

By demonstrating that you have the health and fitness required for a CDL, and by maintaining your current license, you can open up more career opportunities. Getting your physical and DOT card allows you to obtain the Class A CDL which is typically associated with higher wages due to its additional requirements of passing a driving test, receiving training, and having a valid DOT medical certification. Ensure that you are fully qualified for this credential as it can lead to greater success in the industry. Our team won't rest until you're prepared to undergo a physical and receive a new card. You will need driver qualification files filed out by all employees that drive for you working.

Summary: How Do I Get a DOT Medical Card?

  • Visit a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
  • Complete the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam with the examiner, which includes vision and hearing tests.
  • Have any necessary follow-up exams recommended by your doctor before your card can be issued.
  • Receive your DOT Medical Examiner's Certificate, also known as a "medical card," from the examiner once all aspects of the exam are completed.
  • This certificate is valid for two years or less, depending on your age and type of license you hold.
  • Return to a certified medical examiner prior to expiration to renew your medical card if it has not already expired.