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Where Can I Get a DOT Medical Card?

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“Where can I get a DOT Medical Card?” is an essential question that trucking professionals across the country ask. Getting the right medical evaluations and paperwork can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to satisfying the requirements of the Department of Transportation (DOT). If you need to obtain or renew your DOT Medical Card, there are several options available. Read on for more information about where you can get one.






A DOT Medical Card, also known as a Department of Transportation (DOT) Physical Exam card or Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Medical Card, is required to certify that commercial motor vehicle drivers are physically able to operate their vehicles by federal regulations. Drivers must obtain a medical certification from a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners every two years. Visit DOT Authority Package, Tips to prepare for 2023 DOT Week filings in minutes.

The process involves completing an examination and providing documentation regarding any physical or mental conditions impacting the driver’s ability to drive safely. Upon completing the exam and successfully submitting the form, the certified medical examiner will issue a DOT Medical Card to the driver. The card must then be presented when renewing or obtaining a CDL license.



What Do I Need To Do When Getting My DOT Medical Card?



Here are the common steps to take when securing a Medical Card through the DOT:

  • Make sure you have all the necessary documents and paperwork. You will need to provide your driver’s license, a copy of your medical history, and a physical examination form from an approved physician.
  • Locate a certified medical examiner in your area by visiting the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners website.
  • Schedule an appointment with the examiner and bring all required documents to your visit.
  • During the exam, you will complete a series of tests to assess medical fitness for duty, such as vision and hearing assessments, a urine drug test, and more.
  • If any follow-up is needed, such as additional testing or paperwork completion, ensure these are done immediately.



Who Provides the DOT Medical Card?



The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) issues a Medical Examiner's Certificate, commonly referred to as the DOT Medical Card, which certifies that individuals are medically fit to operate commercial motor vehicles. These certificates are issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Physicians who have completed an approved training program and hold an unrestricted license in their state may issue the DOT Medical Card. Information regarding the certification process for physicians can be found on the FMCSA website. Furthermore, drivers must renew their certificates every two years. Failure to do so will result in non-compliance with federal regulations and potential sanctions from local authorities. By upholding this standard, drivers can ensure they remain healthy enough to transport passengers and cargo throughout safely



What Are the Benefits of Having a Medical Card?



Here are the main benefits associated with having a DOT Medical Card:


  • Helps you remain compliant with federal regulations.
  • Allows you to be eligible for certain jobs requiring a Medical Card.
  • Provides an official record of your physical and mental health status.
  • Facilitates quick access to medical care in the event of an emergency or accident.
  • Ensures that you are physically fit to operate heavy machinery or commercial vehicles safely and responsibly.
  • It gives employers a sense of security when hiring employees who will drive on behalf of their company or organization. It helps them verify that the driver has passed all necessary physical examinations.
  • Reduces potential risks associated with drivers on the road, such as accidents caused by fatigue, illness, etc. For additional programs, check out MCS-150. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.



Can I Get My DOT Physical in Any State?



Absolutely! You can get a DOT physical in any state. As long as you are in the United States and have access to a qualified medical examiner, you can receive your exam. If there is not a certified medical examiner nearby, you may need to travel to one. However, finding an appropriately qualified provider should never be difficult with the number of providers across the nation. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?


Additionally, many employers now offer mobile services that come directly to their workplaces or job sites for convenience. This is especially beneficial for companies with remote worksites or multiple locations where having an on-site medical examination in each location would otherwise be cost prohibitive. Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to contact the local motor carrier safety enforcement office.



Do I Have to Get a DOT Physical in the Same State Where I Got a CDL?



The short answer is no, you don't have to get a DOT physical in the same state where you got your CDL. But there are some factors to consider before deciding on which state to get your physical in. You will need driver qualification files filed out by all employees who drive for you working.

For example, different states may have different requirements for how often DOT physicals must be taken. So, if you're looking for an edge on the competition, it might make sense to look for a state that requires less frequent examinations! Additionally, some states might offer more favorable rates or other perks that could make getting a DOT physical there more advantageous than elsewhere. Another factor to consider is whether or not you'll need any additional testing based on the type of CDL you hold. Some licenses require extra testing procedures to take place.



