DOT Physical

Department of Transportation (DOT) Physicals

The Department of Transportation has specific criteria which drivers are required to meet.  

These are described in the Code of Federal Regulations.  

DOT physical assesses a person's:

  • mobility
  • strength
  • visual acuity
  • hearing
  • respiratory, cardiovascular, and kidney function
  • and medical history

Who Needs a DOT Physical? 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates a DOT physical for everyone applying for a commercial vehicle driver’s license. This includes people who operate:

  • Vehicles that carry more than 15 people or more than eight people if the driver is paid
  • Vehicles that transport hazardous material and have a placard
  • Vehicles that have a gross combination weight of 10,001 pounds or more

What Does a DOT Physical Consist Of?

All DOT physicals must be completed by a medical examiner licensed by the FMCSA. In the first part of the physical, you will need to fill out a medical examination form with your detailed medical history. This form can also be filled before the appointment to save time. 

For the medical checkup, your doctor will test:

  • Hearing
  • Vision
  • Vital Signs 
  • Urinalysis (FMCSA requires testing for specific gravity, protein, blood, & sugar.) 
  • External and internal health including, but not limited to: motor skills, heart & lung sounds, neurological reflexes, sleep apnea risk factors, & functional movements of the spine and extremities.  

Please note:

Person's not able to qualify under DOT requirements may qualify for the Federal Driver Exemption Program or Oregon Waiver of Physical Disqualification.  For more information visit Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services.

If you’re a bus or truck driver, you’ve most likely heard of the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical. Required to ensure the public’s safety and your safety, this check-up verifies employees are in the best of health to work safely. Here’s everything you need to know about the DOT physical. 

What to Bring to a DOT Physical

Before you come to your physical, bring a complete list of all medications with dosage amounts and the prescribing doctors’ names and addresses. If you’re a driver with medical issues, you’ll have to bring documentation from your physician. Below are a few examples:

Drivers With Vision or Hearing Problems:

  • Bring contact lenses, glasses, or any device you normally use to see
  • Hearing aids

 Drivers With Heart Issues, Brain Tumors, or Previous History of Strokes:

  • A detailed history of your health and a letter that designates you as safe to work from your cardiologist or neurologist.
  • For heart issues, results from a recent stress test or cardiogram test

Drivers With Permanent Limb Loss:

  • A Skilled Performance Examination (SPE) 
  • An overview from your doctor about any work restrictions of the injury

*recommended to wear loose and comfortable clothing.

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