Are you a commercial driver? If you are, you have probably been asked to take a DOT physical exam. 

Required by the Department of Transportation, DOT exams help determine if you are physically and mentally capable of operating heavy machinery and vehicles. 

What exactly is a DOT physical exam? What can one expect during the exam process? Continue to read to learn more. 

Why Do I Need To Take a DOT Physical Exam?

As a professional driver, you know how draining the job can be. Driving can be both mentally and physically exhausting. Most importantly, as a professional driver, you have the responsibility to protect your passengers. 

Companies who hire professional drivers need to ensure that their team is prepared and capable of the required tasks that come with the job. This is why employers are required to have their drivers retake the DOT exam every two years. 

Components of a DOT Exam

The main components of a DOT exam include vision testing, hearing testing, blood pressure analysis, a urinalysis, and a complete physical examination. Below we break each component down in detail. 

Vision Testing

One of the most important aspects of driving a vehicle professionally is your vision. Seeing clearly at all times of day is essential. If you have a vision impairment, you may use corrective lenses or contacts. 

If you still have trouble seeing, even with assistance, then you will not pass the DOT exam. DOT exam takers must have at least 20/40 vision in each eye. If you wear glasses or contacts, you may use them on the exam. 

Hearing Testing

As a professional driver, your sense of hearing is impactful. You must be aware of your surroundings at all times as you care for your passengers. This is especially important in case an emergency occurs. 

DOT exam takers must be able to hear a forced whisper from 5 feet away or less to pass the exam. Drivers who are hard of hearing can use a hearing aid on the exam. It is crucial to wear a hearing aid to work each day if you require one. 

Blood Pressure Analysis 

Your blood pressure is checked to ensure you are capable of driving for long periods of time. Additionally, blood pressure checks can determine any health conditions you may be unaware of. 

When one’s blood pressure is abnormal, it can result in emergency circumstances such as heart attacks, passing out, and strokes. If you experience any of these situations while on the job, this could be a catastrophe for all parties involved. 


A urinalysis is completed for very similar reasons to a blood pressure analysis. This is a proactive measure to determine any health conditions that you may not be aware of. It is done in conjunction with the other tests to determine your overall health status. 

Complete Physical Examination

During the complete physical examination, drivers will be thoroughly examined by a physician. Their weight, height, appearance, and other aspects will be analyzed.  

During the complete physical examination, a doctor will check your heart and lung capacity. Additionally, physicians will look for abnormalities in your body, such as a hernia. 

Questions During a DOT Exam

During a physical examination, drivers can expect to be asked about their lifestyle. The physician responsible for the exam will ask questions such as: 

  • What does your diet look like?
  • Do you drink alcohol?
  • Do you smoke cigarettes or cigars?
  • Do you exercise regularly?
  • Do you have all of your vaccinations? 

These questions, while uncomfortable and personal, will help physicians determine if you are mentally and physically capable of operating a vehicle. 

Do I Need to Bring Anything for the DOT Examination? 

Drivers will need to bring a medical examination report form, in which one can declare current health conditions or issues. It is recommended that you bring documentation of all current medications you are on.

Documents that provide a greater perspective on your medical history are also beneficial. If you had any recent surgeries or procedures, bringing respective documentation is a good idea. 

If you have diabetes or similar conditions in which you frequently get blood tests, it is important to bring recent results. 

DOT Physical Exam Forms

The two main forms you will receive after completing the DOT exam are the Medical Examination Report Form and the Medical Examiner’s Certificate. 

The Medical Examination Report will discuss the results of your exam in detail. This form will also include a section on your medical history. 

Those who pass the DOT exam will receive a Medical Examiner’s Certificate. This document is the physical proof that one passed, and it is valid for two years. 

Visit The Spine Center Today

It is not meant to be challenging to pass the DOT physical exam. If you have a condition, as long as it is managed and will not interfere with your work, you will be able to earn a Medical Examiner’s Certificate. 

Whether you are healthy or facing a health challenge, it is always important to be productive. The Spine Center is a professional chiropractic practice that serves Las Vegas and surrounding areas every day. 

We have seen the impact of chiropractic care and how it changes lives. The spine is the centerpiece of the human body. Good spine health means healthier nervous and immune systems. 

To learn more about how we can be of service to you and to schedule a consultation, please contact us today. 

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