DOT/CDL Physical Exams
If you are new to commercial driving, you may be wondering what does the physical exam involve? Well, to answer your question we have laid out a step by step of what takes place.
• You will be filling out a Medical History Questionnaire Form DOT 5875, which the Medical Examiner will then review and make any comments if needed. It is best that you answer honestly, as these questions are not looking to disqualify you, rather it is to inform the Medical examiner of any areas which may need further clarification.
• You will need to provide a urine sample. This is NOT a drug test, rather it is a screening for kidney or metabolic disorders (such as diabetes). Even if there are abnormalities, it does not disqualify you, rather further testing may be needed.
• Vision test. Your vision will be tested either with or without glasses, depending if you need them to drive. You will read off a chart that is 20ft away.
• Blood pressure is a very important aspect of your exam. The maximum a medical certificate is good for is two years. One of the factors that can result in not getting the full time is high blood pressure. We strongly advise that you do not drink any caffeinated beverages before the exam, and you are well rested. If you are already on medication for high blood pressure, make sure you take it.
• Hearing test. There are two types of hearing tests. The “Forced Whisper” or Audiometric. The Forced whisper is when the examiner forcefully whispers three numbers from at least 5 feet away. In the uncommon event that the driver fails this test, they will then be preforming an electric Audiometer testing (think of uncomfortable headphones).
• Lastly, the Medical Examiner will perform a physical exam.
• Once everything is completed, the Medical Examiner will make the determination (with the guidance of the FMCSA regulations) how long the certificate will be good for (2 yrs, 1 yr, 6 months, 3 months or failure).
• You receive your Certificate/Card (DOT 5876) and a copy of the DOT 5875 form. TB (PPD) A simple skin test that may indicate presence of Tuberculosis. Certain areas of employment (such as healthcare) may require biannual testing. A small amount of liquid, is injected just under the skin (with a very small needle). You must return between 48-72 hrs from when it was placed, to have you results. DOT Urine Drug Test A Federally regulated urine drug test. It is best that you drink plenty of fluids in order for you to have the required amount for testing. Audiogram Hearing Test A hearing test that uses specialized headphones, and a series of beeps at different frequencies and decibels (used if someone fails the forced whisper test, or employer is requesting it). Basic Employer Physical / Return To Work Physical A basic physical exam that your employer requested to either begin or return to work. This may be due to a recent injury or illness, or a pre-employment exam.