Getting your CDL and starting your driving career can be simple with training from Napier, but before you begin, there’s one more step you’ll need to take before hitting the road—the DOT physical exam.
What is the DOT Physical Exam?
The DOT (Department of Transportation) exam is a physical exam required for drivers of commercial vehicles. As with a regular physical, the exam is designed to check that you’re physically, mentally, and emotionally fit to drive professionally. The physical is required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and ensures the safety of the driver and the public.
What does the DOT Physical Exam look for?
Before the exam, you’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire, answering basic questions about any current conditions or medications you may be taking. Some of these preexisting conditions will require you to bring other items with you, such as:
- Glasses or contacts for those with vision issues
- Hearing aids for those with hearing problems
- Hemoglobin A1C results and blood sugar logs for those with diabetes
- Drivers with heart-related issues will be asked to bring a letter from their cardiologist, detailing any issues and limitations that may affect their work
Along with checking for these things, an examiner will also test your physical capabilities, history of alcohol and substance abuse, history of seizures, and other standard health-related screenings.
How to Prepare For The Exam
In order to save time, you can pre-fill out paperwork on the day of the exam. You can also gather any items or other paperwork that may be requested during the exam, including:
- List of all medications you’re taking and the dosage
- Contacts, glasses, and hearing aids if you use them
- Diabetic records
- CPAP machine records from the last 90 days
- Any current/relevant letters from other doctors
What happens if you don’t pass?
If a specific condition is preventing you from passing, you may be able to retest once the condition is managed. While there are multiple ways to not pass the exam, many decisions are left up to the examiner’s judgment. Due to this, there are ways to proceed and still be able to start driving. If you don’t pass, you can look into getting a waiver from the FMCSA.
Where to Get Your DOT Physical
Physicals can only be performed by healthcare professionals certified by the FMCSA. You can find certified examiners in Ohio by checking out DOT Physical Doctors. As a commercial driver, you’ll be required to carry your results with you at all times, so be sure to ask for a paper copy if one isn’t automatically given to you at the end of the exam.