You may be familiar with a general physical, an exam that may be performed every year to maintain your wellness. A DOT physical, however, is something else altogether. You need to do quite a bit of legwork on your own before getting it.
The DOT physical is a lengthy assessment of your physical and mental health you need when pursuing a commercial driver’s license (CDL) for a job, such as a long-haul trucker. Here at Cermak Immediate Care, our providers can tell you more about this type of physical, in addition to what you can do in advance to prepare.
What is a DOT physical?
A DOT physical is an exam given that meets the standards of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You need to have one before you can become licensed in certain situations, such as:
- Transporting more than 15 people
- Being paid to drive more than eight people
- Transporting hazardous waste, which provides a placard for your vehicle
- Driving a vehicle on the interstate that weighs 10,000 pounds
During this type of physical, we perform a full assessment of your physical or mental health. We ask about your history of surgeries, current medications you take, whether or not you smoke, and any chronic conditions you may have, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Having diabetes or high blood pressure isn’t necessarily a sign of “failing” the physical as long as you can point to having them well-managed.
What you’ll need to prepare
Many components of the DOT physical include obtaining and bringing in the following information:
- All of your doctors names and addresses
- Medications you take, including the dosages
- Eyeglasses, contacts, or a hearing aid (if you use them)
- Record of your recent blood sugar readings (if you’re a diabetic) and your most recent HbA1C level
- Record of your CPAP machine over the past 90 days (if you have sleep apnea)
- Letter from your cardiologist if you’re regularly seeing one
- Letter from your neurologist if you’ve previously had a stroke
The more of these things you can bring to your appointment, the closer you are to getting your CDL.
Who can’t get a CDL
Unfortunately, not everyone who wants a commercial driver’s license qualifies for one. Some of the conditions that can disqualify you include:
- Unstable or uncontrolled heart conditions
- Epilepsy or seizure disorders
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Meniere’s disease (a disease of the inner ear that can cause dizziness)
- Use of marijuana or illegal substances
- Having protein in your urine (a potential sign of kidney problems)
If you have one of the above conditions, you may not pass a DOT physical.
If you need to get a DOT physical, schedule an appointment with our team at Cermak Immediate at the location nearest you. We also take walk-in appointments.