Who Pays for the DOT Physical?



Generally, DOT physicals are paid for by an employer or the driver. One again, the DOT mandates that all commercial vehicle drivers undergo a physical exam every two years.

Employers will typically pay for the cost of their employee’s physical exams since it is part of their safety program; however, some employers may require that employees pay for part or all of their own medical examinations. This can vary from company to company, so it's important to confirm what is being covered prior to scheduling a DOT physical appointment. Drivers who are self-employed and operating under their own authority can also be responsible for payment when undergoing a DOT physical exam. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then have the ability to maintain complete motor carrier authority.



Do I Need to Receive a New DOT Physical When Starting a New Job?


No. The DOT wants you to know that if you have a valid and current Medical Card, then it’s good to go – no matter where in the country or what company you work at. So don't worry about having to get a new Medical Card when you switch employers; it's already taken care of. Now, isn't that convenient? Plus, with the peace of mind that comes with having an up-to-date Medical Card, there's one less thing to stress over when switching jobs. How to Process BOC-3 Filing via our Agent.



How Do I Renew My DOT Medical Card?



Here are the common steps for renewing a Medical Card with the DOT:

  • To renew your DOT Medical Card, you must complete the Medical Examination Report Form (MERF) in its entirety and submit it to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  • You will also need a valid form of identification, such as a driver's license or passport.
  • If your application is approved by the FMCSA, you will receive a new DOT Medical Card that is valid for two years from the date of issue.
  • You must also provide proof of completion of an approved physical examination conducted by a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners website.
  • The physician or other healthcare professional who examines you must be qualified and licensed to perform physicals. Also, take a look at Drug and Alcohol Program policy. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?



What Does the DOT Physical Look For?



The DOT physical exam consists of a review of medical history, followed by a physical exam and drug testing. The purpose is to make sure that commercial drivers are healthy enough to drive safely and efficiently. The doctor will ask questions about your past and current health during the medical history portion. This includes any conditions you may have or medications you are taking, as well as any previous major surgeries or injuries.

After this part is completed, the physical exam begins with an assessment of vision, hearing, blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiratory functions. Your height and weight will also be taken. Depending on what type of commercial driving you do and where you live, additional tests may be required. Finally, urine samples are collected for drug and alcohol screening purposes. For additional programs, check out MCS-150. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.



Do You Have Any Tips for Passing My DOT Physical?



Consider taking the following actions to help make your physical with the DOT a success:

  • Make sure you get a good night's rest the night before your physical. When you're well-rested, you're better able to focus and answer questions accurately during your exam.
  • Eat healthy meals prior to your physical. Avoid processed foods and make sure to drink plenty of water in the days leading up to it. Eating nutritious food will help keep your body functioning at its best for the exam.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that won’t restrict movement or cause discomfort while being examined.
  • Be honest and accurate when answering questions about your medical history and lifestyle habits, such as exercise, diet, drug/alcohol use, etc., during the exam.
  • Bring all necessary documents.



Questions About DOT Physicals & Medical Cards? Contact Us



Our organization is standing by to help you get a DOT physical so that you can get a DOT Medical Card. Please contact us with any questions about this subject through messages, email, or directly over the phone. Feel free to ask questions like “Where can I take a DOT physical?” Or, “Where can I get my DOT Medical Card?” Our third-party trucking specialists can help you discover the easiest place to pass DOT physical. “Where can I get a DOT Medical Card” is a common problem that we look forward to helping you solve. 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 who drive for you working. Also, take a look at What Is IRP or Apportioned Registration.



Summary: Where To Get Your DOT Medical Card


  • A DOT Medical Card is required for professional drivers who operate commercial vehicles.
  • The card can be obtained from a qualified healthcare provider or medical examiner, listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
  • Drivers also have to show proof of physical exam completion before getting a DOT Medical Card.
  • Many states offer online registration processes that allow drivers to search and find certified providers near their location easily.
  • For more detailed information regarding the requirements and process of obtaining a DOT Medical Card, visit your local Department of Transportation office or website.
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