What to Expect in a DOT Physical Exam? – Pt. 2

Exam2Your safety and that of other motorists is the driving force behind the regulated DOT physical and NRCME medical certification requirements. As a matter of fact, according to FMSA statistics, large truck and bus fatalities have decreased, injury crashes have dropped, and property-damage-only incidents have declined. The industry’s focus on safety has been paying off, and your DOT physical plays an important role in that safety.

So, while the thought of heading to the doctor might not excite you, the reasons behind it are necessary. To help ease your anxiety, here’s a list of things that you can expect when you go in for your DOT exam with a certified DOT medical examiner.

Things to Bring to Your Appointment

  • Your valid driver’s license and /or other photo ID.
  • Eye glasses or contact lenses, if applicable. If you recently had an eye exam it would be helpful, but not necessary, to bring that exam report with you.
  • A working hearing aid, if applicable.
  • List of medications, and the name and contact information of the prescribing doctor.

Examination Procedure

  • Check your pulse and blood pressure
  • Perform a vision test. Drivers are required to have at least 20/40 acuity in each eye with or without correction.
  • Observe your general appearance
  • Examine your eyes, throat, mouth, and ears
  • Listen to your heart and lungs
  • Check for spine deformities
  • Perform a neurological exam
  • Check your abdomen and viscera
  • Perform a hernia check

If you fail the exam, this does not necessarily prohibit you from becoming or continuing to be a driver. Talk with your doctor about your disqualifying condition. If you can improve it with treatment, discuss a plan to address it and try again.